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Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:49 pm
by Marc_C
Tony Crocker wrote:I've skied 4 days there and all have been cherry picked for current or very recent powder and usually on a day when LCC would be crowd impacted.
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So yes Powder Mt. has unique attributes and it's always on my radar for that optimal combination of factors listed above, but the reality is that combination doesn't materialize all that often.

That's been my problem with the place - in 18 years of being in Utah I've only skied there 5 times, never hitting the optimal combination given the elevation and aspects of the area. Thus my few days there have been mediocre at best, most commonly encountering some kind of breakable crust and never the promised powder.

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:29 pm
by sierra_cement
this thread is not too enthusiastic on Pow Mow. I had high expectations of Pow Mow b/c of the following factors:

- < 10% months with < 30" snow
- lots of long green runs
- low crowds

I'm curious if anyone will recommend PowMow between Dec 20 to Jan 5 when the LCC areas are mobbed. I'll be flying from SF Bay area. Me and my wife are level 3 beginners wishing to move up our levels.

So it is better to skip Pow Mow for Xmas and head to Targhee instead?

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:13 pm
by Tony Crocker
Pow Mow is an obvious good place for crowd avoidance during peak periods.

There is minimal snowmaking so it is slow to open terrain in lean years. That said, 2017-18 was the second lowest Nov-Jan in Utah history so definitely an outlier on the downside.

Is the terrain mellow? Generally yes, but it's also mostly ungroomed. So I'm not sure Pow Mow is ideal for true beginners. For aspiring intermediates who would like to experiment with ungroomed snow in a low pressure environment, it's ideal.

No question Targhee is more reliable for snow in early season. In fact Targhee is THE most reliable area in North Aemrica for snow at Christmas. In terms of terrain and grooming for beginners, I have the same reservations for Targhee as I do for Powder Mt.

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:45 pm
by sierra_cement
Tony Crocker wrote:So I'm not sure Pow Mow is ideal for true beginners. For aspiring intermediates who would like to experiment with ungroomed snow in a low pressure environment, it's ideal.

In terms of terrain and grooming for beginners, I have the same reservations for Targhee as I do for Powder Mt.


It makes me feel sad to read that. I thought I had stumbled upon a ski area taht would be a good fit for a December holiday trip. What is your recommendation for a ski area for for beginners/intermediates who have not yet learned to ski powder? We will probably get good enough to ski easy blue slopes by next Christmas.

I see that Whitewater in Nelson BC has a fantastic snow record, it's out of the way. I just don't know if they have enough groomed terrain for beginners. There will be very limited daylight in December though.

What do you think about Beaver Mountain Utah? It's a pretty small area (800 acres) but the lessons are cheap and if we get bored we can go visit other areas in Utah. If we get bored or make enough progress then we can go to Pow Mow only a hour or so away.

I think you have recommended Mt. Bachelor before. The 20 mile drive to closest lodging could get a bit tiresome if you are there for more than a week.

Any others that I shoud look into? White Fish Montana, Silver Idaho, Eagle Point Utah?

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:26 am
by Tony Crocker
Whitewater's terrain is skewed advanced. I think powder is an impediment for true beginners. The remote places sierra_cement cites are valued highly by many advanced skiers, but in general they don't place as high a priority on grooming as the more popular places. Whitefish and Silver fall in the same category as Targhee: really good for intermediates, not a lot of true beginner terrain. Bachelor is huge and also highly intermediate but the sector out of Sunrise lodge is good for beginners. The 20 mile road from Bend is straight and fast with a gradual steady grade, easy drive. Eagle Point is a shoestring operation, has been out of business several times. I have no idea about Beaver Mt.

I also have no idea about quality of instruction at these remote places. To no surprise elite expert mountains like Jackson and Alta/Snowbird attract the best instructors. Taos is particularly noted for this with attractive week-long programs, though December is the wrong time of year to go there.

Terrain-wise what would be ideal for beginners? IMHO long runs without a lot of traffic from faster skiers. And bonus points if the easy terrain is high on the mountain with better snow and nice views. Beaver Creek and June Mt. come to mind for that.

