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Snowbasin or Powder Mountain?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just moved to Utah this spring (Ogden Area) and am looking to save some $$ on an early season pass (for myself and the wife). Have never been to either and have heard good/not so good things about both places. I have been skiing for over 20 years and enjoy most things not groomed (ie, glades, bowls, chutes etc.) My wife has only been skiing a few years and (for now) enjoys mostly groomers. Mostly concerned with terrain and snow quality/quantity. Suggestions/comments are greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 14
Went to Powder 9 years ago because Snowbasin had no snow. But, Powder had too much and we quit by noon!

Now, this year we couldn't get enough of Snowbasin, both un-groomed and groomed (tough go at it because of snow every day for 12 days).

Maybe they offer a dual pass??? Good luck!
post #3 of 14
Hey Chris, welcome to the area. Whereabouts do you live? I've lived here (Ogden) for a little over ten years and have worked for both mountains and would like to think i know them both pretty well. I worked last season for the snowbasin ski patrol and will likely be back there part-time this upcoming season.

A few questions. Will you ski mostly on weekends? What town do you live in
(drive time)? Can you go up on short notice for powder days? Where are you used to skiing? Which is more important to you, more light, dry snow or better terrain? Does your wife want to learn to ski powder, or is she content to stay on groomers?

I actually just got home from skiing a chute up at snowbasin, not bad for august. I'm trying to ski every month this year. I had to con the mountain mgr. into a ride to the top.

If you ride mtb's or climb we could get together sometime.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
actually live in North Ogden (Fruitalnd Drive). I will (unfortunately) be skiing mostly weekends and probably won't be able to head up on short notice (work). I'm coming from the northeast and am used to skiing mostly glades, ice, and hardpack. As far as what is more important to me, snow quality or terrain, I might have to say the snow quality for now because I know the terrain at either place is going to be more/better than what I'm used to. I'm thinking that my wife (eventually) will get into some non-groomer type terrain. She just needs to ski more to get there.
Nice work on the august turns. Would like to get together in the fall when my work schedule slows down a little (mid-sept). Still trying to find time to buy a new mt bike. Been climbing about 8 times or so mostly through guided trips but haven't been in a few years. If not hopefully you can give me the locals tour of either place this winter.
post #5 of 14
Chris from where you live, powmow isn't too much further if you go over the n. ogden divide. Powmow may be for you given all the info. Your wife will be less intimidated to learn to ski powder there since there is less competition, lower angle, and dryer snow. You'll have less crowds on weekends there and therefore, a better chance of skiing leftover pow from the previous week than you would at basin. The negatives are; slow lifts, old lodges, relatively flat terrain, small vert and a 5 to 1 snowboard to skier ratio. Oh, and an access road that has been the death of many a car (hope you have four wheel drive and good brakes).

Basin has far and away better terrain, better lodges, better lifts, lots of vert, and a nice n' easy access road. The downsides are the crowds (weekend), and less/wetter snow. I forgot to mention the grooming, basins is way better and the runs are much longer.

I wish i could show you around both before you had to decide.
post #6 of 14
Just for laughs, my 2 cents.

I skied both for 1 day each this past season, and really liked PowMow a LOT better.

Lightning Ridge snowcat was a good investment of $14 (2 trips)

SnowBasin's amenities are far superior though.

Good luck!
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
lifts and lodges don't matter too much to me either way. crowds are a factor. what do you consider crowded at snowbasin? might differ from what I'm used to. also, is powder's terrain that flat or just not that much vert. don't mind the smaller vert (2000 is roughly what I'm used to) if there is some kind of sustained pitch in there somewhere. what about the backcountry access at either place? right now I think I'm 50/50. somebody sway me.
post #8 of 14

A virginian's view of both

I'll give you an East Coaster's view of both. 1. I think you are looking in the right place. Of the numerous Salt Lake ski options, I really like both Snowbasin and Powder Mountain.

I think a lot of the difference is in attitude. Snowbasin is growing and modern with gondola's and detachable lifts and awesome amenities, but doesn't have nearly the crowds of ParkCity/Deer Valley or most places here in the east. I have seldom seen any lines at either Snowbasin or Powder Mountain. Powder Mountain is a different attitude, slower lifts, even a platter 'something or other', but it's a feeling that I really like. It almost doesn't feel like being at a resort. Its not unusual, once you get away from the immediate area of the lifts (like over in Cobabe canyon) to feel like you have the mountain to yourself.

My thoughts. Since Snowbasin is much more expensive and more 'marketing agressive', there may be more to be saved there. I also think the greater terrain versatility would be more likely to hold my interest for a season pass. I would still do Powder Mountain every now and then. For one week trips, I normally do a couple of days at each and then squeeze in Alta and the Canyons.
post #9 of 14
The only sustained vert at powmow is the lightning ridge deal, but at 7 dollars a pop that could get expensive. Plus you can't spin laps on lightning ridge, it's min. 2 chairs and more likely 3.

The crowds at basin are mostly on holliday weekends. The worst line i've ever seen was about a 30 min. wait and that's because it was the only lift open due to wind and avy hold (which happens a couple of times a year). Your average wait on a weekend for the main gondola (needles) would be around 5 mins. Even if you had to wait 10 mins. you would get twice as much vert in half the overall time that you would on a powmow lift.

I spent the first 3 seasons in Utah at powmow and i loved it, but i almost feel like i've graduated to basin.
post #10 of 14
A seasons pass for you and your wife will cost $1550 at Snowbasin. More like about $800/900 at Powder. I have skied them both for the past 18 years and like them both but I do spend more time at Snowbasin.
post #11 of 14
I was at both for the first time this past winter and enjoyed them both, even though they are *very* different. If the cost is not an issue, I'd lean towards Snowbasin. Given the differences in your ability level, I think you'd have an easier time of riding lifts and skiing together at times there. If amenities are important to either of you, there shouldn't even be a question about what to choose. Either way, you should spend a day or 2 at the other to see if you should make a different choice for the following year. I only wish I *had* to make that decision!
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the info all. I'm sure I'll be skiing both mountains more than a few times this year. money isn't a huge issue but one thought was to by a pass at powder and use the leftover $$ for days at snowbasin (thought I saw something about discounted tix at snowbasin for season pass holders elsewhere, zzz?) that being said, I think I am leaning toward snowbasin due to terrain and vert. still have till at least the end of the month to decide on powder and get some discount. hmmmmm?
post #13 of 14
how is that Canyon sports discount tickets fair with "local" discount tickets? Is Canyon sports discounts basically for the tourists?
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by chriscam
(thought I saw something about discounted tix at snowbasin for season pass holders elsewhere, zzz?)
That was only on one day a week, maybe tuesdays?

You can get a discount card to either resort for about 40 bucks and then you get money off of every ticket.
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