Not every reader has experienced the joy of powder skiing. Showing skiers scribing graceful lines on blank fields of bluish white is part of our skiing media culture. As those of us who pursue the experience well know, finding untracked, especially in a resort setting, is elusive. Powder is ephemeral and eagerly sought out. When there’s a dump in the Wasatch (and there have been many this generous season), you need to arrive early to get a shot. You’re competing with those who arrived even earlier, and they’re competing with powder hounds living, vacationing and working at the resort. Outside the area are backcountry options, and places serviced by chopper or cat. Backcountry is too strenuous for me. Chopper and cat are pricey. Even when you make it to the mountain with still enough to go around, it’s doesn’t last too long (unless you ski at a place that gets the goods but not the skiers). The other day I arrived at Alta 15 minutes after the lifts opened. What I saw from the lot was already chewed up so I headed to a more remote part of the mountain. A few tracks were present but still separated by broad untouched expanses. The snow was fresh, light and about 18 inches deep. I’ve had the experience when it reached my waist, but even at 18 inches it feels bottomless. After descending a snow field, I entered the trees where it felt even deeper, then out into another snowfield, hardly tracked. The rest of the day was dedicated to finding more untracked stashes. Others were hunting for similar game. On my last run I found one—about 15 turns—where only one other skier had been. A great day. More snow is forecast for the next seven.


With a base snowpack of 21 feet, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows plans to operate July 4th. The resort has received 565″/47′ of snow, already surpassing its annual average of 450″!


Once its contract expires in 2018, Outdoor Industry Association will not return to Salt Lake City where it has held its twice annual Outdoor Retailer show for 20 years. The group decided not to include Utah as a bidder for its convention venue following a teleconference with Utah Governor Herbert, who is leading the state’s opposition to protecting federal lands and who is promoting development by coal and other extraction industries. The Outdoor Retailer show delivers 40,000 visitors and $45 million annually to the local economy. Conservation Colorado placed a half-page ad in Salt Lake’s two dailies urging the event to move to Denver.


Vail Resorts will be acquiring Stowe for $50 million. When the acquisition is completed it will be Vail’s first in the East. The deal, subject to administrative review by the State of Vermont, includes all assets related to Stowe’s mountain operations including at Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak.


International Skiing History Association’s annual Skiing History Week (Snowsport History Week) will be in Stowe, April 4-9. It’s a fun event with skiing (conditions permitting), parties, tailgates, history lectures and award banquets. More info: https://snowsporthistory.com/event/schedule/

Coming AttractionsFor a peek at ski innovations starting in 2018, visit realskiers.com, where ski industry prognosticator, Jackson Hogen, shares industry intelligence in one of his frequent free postings. realskiers.com is a wealth of everything skiing, well worth the $19.95 annual subscription fee.

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