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500 Inches Of Snow, 8,000+ Acres, And No Crowds.

Uncrowded on a holiday weekend. Powder has plenty of room. Credit: Harriet Wallis

A Mountain Host greeted us with memorable words. “The snow here is all natural. Mother Nature makes all of it,” she said. “And it’s GMO-free,” she quipped.

We skied Powder Mountain during a recent holiday weekend when other resorts near Salt Lake City were packed to the gills, “PowMow’s” trails were not only uncrowded, they were sometimes absolutely empty. It was wonderfully relaxing. I didn’t need eyes in the back of my head. Nobody was going to run over me. And there was still patches of untracked snow from a storm nearly a week earlier.

To ensure a good experience, the mountain caps adult season passes at 3,000 and daily lift tickets to 1,500. It doesn’t accept the Ikon or other multi-resort passes. Do the math. At max capacity, every skier gets about 2 acres.

Seniors 75 and older get a free lift ticket or a season pass for $20. 

Good snow, uncrowded slopes and affordable senior prices  are just part of the equation. Powder Mountain is old school. It doesn’t do glitz. That’s it’s charm. There’s even an old fashioned blackboard where the list of upcoming bands to play in the Powder Keg bar are written in colored chalk.

Powder base lodge is unpretentious. Credit: Harriet Wallis

The day lodge is modest, the bathrooms are adequate, the cafeteria tables are set in long rows so everyone eats family style and gets acquainted with whoever sits down next to them. The lodge on the summit is similar, just smaller.

Six chairlifts serve 8,464 acres that include white knuckle slopes, aspen forests, and treeless snowfields. And in old school style, there’s a Poma. It hauls skiers up a short pitch that’s a gateway to vast terrain. Riding a Poma is a skill that older skiers remember well but younger skiers struggle to learn. After a few they get to experience what the good old days of skiing were like.

We chanced to meet Bob Leaverton, a veteran ski patroller, who has skied Powder Mountain for 35+ years. His three favorite things are: “the road, the people, and the snow.”

The last several miles up to the resort are steep, and that climb often deters visitors, he said. The people are friendly, and the snow is wonderful. Take it from a local.

For adrenaline junkies, Powder Mountain offers specialty adventures: in- and out-of bounds backcountry skiing, skin & ski, snowcat, and heli-skiing.

Historically, Frederick Cobabe accumulated the vast acreage as range for his herd of sheep. His son eventually purchased the livestock company and the land and turned it into a ski resort in 1972.

It’s currently owned by private investors who are developing an upscale community of Bauhaus-style homes set in the far reaches of the resort and linked by a network of trails and lifts that sprawl across that rolling, not steep, terrain. It can take most of the day to ski a circuit all around the resort.

But if its a powder day, do what the mountain resort is named for: Ski the powder.

Yes, that’s the lift line. Where is everyone? Credit: Harriet Wallis


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