I'd like to know how much sierra_cement has skied and where it's been comfortable. Skiing has a fast learning curve compared to many sports. People with a positive attitude, decent physical coordination and conditioning and receiving good instruction can progress very fast. If that's you, 2 weeks at a place like Targhee might work out well.

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:56 pm
by sierra_cement
Tony Crocker wrote: Terrain-wise what would be ideal for beginners? IMHO long runs without a lot of traffic from faster skiers.

definitely not cat tracks. I like Northstar b/c of the long green runs that are not cat tracks.

Tony Crocker wrote:I'd like to know how much sierra_cement has skied and where it's been comfortable. Skiing has a fast learning curve compared to many sports. People with a positive attitude, decent physical coordination and conditioning and receiving good instruction can progress very fast. If that's you, 2 weeks at a place like Targhee might work out well.


Tony,

We are more constrained by what my wife can do. She has been on the bunny slope chair lifts only a few times and is still doing snow ploughs. We will go to Northstar for 3 more weekends this season. I have skied a total of 20 days at various Epic pass locations and a couple of days at Squaw/Sierra at Tahoe. In January, I was able to ski most of the blues at Northstar. I'm comfortable now taking our 4 y.o. on bunny slopes by myself and wife can practice on her own. She has taken lessons before but just needs to practice more to get out of the snow plough. Northstar lessons are expensive so we are not able to take as many lessons as we want. It might make sense for us to take a lesson at Homewood instead although we have a pass for Northstar. Epic pass locations are too expensive for kids/adults lessons. So we are not keen on continuing with the Epic pass next season if we can find a better option.

I'd like to learn how to ski powder. I tried to ski powder at Park City but kept falling and then gave up.

I know Xmas is not the ideal time to do a ski vacation. However, it's about the only time we can have a 10 day stretch that you ski everyday and progress quickly. With the improved skills, we can enjoy the rest of the season with weekend or long weekend trips. If we wait go to on a week long trip until Feb, we will only get to enjoy half the season. A 10 day trip also allows us to justify the travel time/cost to a location other than Tahoe. Northstar has good beginner terrain but it would be nice to not have to deal with the traffic and crowds.

Thanks for reading and offering your valuable suggestions. I have read through a lot of your material and really enjoy the logical way in which you analyze ski areas and conditions. Let me know if you have written articles targeted at beginners. I would love to read those.

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:20 pm
by Marc_C
sierra_cement wrote:We are more constrained by what my wife can do. She has been on the bunny slope chair lifts only a few times and is still doing snow ploughs. We will go to Northstar for 3 more weekends this season. I have skied a total of 20 days at various Epic pass locations and a couple of days at Squaw/Sierra at Tahoe. In January, I was able to ski most of the blues at Northstar. I'm comfortable now taking our 4 y.o. on bunny slopes by myself and wife can practice on her own. She has taken lessons before but just needs to practice more to get out of the snow plough. Northstar lessons are expensive so we are not able to take as many lessons as we want. It might make sense for us to take a lesson at Homewood instead although we have a pass for Northstar. Epic pass locations are too expensive for kids/adults lessons. So we are not keen on continuing with the Epic pass next season if we can find a better option.

I'd like to learn how to ski powder. I tried to ski powder at Park City but kept falling and then gave up.

I know Xmas is not the ideal time to do a ski vacation. However, it's about the only time we can have a 10 day stretch that you ski everyday and progress quickly. With the improved skills, we can enjoy the rest of the season with weekend or long weekend trips. If we wait go to on a week long trip until Feb, we will only get to enjoy half the season. A 10 day trip also allows us to justify the travel time/cost to a location other than Tahoe. Northstar has good beginner terrain but it would be nice to not have to deal with the traffic and crowds.


While they may be expensive*, an intensive set of lessons at the beginning of your ski career is indeed the best way. Do you guys really want to be unlearning bad habits in 5 or 10 years that could have been eliminated with 10 early lessons instead of a few plus self-practice? I didn't learn to ski until far later (33 yrs old) than a lot of people on this forum. I took a week of morning group lessons and practiced on my own in the afternoon. Any budding bad habits were quickly dealt with the next morning. The remainder of that season I took an additional 10 small-group clinics. This amount of reinforcement early on is critical.

