Let’s try to reverse engineer this. The building blocks include an abundance of low-density snow, a deep snow-pack, cold temps, blue skies, and committed skiers. Oh yeah, and probably the easiest access to quality powder skiing the lower 48 has to offer.
Ask any devout powder skier in the USA to identify that place, and they would probably tell you that it’s the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. In this day and age when you have real-deal, legit powder skiing (and the people who come and stay for it!), you have legit media. Lots of it.
The commercial “skiing” websites have snow reports and accommodation listings, but they lack an authentic voice from those “living the dream” daily. For true authentic voices of the Wasatch, follow these five Utah skiing Facebook pages…
Ski Utah is a marketing company owned and operated by the Utah Ski and Snowboard Association. The Utah Ski and Snowboard Association is a non-profit trade organization founded in 1975 with the aim of promoting Utah’s ski and snowboard industry. Ski Utah is also the brand name by which both organizations are commonly referred to. Follow Ski Utah on Facebook (with nearly 100,000 others!) to access timely and important Utah skiing notifications and content.
Utah’s finest source for Powder forecasting, Wasatch Snow Forecast is a weather blog devoted to discussing and forecasting snowfall for Northern Utah. WSF is brought to you by Evan Thayer, a hobbyist meteorologist and avid skier who grew up constantly searching for the perfect snowstorm and deepest powder. Follow Wasatch Snow Forecast on Facebook and be the first to know when Evan publishes a post.
Utah powder skiing video diary and ski reports powered by AltaCam. AltaCam.com was originally the business website for T&T Bike and Ski, a shop that was located at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. In 2008 it was acquired by GravityFed, and TheDailyPOW.com was launched shortly thereafter. Follow The Daily POW on Facebook for ski reports in short, creative video format.
The Park City Powder Posse is always looking for the deepest snow in the Wasatch, and consistently finding it. If they’re on the stash, you’ll be the first to know about it through killer photos, videos and editorials. There are members of this crew associated with Ski Utah, so it’s the same great videographers and photo bloggers bringing it to you here. Follow Ski Utah Powderhound on Facebook or Twitter (@iskideeppow) and get the daily grind from deep the Wasatch.
How about that .ski domain extension! Although Wasatch.Ski was just recently launched, it’s a highly recommended follow because the guys behind the effort are the same guys behind TheDailyPOW.com. Difference is that Wasatch.Ski is a powder skiing content aggregator for all of Utah, whereas TheDailyPOW.com is specific to Alta only. Think of it as the Upworthy of powder skiing in Utah. Follow Wasatch.Ski on Facebook and you’ll see what’s worth seeing from the Motherland.
Stretch, Shred, Eat, Sleep…..Repeat. Ski Bum Poet is the powder skiing and lifestyle diary of a Utah skier.
There you have it. Alta‘s Top 10 most popular areas (otherwise known as “runs”) according to The Daily Pow. Click around on the image below to interact with it. Interactive image courtesy of OVRHD.com.
Note: The graphic is dated, so disregard the old lift line references.
There is an inventory reduction sale (more off an already legit price) on these gloves right now. Killer value $45. See end of post for a link…
I get excited whenever I hear about a new ski industry brand in Park City…especially a brand going direct-to-consumer online. Previously I have featured both Soul Poles and RAMP Sports (Chk the Peacepipes Ski Review), both based here in PC and both doing things right. In fact there are lots of interesting people doing lots of really cool things around here. From tech startups to outdoor industry brands, Park City is certainly an emerging hub of innovation and functional creativity.
We live at the top of a dead end, gravel road so after snow storms there are plenty of sledding and skiing sessions with all the neighbor kids. While talking to another parent in the hood after a storm I noticed his distinct looking gloves. As a dedicated gear head I had to ask about them. His answer…
“Oh these are gloves from Free the Powder based here in Park City…the owner delivered them in person after I purchased a pair on their website.”
Now that is how you build your brand! Hand delivery to your customers (who in this case just happens to be a neighbor) 😉 So although it was the first I had heard of these gloves personally, the word is out so it would not have been long to see them around otherwise I’m sure.
