When They Saw Their Dads Snowboard, The Boys Wanted to Ski

Getting ready to board the cat to the top of Powder Mountain, Utah.
Getting ready to board the cat to the top of Powder Mountain, Utah.

I heard a story while we were in the lodge at Powder Mountain about our host who was in a gondola with five young boys. Rich was surprised that all five of them were toting skis, and not snowboards. “Our dads like to snowboard, so that’s why we prefer to ski,” they told him.

In the same lodge, we met a man with a big smile on his face. His name is Greg Arnette, and he invented a type of ski goggle and sold it off to Bausch and Lomb. So these days, he rides his snowboard up and down these slopes and spends the rest of the year in Florida. He just can’t get enough of snowboarding, he said, having given up his skis several years ago.

Powder Mountain in Northern Utah is huge. HUGE! It’s a 10,000 acre property with a massive 7500 acres of skiable terrain.  It’s larger than Alta and Snowbird combined with one fifth the people!  To cover this wide range, they have snowcats that take skiers up one hill, and you can even ski down, way down, to the 8-mile winding road that leads to the lodge and take a bus back up after skiing through the trees.  You ski down from the lodge to get on the high-speed lift and on one mountain there’s an old school poma lift.

Atop the highest peak, you view a sweep of snow covered mountains, and it’s all Powder Mountain!  There are only about 1200 skiers on the average day here, so there are no lines.  Some people out here have “powder alarms” on their phones that are set to tell them exactly when a big storm has come to a resort and jolts them out of bed saying ‘hey dude, it’s a powder day, get up to Powder Mountain!”

This year’s powder so far has been the best in recent memory…but over the past four seasons they’ve seen 600 or more inches of snow. They opened on November 26 and don’t make any snow here. The lodge is delightfully retro ’70s, wooden beams and the look just like it was built during the Ford Adminstration. No fancy food here, just the perfect skier’s food–powder burgers!