Snowboard Vacation in Utah

Snowboarding and being in the mountains are kind of my jam. Growing up in a mountain town at 8,000 feet elevation, and picking a college based on it's proximity to a ski resort, then working at a boardshop for three years while in school and snowboarding as much as possible, yeah my life definitely revolves around winter! So to say it's been hard for me to live in Southern California is the understatement of the year. Most people are jealous when I tell them I live in a place where it's blue skies and 70s for the greater part of the year, but it's definitely a struggle for me! Winter is my favorite time of year, when the temperatures drop and I can look forward to trips home to Colorado or Utah to spend some time in the snow.

I was so excited when I had the chance recently to meet with the Ski Utah team and get to know more about all the ski resorts in Utah. I've been to most of the bigger ski resorts in Utah, and also one of the smaller ones (Beaver season pass for four years! holler!), so I was interested in checking out some of the mountains I hadn't been to yet.

There are a lot of great mountains in Utah and a lot of awesome terrain, and because of that, it's hard to check out every resort. So during my most recent trip to Utah I made the effort to get to Solitude and Powder Mountain. On Christmas Eve we headed out to Solitude Ski Resort, located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, just 40 minutes away from Salt Lake City.
Luckily it had been snowing A TON before we got there, and Solitude was one of the mountains that really got hit! Our timing couldn't have been better. It was a lot less busy than I thought it would be, what with all the fresh snow and it was Christmas Eve, but that was fine with us!! The new Summit Express chair opened just after noon, so we enjoyed a couple runs on the Powderhorn lift, took a break for lunch at the Honeycomb Grill (sooo good), then finished off the rest of our day taking some runs from the Summit Express! Which was a little more crowded but sooo great. Also apparently one of the peaks you can see from the top of the chair was used as a location in the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Kind of neat.
Powderhorn lift line

Lunch break at the Honeycomb Grill, I got the Chicken Bacon Blue Flatbread and Alex got the Hot Brown Sandwich, they were both soooo good!

Had this run to myself :)

Beautiful views from the top of the Summit Express Lift 
The snow was van deep!

And more beautiful views in the canyon on the way back down to SLC.

We also rode one day at Beaver (a given), and then our third day of riding was spent at Powder Mountain, which is one hour away from Salt Lake City. The drive to get there is so pretty, driving through several small towns and past Pineview Reservoir on your way up. I had previously only been to night skiing here, I had no idea the mountain had so much terrain. Like, so much. Fun fact: Powder just got voted by Liftopia as the #1 ski resort for powder skiing!

We started off our day taking the shuttle over to Sundown Lift, which took us up the base of the snow cat up to lightning ridge to get to some untouched pow. If you don't want to wait for the shuttle down, you could just ski down the road too. The views from the top were so pretty, as were the views of the snowy hill we got to ride down :) There is no better feeling than riding through a fresh field of powder, it's an instant mood lifter! From there we took a nice long run down to Paradise lift, then over to Hidden Lake, and finishing at Sunrise lift before breaking for lunch. We ended our day with a couple more snow cat runs on Lightning Ridge..we couldn't stay away! I feel like I need a whole week at least to explore Powder Mountain, it is so big! Because of that, it's not hard to find uncrowded runs! Which is always nice. I'm a new convert to Powder, I think it might just be my #1 favorite resort of them all now! They've won me over. And we found out they serve ramen in the Powder Keg Bar in the main lodge...done. I'm done. You win Powder Mountain.

Waiting for the Cat

Getting dropped off by the snow cat!

The view from the top... :) :) :)

The boys going off to the right.

I love seeing those curvy lines all over the mountainside

Friends helping friends

Alf accidentally fell :/

Just nonstop great views.

Bye Powder! Till next time!

Feeling pretty good about getting three days of riding in while we were in Utah for the holidays, especially with all the fresh snow we were getting the whole time we were there. The temperature never went above 30ยบ in our nine days there! So great! Can't wait to get back to the mountains again. Huge thanks to Solitude and Powder for having us!

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