Saturday, December 26, 2015

Yeti Three: Powder Mountain

Powder Mountain delivered. Best powder day in years and the day that Sarah, Joel and Will came to discover that powder is the creme de la creme of skiing and that they can actually ski it.

Setting full moon with first rays of sun shine on the Oquirrh Mountains on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley.

We were on the road by 7:30 AM caravaning with the Hodsons 100 miles northward via I-15 to Ogden, then up winding, narrow Ogden canyon to the beautiful Ogden Valley (home of a unique-for-UtahTrappist monastery) through the small town of Eden and then up a steep grade to the 1971 established ski resort.

Neighbor Chris Hodson and his eight year old son stayed on the packed green and blue runs while son Isaac joined the Emmetts for a day of powder. We sailed down Rendezvous to Paradise lift, drawn to it by the trail map that showed lots of black diamond ungroomed runs. I skied at Powder Mountain once 30 years ago with dad and others, but have little memory of it other than the fact that dad hurt his leg and it was difficult to get back to the parking lot given the odd set up of the base lodge being at mid mountain and the need to always go up a lift to then descend to the parking lot.

With map in hand we set out. From the lift we decided that Snowchaser looked like a good option. It and Miller Time did not disappoint. It was a perfect beginner run for powder skiing. 1-2 feet of little tracked snow, wide open glades punctured with juniper, fir and aspen (reminiscent of the back side of Beaver Mountain), and bright sunny skies. I did a little coaching-- bend your knees, sit back, unweight and turn and then we were off.  My job was sweep--picking up those who face planted, double released, or just tumbled. They loved it, with each fall (and there were plenty) being a badge of honor. Two runs from top to bottom of Paradise made for a fun morning.

 Thanks for hanging with me Sarah.

 Well named Paradise Lift,

 Our tracks.

 Taking a breather. Skiing powder is hard work and hard on the quads.

 Joel getting up on his own after a fall.

 Timberline Lodge.

Founder of Powder Mountain. True Statement--if only it weren't a 1 hour and 45 minute drive.

After lunch we joined Chris and son for two runs on Timberline where most of us opted to ski the trees and powder on Powder Chamber. Next we skied Hidden Lake Express (we liked the express part, the other lifts are older and slower). The boys still had energy for skiing the powder/crud of Mainline, but Sarah and I were more ready for a John W. Emmett and the Posse memorial run down easy-on-the-legs, groomed White Pine and then Hidden Lake. For our final run before closing we took the Sunrise poma lift up and out to the delightful Picnic run--still with untracked spots of powder, not too steep and with widely placed trees to ski among.

 Timberline Lift.

 Snow sparkles (from frost on the aspens) flying everywhere. (Wish I had my Cannon, but it is too bulky to use--especially when skiing powder).

 Summit of Hidden Lake Peak looking northward into Cache Valley.

 Looking southwestward across Pineview Reservoir to Mt. Ogden and Snow Basin ski resort.

Cache Valley--my homeland. Powder Mt. straddles the boundary between Cache and Weber Counties.

In line for the Sunrise poma. It was getting cold and after this photo my i-phone refused to function in the cold.

After a stop at Maverick for gas and refreshment (hot chocolate, chocolate milk and Dr. Pepper) we headed south on 1-15 just as the sun was setting over the Great Salt Lake. Garrison Keeler and Lake Wobegon kept the driver amused. One of our best ski days ever.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fun and successful powder day. Great pics, too, although your dad found a way to ski with a bulky camera. But, I say than goodness for modern technology.