Photographer:Graham Hiemstra
Camera:Contaxt T2 + Disposable
Film:Kodak Porta 400, Ektar 100

Earning Turns at Powder Mountain

The Utah ski hill boasts over 7000 acres of skiable terrain accessed by snow cat, shuttle bus, and boot pack

Just outside the Mormon outpost of Eden, Utah, is Powder Mountain. Spanning over 7,000 acres of terrain accessible by four lifts, three rope tows, two regularly running snow cats, and a shuttle bus—most side and backcountry is hikeable—PowMow is arguably the largest ski hill in the country. Though that’s speaking specifically to its skiable acreage. In terms of amenities, lodging and development, Powder Mountain pleasantly flies under the radar. It feels like a mom-and-pop run joint, from the wooden shack-like ski patrol HQ to the exceedingly modest lodge—complete with both a brown bag area for the BYO crowd, and a small tavern serving ramen, regionally famous chicken wings and local craft beers, not to mention a live band most weekends. Hell, guest services (shouts to JP and team for the hospitality) is even a one room operation largely conducting business through a sliding glass window into a hallway.

The point is, in the age of exceedingly expensive lift tickets and ski resorts that emphasis the latter well over the former, PowMow is a welcomed outlier. (Yes, Summit Series is based here. And yes it is in slight contrast to much of what PowMow itself seems to be, but if you didn’t know what to look for their presence would be easy to miss.)

During our single day visit we covered a lot of ground, thanks to our good pal and apt guide Andrea Westerlind (who as of this year splits her time between Eden and NYC to keep tabs on her seasonal Westerlind Outdoor retail shops in Eden and at the Summit). We took side country laps thanks to the free PowMow shuttle bus, accessed Lighting Ridge’s 700 acres of ungroomed terrain via snow cat and boot pack, and bombed as many groomers as possible, without waiting in a single lift line (pls note this was a Saturday in Mid February).

You won’t find the steeps of Snowbird, the terrain park of Brighton, or the accessibility that comes with being located in Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon, but neither will you find the crowds and immediately-tracked snow that come with those things. Instead, what you will find is endless acres of glades and trees, powder stashes days after a storm, a positive community vibe, sub $60 lift tickets and a believe it or not a parking space just feet from the lift and lodge.

Utah offers many options in the Rich Guy resort category. Powder Mountain isn't one. Thankfully.

images by The Field

Brooklyn-based writer, photographer and founder of The Field. Graham apologizes in advance for his many mispellings.
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