10 + Reasons Why I Can’t Wait to Ski the Wasatch (after being away for a year):
1. Unbeatable snow. Even in an off season in Utah, it's better than anywhere else in the world. Powder day is powder dayS (plural as in many days).
2. Nine world class ski areas within 1.5 hours of my home in SLC.
Plus, Utah Transit Authority busses (which my season pass or University Card cover free, but pricing also super reasonable) go up the Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons. You don't even have to drive.
3. Two areas on my top list of never-skied-before and will- ski-this-winter. Pow Mow, otherwise known as Powderr Mountain, has some of the funniest ads. Keep your eyes peeled for billboards around town. Low key atmosphere, primo snow. And Solitude with no lines on powder days? How is this possible still? Because there are that many awesome resorts nearby too.
4. Ski buddies. No shortage of friends who ride at any resort. Gals, guys, young, wise, skiers and snowboarders, it's pretty easy to find friends even on powder days around here. "No friends on a powder day" just means extra friends on powder days in Utah.
5. Expanding the snow posse. If you get separated on a powder day, it's pretty easy to jump in the singles line and meet new friends on the lift; and if you can keep up, they'll probably show you a new mountain perspective.
Recommendations for making new friends: play would-you-rather on ski lifts (of course age appropriate and adjust your humor to your audience). My personal favorite conversation starter, "Would you rather have a pet elephant or a pet giraffe?"
6. Backcountry access. If you have the know-how or the want-how (the Utah Avalanche Center provides advisories and clinics, including women specific courses) the Wasatch terrain is easily accessible. Bonus the fresh lines and not waiting for a lift.
7. Yurt trips. Millcreek and beyond, book them early, invite friends, bring good food and beverages, ski in, have a party, ski some more, ski out. Add your own perks.
8. Access to SLC from other parts of the country/world. Two seasons ago, my parents flew in at 9am, by 11am we were skiing bluebird ‘Road to Provo' freshies at Snowbird. The next morning they skied Alta with friends and then back to the Bird for the afternoon.
By train! Some west coast friends near a big lake (that doesn't have the same snow we have here...am I boasting?) are coming out this winter by train, since it doesn't take that much longer than driving and they save on gas.
9. The season length. In addition to having other full seasons, we get summer, fall and spring here and still get to ski well into summer at Snowbird... Oh yeah we get to be on resort access snow in 2 weeks (November 20th)! Some folks are already getting pre-resort freshies after the recent dumps in the backcountry.
10. Interlodge. It may be a bane to some, but a gift from above to others. I have yet to be "stuck" at a resort during interlodge in Little Cottonwood Canyon, but I can't wait! Snowed in overnight because of avalanche danger, road closed, and then only those who are "stuck" at the resorts get the 1st hours to themselves after patrol has opened the resort, while others eagerly wait at the base of the canyons for the road to open.
11. Snow. Powder. Pow. Powpow. Fluff. Smoke. Deep. Fresh. Freshies. Champagne. The best.