related:http://www.firsttracksonline.com/ind...rticle&sid=183by Leigh Daboll and Eric Krupka"4,000 FEET OF BACKCOUNTRY BLISS
Sunday brought another few inches of overnight snow followed by bluebird skies. This day, though, we could feel the previous day's crust under the fresh cover on the southern exposures. After meeting Barbara, our new mountain host, Paulsen tantalizingly intoned that we were to sample Wolf Canyon after lunch. Suffice it to say that the morning passed relatively slowly.
After lunch we met up with four Powder Mountain patrollers and Michael, who for 20 years has acted as the resort’s coolly demented ski school director. Wolf Canyon offers the steepest, longest descents at Pow Mow, legitimately deserving of their double diamond rating. Located a short five-minute hike west of the Sundown lift, the tour traverses some avalanche prone terrain en route to the real goods, necessitating either the services of a guide or a good knowledge of backcountry technique and equipment. We eventually exited on a cornice-capped sub-peak overlooking about 5,000 acres of canyon, vaguely reminiscent of something out that based Jeep advertisement filmed in the Tetons. The first thousand or so vertical feet entailed some tricky turns through the funky crust, but we eventually reached the refuge of some steep evergreens. Most of these virtually limitless lines culminate with a very picturesque two-mile runout along the canyon's edge down to the access road. Michael advised that moose are often found standing along this runout.
The total Wolf Canyon journey encompasses about 4,000 vertical feet, eight miles, and 1½ hours. One of our guides, a s&^%-eating grin plastered across his face, spoke glowingly later that "Alta has the terrain, but Powder Mountain has the snow." Frankly, sitting on the blue bus with our group of newfound friends, I had to wholeheartedly agree."