*: look at the expense of lessons as an investment in decades of enjoyment instead of struggle any time conditions aren't perfect or you want to get on the more interesting/challenging ungroomed terrain.

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:14 pm
by sierra_cement
Marc_C wrote:While they may be expensive*, an intensive set of lessons at the beginning of your ski career is indeed the best way. Do you guys really want to be unlearning bad habits in 5 or 10 years that could have been eliminated with 10 early lessons instead of a few plus self-practice? I didn't learn to ski until far later (33 yrs old) than a lot of people on this forum. I took a week of morning group lessons and practiced on my own in the afternoon. Any budding bad habits were quickly dealt with the next morning. The remainder of that season I took an additional 10 small-group clinics. This amount of reinforcement early on is critical.

*: look at the expense of lessons as an investment in decades of enjoyment instead of struggle any time conditions aren't perfect or you want to get on the more interesting/challenging ungroomed terrain.


I agree with you regarding importance of lessons. We can probably go to Kirkwood instead of Northstar. Their beginner lessons are $89 instead of Northstar's $170. I will do some more research on which resorts in Tahoe offer continuing ski lessons. This year we can probably do another 6-8 days ski days.

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:59 pm
by Tony Crocker
I have not written any articles directed at beginners, but I did learn as an adult, first skiing at 23 and not that competent until a 30-day season at age 26 in 1978-79. As I had only 20 days lifetime before that season, sierra_cement may be on the verge of a breakthrough.

From my experience, skiing as hard as I could every weekend in 1978-79 resulted in more progress that an extended trip would have. For several seasons when I did go somewhere for a whole week, I would usually get overly exhausted by the third or fourth day and need to dial back the quantity and difficulty if skiing for a day or two.

Northstar is certainly ideal for a lot of low end terrain, though it has crowd and logistics issues. Kirkwood would be good for your wife's lessons. There's good beginner terrain with usually the best snow conditions at Tahoe. While on Epic, you might want to think about Beaver Creek.

I'm not sure bunching lessons continuously is most cost effective. I think you want to take a lesson, practice what you have learned, then come back to learn more. Every individual is different; it's hard to say what your wife needs more: lessons or more mileage. Assuming she's not reluctant, probably both.

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:18 pm
by sierra_cement
Tony Crocker wrote: While on Epic, you might want to think about Beaver Creek.

I'm not sure bunching lessons continuously is most cost effective. I think you want to take a lesson, practice what you have learned, then come back to learn more. Every individual is different; it's hard to say what your wife needs more: lessons or more mileage. Assuming she's not reluctant, probably both.


Beaver Creek is great.. that's where we went for Xmas. Wife got a back sprain on her 3rd or 4th day so she was not able to ski more. I lapped the Red Buffalo area a lot and did some lessons. That's how I improved my skill enough to ski the easy blues there. I did lessons on a gap of 3-4 days. I also started exercising a couple of months before my trip to improve my stamina.. certainly helped. Skiing a lot of days at a time was effective for me.

We could go to beaver creek as we had hotel points.. we don't have enough for a Xmas trip next year. The lodging there is quite expensive and to do it cheaply we would have to stay farther, drive to the shuttle stop and still pay for parking. Plus the cost of expensive pass and lessons. So I'm looking for an alternate destination.

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:23 pm
by Tony Crocker
It sounds like you did everything right this year: choice of resort, conditioning, spacing of lessons.

I think Targhee could work well for you next Christmas. Your wife needs to understand there will be beginner terrain, but not nearly as much of it as at Northstar or Beaver Creek. But there's two months more of this season with plenty of snow to get her some mileage.

Re: Powder Mt., Utah, March 18, 2018

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:41 pm
by sierra_cement
Yeah. I bought the epic pass and decided on get my money's worth by spending a lot of days at their most expensive location.

I'll keep my eye on spring pass sale for targhee. They have some Homewood free days that I can use as well.