When I emailed owner Chase Stewart to ask him more about Free the Powder Gloves, here is what he said (among other profound things)…
“We launched the research and development phase of Free the Powder Gloves 18 months ago. The first year was spent field-testing every variable of glove design with the assistance of fellow backcountry skiers and ski patrollers. The primary focus of the design was maximum versatility: what works best on most days and in most conditions. Too many ski gloves are designed to sell and not to use.”
Disclaimer: I do not own these gloves yet (although I have handled them and tried them on) and have zero $ incentive to post this. But I think their philosophy is spot on, their mascot is rad, and it’s always a labor of love for me to support a Park City-based ski company.
As mentioned at the top of the page there is an inventory reduction sale right now and you can get these gloves for $45. You can even get a good deal on their leather treatment. I have had the same pair of Swany ski gloves (APOLO NFX-5) working great for me since 2008-09, but they are ready to be retired. So if you’re like me about spending money you should probably consider pulling the trigger on these right now.
Check these out! Super excited with a collection of maps we came across from Best Maps Ever. It’s a great idea that compelled me to spread the word. The mapping artwork is incredible and the website is not too shabby. In fact have a look at the US Ski Areas and Resorts Directory…very cool data indeed!
Scroll through the photos below I took of the US and Utah ski maps spread out on a table.
Sidenote: Yes we plan to get a frame for both the US ski map and the UT ski map shown below. We’re just waiting for the next sale at the craft shop. Best SKI Maps Ever!
Here are a few words from the artist and owner when describing the maps…
I spent the better part of 2014 working on a mapping project that has never been done before. I made a database that included every ski area (even municipal tow ropes with 100′ vertical) and designed regional posters for passionate skiers. –Derek Percoski
This heavyweight poster map features over 350 ski resorts throughout the United States…
And here is a closer look at Utah Ski Areas specifically..
This heavyweight poster is a comprehensive map of lift-served skiing in Utah- home of legendary powder skiing…
One last pic…just because it’s cool as hell and because it provides a snapshot of skiing history in the Northeast USA (home to the beginning of skiing in America)…
Close up of New England on the US map. There is a comprehensive map of lift-served skiing in New England- including everything from big resorts to municipal ski hills. Click the photo to see this map..
Over the last couple of weeks I have seen some cool “follow the leader” ski edits coming out of Alta. Seems these are coming on strong in popularity, and they are a great way to showcase the skill of the skiers. Pay attention I bet we’ll see more of these in 2015…
What could be better than a three year old little girl and a Great Pyrenees singing Jingle Bells together? While the boy (who is now closing in on 5yrs) and I were just watching this our current family dog Juno walked over slowly and curious with tilted head.
We sure miss you, Adah. Peace and Love to all who see this…
Yes I blog(rant) sometimes. But usually go for months without doing so, and in this case almost a year. On January 13th 2012 I congratulated Alta on it’s 75th birthday, and since then we have chalked up outstanding daily living & plenty of time outdoors. Just no documentation here.
Let’s just say at this point the snow is falling in the Wasatch, and it’s starting to pile up. We moved to a cool new home on Parley’s Summit and I have stocked up on snow blower shear pins, firewood and lots of high-elevation-grown potatoes. They fry up best in oil with kale, salt and onions.
There is a new puppy in the household, and she’s a bit much now (or otherwise a “terror”) but will be more than fine later…and as a working mix that can surely run 50 miles without a blink, the perfect ski/mountain bike companion. Toll Canyon is accessible right out of our door. Plenty of mountain miles to explore.
This last year, rather than writing stupid things online that hardly anyone reads, I have been devoting lots of time to strumming acoustic instruments. I have decided that when you plug in instruments they go to hell. Just ask Ellie. The family band is rocking, and we sawplenty of good music in 2013 to satisfy even the wee ones.
Pedaling more than ever and doing it pure and simple. For trail riding I pass on the silly gears and other bells and whistles. Air, dirt, lube and my new Lucid 29er is almost all that’s needed to set a head straight. Pedal more, complain less. On each ride bring litter out of the woods…as much as you can carry.
