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Tell me about Snowbasin and Powder Mountain

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
It looks like my wife is headed to Ogden for work at the end of the month and it looks like I am going to tag along to get a few days of skiing in.  I've skied Park City and Deer Valley but that's if for Utah.  Anything I should know about skiing at Snowbasin and/pr Power Mountain?  Are there any shuttles running from Ogden to the ski resorts or will I need to rent a car?
post #2 of 20
you'll need a car - no shuttles
http://www.snowbasin.com/winter/getting_here.asp

Great, long fall line intermed/advanced groomers, and unlimited off-piste when there's fresh snow

Strawberry side can have bad visibility/contrast due to mostly open terrain on weather days

Barely anything gets groomed on John Paul side, so bring your A game
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'll be crossing my fingers for fresh snow. 
post #4 of 20
I haven't been to Powder Mt, but Snowbasin is a must-ski for anyone other than the serious steep-and-deep powder hound. (and maybe for them too)

Lots of easy cruisers with high speed lifts to move you around.  Plenty of more advanced terrain as well.  Less crowded and less expensive that PC (or the Cottonwood Canyons on a powder day).

BTW, there is a bus, but it only runs on Saturday:
http://www.skiutah.com/media/recent_news/snowbasin-announcec-ski-bus

The new road is easy to navigate - it doesn't even have the "4WD/Chains Required" signs - so getting there shouldn't be a problem even on a snow day.
post #5 of 20
Snowbasin is much better than PowMow for a number of reasons, but PowMow might be a consideration on a powder day.   It certainly is not as overall steep as Snowbasin.  It is quirky and worth a visit for any Utah regular, but there is a reason it is not a destination resort.  Snowbasin is probably the best mountain that most out of state skiers don't know about. 
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
After looking at the trail map I started to wonder if Powder Mountain was worth a visit or not.  Looks like they have a whole lot of space but not enough lifts to really be able to access the terrain easily.
post #7 of 20
I have not skied Snowbasin but I have skied PowMow. The one thing that struck me about PowMow is that I was able to find untracked stashes all over a week after it snowed. They place is vast. Not sure if Snowbasin has as much terrain as PowMow or out of the way spots that nobody goes like Pow Mow.

That being said, I am going to try Snowbasin this trip just because I have heard such good things about it.
post #8 of 20
Snowbasin and Powder Mountain are about as dissimilar as two day resorts ten miles apart can be. 
 
Snowbasin skis much more straight forwardly than Powder Mountain and, while there are many places to explore, does not hide powder a week after a storm like Powder can. A typical run at Snowbasin goes like this—jump on one of the gondolas or the John Paul Quad for a quick trip of about 2300 vertical, unload, ski down, repeat.   To get to some of the best skiing at Powder often requires more effort. I grew up skiing both areas but now only go to Powder on powder days or shortly thereafter. The Paradise Quad (regular speed) is, I believe, the best lift for making laps on a powder day. I know some people like the Timberline triple since there is often less competition but I like the terrain and vertical on Paradise more. Once fresh tracks are gone (and for many even before it is necessary) the best options are the “backside” from either Hidden Lake or Sundown lifts that dump you out on the access road for the bus ride back to the resort. These are some fine runs but time consuming. The pay per ride snowcat is another good option but will likely require multiple lift rides to get back to the snowcat (unless you ski Weber Bowl but that is one of the shorter runs).   You are not going to rack up a lot of vertical that way but you should have a good time doing it. If you are an intermediate powder skier or prefer (or can live with) lower angled slopes, you will have a more options with the regular lift system. I will refrain from commenting on the cruising experience since I have not even tried it for years but would suggest that it would primarily appeal to the advanced beginner to mid-intermediate.
 
Snowbasin has a newer lift system, fancy lodges, fancy food (maybe a little overrated), etc. Powder Mountain is decidedly old school in all those areas but actually has some lodging at the area. Snowbasin claims about 3000 acres while Powder claims over 7000 acres. You will probably find yourself skiing a lot more of the actual acreage at Snowbasin due to ease of access. Virtually all of Snowbasin is skiable acreage and requires nothing more than a lift ride or short hike and traverse to access. Snowbasin is taller and generally steeper. Powder Mountain often has an edge on Snowbasin in terms of amount and quality of snow but this has not been a good year for either. Snowbasin has a large snowmaking operation which Powder lacks altogether. 
post #9 of 20
Which would be better President's weekend?
post #10 of 20
Unless it snows this week, neither is going to be in top form.  Since I would not bother with Powder Mountain unless there is actual powder to ski, I would say Snowbasin. 

FYI, the Salt Lake areas did better with the more recent storms.
post #11 of 20
cstreu1026 -
I agree with everything that has been said so far.  PowMow and Snowbasin are quite different, with each offering a totally different experience.  I prefer Snowbasin so that is where I invest in a seasons pass.

