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Thread: Trip Report

  1. #11
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
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    Looks like a good crew CharlieP

  2. #12
    Know all the neighbours by name Senior Citizen Representative
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    CharlieP's Avatar
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    March 13, 2012

    CP's Utah Trip, Page 2:

    Day 1 continue:

    Brian sort of led a group of "powder novices" to demonstrate the utility of wider rocker powder skis, their use as well as their application to deep powder. The "trails" at Powder Mountain are sort of strange, MOST (not all) of them are the bottom of "valleys" which are situated between two "ridge lines". On powder days, just a few (I think about 5 to 10) of the trails are "groomed" by the groomer going over once lightly. Note that some of the trails are quite long, one going on for about three miles. The night we arrived, it snowed 18 inches. So we were skiing fresh deep powder. The more intermediate skiers stayed on the trails and were advised to ski off the trails, play for awhile in the powder and then ski back on, to get a taste of powder and to get use to the sensation of having their skis deep in snow and not being visiable. For the more advanced skiers, we followed Brian off trail into the tress, skiing down maybe 200-400 feet embankment of deep powder and back on the trail, followed the trail, until we got to another snow bank and ski down again. The snow was so light, that even going on flat terrain, enough momentum could be maintained so that one does not bog down. However, I once skied onto a long flat stretch and did bog down. I lucked out in the sense that a pair of track from a previous skier was close and all I had to do was to get into the tracks to keep going without difficulty. Following is a picture of the sort of terrain we skied as well as one where we were on the long three mile trail. The one with gray skies was taken in the morning, while the one with bright sun was close to the end of the day.

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    Spent most of the day coming down terrain like this. Not steep, but deep light powder, until we hit the trail and joined up with the others.
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    Note the trail behind the skiers. See how lightly the "groomer" packed down the snow. Powder Mountain, even on groomed runs, tries to preserve "powder" for novice hounds on powder days. They did a good job. Also note the bottom of the "ridge" behind the skiers.

    End of the day, went on a run down what is known as "Powder Country" at Powder Mountain. It might be considered "side country". No grooming, just nice fresh untracked snow. One doesn't need to ride a CAT either. It is rope controlled and one can just keep getting face shots and nice low stress tree skiing. Steep in places though. One skis down to a "bus station" for the return back to the lodge. So if one skies down too far and misses the bus stop, it is a hike or a hitch to the bus stop. However, if one gets down to the road too early, one is regulated to a "kitten track" which is about three ski width wide. My legs were burning from "braking" when I got to the bus stop. Wouldn't have missed this run for anything though. So much fun and thrills.

    Day 2: "No friend on a powder day". It was evey man, woman and child for themself. The novice group of 5, stayed together. The expert group of 4, went off to "Cat" ski, while I decided to practice my powder legs as well as powder skis and skills. I went about it in a well planned way. From the previous day, I had determined runs which looked interesting and which were more challenging. I did one challenging run, followed by a groom one (to rest a bit and recoup). Over night, the snow had settled and the consistency was much heavier than the day before. On my first run, I made the mistake of going into a flat area and really got stuck. This time there was no tracks to follow so I had to "break path" for myself. Since I was by myself, I don't have pictures to show (I wouldn't show them even if I had them though ), however the following is a picture of what happens when one gets stuck in deep snow (day 2). Identity with held to protect the innocent. Note the big "depression" which shows the location of a "fall".

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    So remember "Steep and Speed" is your Sole Friend on a "powder day". If there are no tracks in the snow and it is not steep, TEST, TEST, TEST the snow. There may be a good reason that you are looking at "FIRST TRACKS".

    Day 3:

    More of the same. Novice group(5), expert group (5) and singleton me(1). Today I did the difficult runs. One run which I later found out was the steepest "non Cat" run on the mountain. Snow texture had changed again and it was somewhere between day 1 and day 2. Not as light and fluffy as day 1 but not as heavy as day 2. Coming in for lunch and feeling "sappy". Expert group came in at the end of the day with "chest" deep powder showing on their jackets. Darn those "CATS".

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    Lucked out on the weather. Four days of beautiful weather. Note the entrance to Powder Country behind me marked by the orange plastic pole. The pole is where the rope is attached to. Rope is down in this picture. Also the "high ridge line" behind me is where the CAT skiing is (day 4).

    To be continued for lack of photo space.

    Think snow,

    SCR
    Last edited by CharlieP; March 13th, 2012 at 10:28 AM.
    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it ~ George Santayana

  3. #13
    Know all the neighbours by name Skier Village Poet Winks's Avatar
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    Great repot CP! Great photos too (they really add a lot!) Looks and sounds like you had a fantastic time!