So I am writing now because I smashed my thigh on a stump in Little Cottonwood Canyon’s low snow conditions a few days ago. It was a long ten seconds trying to determine whether or not my leg was broken, and the temp was -3. I chanted “pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain” in a slow and rhythmic way to myself for several minutes after, until I got to my feet, to my truck, then back home.
That crash would have killed ten ordinary men.
So now that I am forced to lie on the couch (and there’s powder in them hills) on a Saturday, I finally dig open the blog and post an update. Thank you massive thigh Hematoma, at least for the fun drugs. Will be working to write more this next year…should you give a damn. I am not too bad at it, and this was actually kind of fun.
Testing Conditions: Powder (in & out of resort)/Chopped Powder/Cold Weather Snow/Groomers
A year ago this October I started posting about RAMP Sports, a Utah-based company building skis by hand right here in Park City. Now that I have gotten the opportunity to ride some of their skis, during PRIMELittle Cottonwood stormrides/powder cycles mind you…the only thing that would have made the skiing better the last 10 days would have been a 140″ base! I thought I would start out with a report of the Peacepipes.
We have a season that’s off to a good and consistent start. As of this posting (Happy Merry!) we’re on the heels of an 18 inch storm, with 173″ snow total so far and a 69″ base. No complaints for pre-January. It was a solid month of good ski riding at an empty Alta. With the snowpak building the Peacepipes certainly have not disappointed. I have been riding the 189s (146-115-134mm).
I was advised they ski long and that’s no lie. This is a LOT of ski, but that’s just what the LCC calls for. I skied them as hard and as aggressive as I could in area, knowing where (for the most part!) it’s good to let them run with the early season snow base. I also got some untracked and deep pow out of area. I did some base damage on the demos one day, which I felt really bad about. But the one good thing that came from that: I can honestly report that these skis weren’t faded by taking some serious licks. One massive core shot was right under foot, and too close for comfort to the edge. I have shredded edges with half the impact on skis from other well-known (worldwide) ski brands. So that’s the first point to make. Peacepipes are burly, and rugged.
Secondly, they are solid feeling (and sounding, like when the edges hit together) skis. My immediate thought first few turns was that they felt stiff. By the 10th turn I was noting responsiveness. After five laps of skiing them in soft snow/powder conditions, I was completely aware of how responsive they felt for being such a solid ski. The technical specs of the Peacepipes say essentially the same thing: The full vertical bamboo core makes the ski feel more rock solid and energetic than any other construction. I had not read tech data description, but nailed it.
I also rode them a bunch on groomed terrain while heading back to the lift, and did some high speed top-to-bottoms just to get a feel for them there. All good, in fact all great. The harder I dug them into the groomer, the more they responded to me. A nice change for a powder/big mountain ski considering I am used to feeling no edge or grab on most skis that size on groomers.
Final thought: if you’re interested in a real deal charging ski for an array of snow conditions check out the Peacepipes for this season. They are burly enough to last you several. RAMP does a lot of out reach and their demo schedule is available online. You can even reserve some demos FREE if you’re from the Park City area. Try before you buy, and see what you think. So far, so good from RAMP and it’s nice to know they are being manufactured here by Wasatch skiers, instead of in some factory overseas.
Who Would Ride It-
The Peacepipe is a blend of War and Peace. For the out-of-bounds warrior who lives for charging big, open slopes in the deep white, yet has a proclivity for the peacefulness of the White Room. The most versatile wide ski out there—strong and solid on windblown hard sections and fast and furious on groomers.
The 115mm waist and 18m turn radius provide the best planing and turn shape for actually carving turns in powder and soft spring velvet (waist on size 179 is 112mm; size 169 is 110mm). The Pow Camber has the most early rise and reverse sidecut in the tip for effortless, catch-free skiing in all snow conditions, even heavy crud. The Razor Cut Sidecut gives this wide ski incredible edge grip on the hardest snow. The full vertical bamboo core makes the ski feel more rock solid and energetic than any other construction.