Also, I used to call PNS home until we moved out here 3 years ago from SW Ohio (Mason).  If interested, PM me with the dates you are going to be in Odgen and I will see if we can arrange a day to show you around the 'basin.
post #12 of 20
Sb77 I had to laugh reading your post. It was dead on especially the part about how to access the out of` the way places.

I took a double from down near the lodge then skied to the bottom of another lift from there. Maybe a triple. It had a lodge at the top. The I skied, or more like traversed from that (hung a left off the chair) along a cat track to some funky rope tow deal. I think it was the kind you sit on if I remember correctly. Then off of that and followed the trail until the end. In front of us was a medium pitch valley with birches on either side of a groomed trail and hardly any tracks in the pow off the groomers. And there was a lot of terrain on either side of that trail I'm telling you!

I took a full day lesson there so the instructor took me to this place. She said that's the place to go to find the untracked stuff. But getting there was like something out of that movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" lol!
post #13 of 20
Quote:
I took a double from down near the lodge then skied to the bottom of another lift from there. Maybe a triple. It had a lodge at the top. The I skied, or more like traversed from that (hung a left off the chair) along a cat track to some funky rope tow deal. I think it was the kind you sit on if I remember correctly. Then off of that and followed the trail until the end. In front of us was a medium pitch valley with birches on either side of a groomed trail and hardly any tracks in the pow off the groomers. And there was a lot of terrain on either side of that trail I'm telling you!

 

Conz:

Sounds like you skied in Cobabe Canyon (named after the original owner Alvin Cobabe).  To get there from the upper lodge/parking lot.  You would have: (1) skied down to the Timberline Triple, (2) taken that lift up, (3) skied down to the Hidden Lake Quad, (3) taken that lift up, (4) traversed across to the Sunrise Poma, (5) taken that up, and (6) traversed out to Cobabe Canyon.  

To loop that run from the bottom of the Cobabe Canyon, you could: (1) take the Paradise Quad up, (2) ski down a run that ends up at the Hidden Lake Quad, (3) taken that lift up, (4) traversed across to the Sunrise Poma, (5) taken that up, and (6) traversed out to Cobabe Canyon.  That is part of the reason it stays untracked.  The other reasons are that it is a very big area and a lot of it is not particularly steep.  I haven't skied it a lot but I remember being there one day when I found a really nice line into the Canyon off of Sanctuary that was largely untouched.  The long round trip was torture to get back into it but it was a sweet 25 or 30 turns.   

In fairness, runs like that are best used to get somewhere else.  For example, after a morning hitting the Paradise Quad, eat lunch at the top of Hidden Lake.  From there it is just the traverse and Sunrise Poma back to Paradise or drop off the backside and catch the bus for a drop off at the Sundown base where you can take that lift up and catch a snowcat ride.   The backside/snowcat/pardise circuit is a great one when there are not too many people trying to ride the bus and snowcat.  Like you said, planes, trains and automobiles.  It's funny you came up with that reference because I hear that a lot around here. 
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post

you'll need a car - no shuttles
http://www.snowbasin.com/winter/getting_here.asp

I believe there is a daily shuttle running from a number of the Odgen hotels a couple times a day to and from both Powder Mountain and Snowbasin. Check with your hotel.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

My wife just called and it looks like she isn't going to be flying or staying comercially so it doesn't look like I am going to get to tag along after all. 

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
 Woohoo!  I get to go after all and I am picking up my K2 Hellbents this weekend.  I guess it's time to start praying for snow.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
 I left the Hellbents and Gotamas at home and brought my Sultan 85 because when I was packing they weren't calling for snow.  When I was walking out of the lodge at Pow Mow this afternoon I noticed the NWS weather report and and it looks like they may get up to 14 inches over the next day and a half.  I guess what wasn't a very good call on my part.  :(
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cstreu1026 View Post

 I left the Hellbents and Gotamas at home and brought my Sultan 85 because when I was packing they weren't calling for snow.  When I was walking out of the lodge at Pow Mow this afternoon I noticed the NWS weather report and and it looks like they may get up to 14 inches over the next day and a half.  I guess what wasn't a very good call on my part.  :(
As they say: Gotamas.....never leave home whithout them!
post #19 of 20
If there is fresh snow tomorrow then I would head to Snowbasin.  Powder Mountain will still have powder two days after the storm.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post



As they say: Gotamas.....never leave home whithout them!
 
I know, I should have brought the Gotamas instead of the Sultans.  Hopefully I can pick up some demo skis tomorrow that may be a little more appropriate for the conditions.  
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Tell me about Snowbasin and Powder Mountain