  4. #14
    Know all the neighbours by name Senior Citizen Representative
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    CharlieP's Avatar
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    March 13, 2012

    Day 4:

    Started the day with one trip up the CAT for side country skiing. Powder Mountain offers two types of CAT skiing. One is a full day trip for roughly $350.00/day (SnowCat Powder Safari). Another is $18.00/trip(Lightning Ridge SnowCat Skiing). This way a person can experience what CAT skiing is all about and decide if the full day CAT skiing is his/her cup of tea. Lightning Ridge Cat Skiing offers 700 acres with a maximum of 2100 vertical feet drop. On top of Lightning Ridge, I was standing on an expanse of white, punctuated with a scattering of trees and/or big boulders/rocks. It stretched two+ miles to my left and right with a 1500+ feet drop. It was steep and intimadating, since it felt like if a person fell, the fall wouldn't stop until you hit the bottom 1500 feet below. I started my descent, and within the first two turns, my apprehension of falling disappeared because of (a) concentration on making turns (b) the snow actually slowed you down enough so that one felt like one was in control and not zooming down thousands of feet to one's demise. It was indeed thrilling and an experience which shouldn't be missed. The bright sun with the clear visibility added tremendously to the enjoyment. I don't think I would have done it if it were a flat light day. Now I understand why people pay thousands of dollars to go Heli Skiing.

    After the One Cat skiing, I joined the novice group for a few runs and then the whole group got together and took a Platter Lift (Sunrise lift) so that we could all "work" for our turns. I wouldn't dignify it with the word "hike" but will say we "walked" about a mile so that we could ski down Cobabe Canyon, through some wonderful trees, some steeps and not to be left out, some wonderful powder, even four days after the storm. So you can see that Powder Mountain, just doesn't have the skier traffic that other more popular SLC resorts have. I include pictures of our little trek. The first picture is where I start off (skier in red). The second picture is half way to our destination. The third picture is one of our skiers (KC) contemplating whether to jump in or not. Note that no tracks are to be seen and it is extremly flat. So I think we jumped in a few hundred yards further.

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    Follow the Cat Track. We are heading towards the "lone" tree in the far horizon. The tree is probably at the 2/3 point.

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    Working hard for our turns.

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    Should we drop in here? No tracks. Cobabe Canyon is just beyond the flat spot. We are on top of the ridge.

    Had a great four days at Powder Mountain. No one was "rear ending me" or anyone else in our group. Day 5 (Deer Valley), Day 6 (The Canyons). Not much to say about these mountains. Tried to ski as much terrain on each mountain. Skied three peaks at Deer with a concentration at Empire Peak. Skied three peaks at Canyons with a concentraion on Iron Mountain. Almost got run over twice at Deer and once at the Canyons. Deer had exceptionally good food and the price was conmmensurate with the quality of the food. A full day locker was only $2.00. Marble/cermaic floors everywhere with excellent wood work for the furnishings. Canyons was similar. I enjoyed both places but since I wasn't on wide rocker skis, didn't try to go looking for powder, although I didn't avoid it if it was there. Most of it was tracked up. Got some nice bump skiing in. The bumps were soft, big, nice and round and the spacing was just my speed. Didn't see any bumps at Powder Mountain though.

    Thoughts on Ogden:

    The city of Ogden reminded me of a larger version of Rutland, Vt. Seems to be depressed economically. However, it did have things going for it. The infrastructure of main roads were wide 4,6 even 7 lane boulevards. Well paved, lane lines well painted, well maintained with no potholes (Utah does not salt it's roads). They would be streets which DC would die for. Every half a mile or so, new buildings, either office, malls, condos would appear. The strange thing was they weren't occupied or sparesly occupied. Must of have been built a few years back during the crazy time of real estate development. The city of Ogden has a "sports" center with Salomon/Atomic and is building/developing Out Door Adventure Centers (read kayaking, climbing etc, similar to Adventure Sports Center International at Wisp Resort, Md http://www.adventuresportscenter.com/). I think they are tying to develop into a Mecca for OutDoor Activity. I wish them well and success. BTW, a friendly city/town.

    Thoughts on Powder Mountain:

    On the first day up to Powder Mountain, heard from others who were familiar with the mountain that the lodge was like the lodge at Blueknob Ski Resort in Pa and that it was an upside down mountain. You skied down to the lift from the lodge. Indeed the lodge was funky but had a laid back homey feeling. Food was good, portions were large and prices were CHEAP for a ski resort. Resort Employees were always cheerful, friendly and helpful. Skiers were thoughtful, courteous, friendly and well behaved. I would go back for another vactation in a New York minute, with or without powder.

    Went to the famous Shooting Star Saloon for apres skiing. The Shooting Star is the oldest bar in Utah. It serves the BEST, I repeat THE BEST burgers I've ever had. Don't, I say, Don't MISS IT if your are in the vicinity:

    http://www.utah.com/schmerker/2001/huntsville.htm

    Best line ever used at a bar by CP:

    Waitress: Why aren't you drinking?
    CP: I'm Mormon.

    Thoughts on Powder skiing:

    Make sure that you bring poles with powder baskets. I lucked out and thought about it at the last minute and brought my poles which had three inch snow flake pattern baskets. I still didn't think that they were big enough when I got stuck in the snow. Standard advice for skiing powder of weighting both skis, center balance, movements which are slow, gradual and smooth. "STEEP and SPEED are your FRIENDS".

    Had a great time,

    Think snow,

    SCR

    ps: my favorite picture says it ALL:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by CharlieP; March 14th, 2012 at 12:08 PM.
    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it ~ George Santayana

  5. #15
    I have my own seat in the pub Bushido Princess's Avatar
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    Fantastic reports guys. Definitely makes me want to go there. Thank you for posting them. And the pictures are beautiful.

  6. #16
    My horse knows his own way home Little Tiger's Avatar
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    Looks like a great trip CP and you lucked out with good weather and powder!

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