Discussion Series: Your Best Powder Day
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Scott - DCSki Editor
January 31, 2021 (edited January 31, 2021)
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,187 posts

With snow falling throughout the Mid-Atlantic, it seems like an appropriate time to launch the second topic in the DCSki Discussion Series: Your Best Powder Day.  Think back to all of your days on the slopes.  Was there a powder day that was particularly memorable?  Perhaps you woke up to a foot of fresh powder, or snow fell throughout the day, constantly touching up the trails with a layer of freshies.  What was your best powder day?  Where did it occur, and what made it special?  If you have photos, feel free to drop them into your post!

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bob
January 31, 2021 (edited January 31, 2021)
Member since 04/15/2008 🔗
707 posts

Taos - maybe 25 year ago. No photos. Just memories.

What made it special: sunny blue skies on 36 inches of fresh. Skied the steepest of terrain. I skied stuff I normally would not even think about skiing. It was impossible to go fast. Had on Atomic Powder Cruises - about the first skis developed specifically for heli skiing. They have ceramic core which sounds like you are dragging a Corelle plate behind you on corduroy, but are buttery smooth in fresh. You can still find them on eBay. They are legendary. Had bought them the year before to ski the interconnect between Park City and Snowbird.  - Face shots galore.

Skied from opening to closing.

At 3:30 I was on the West Basin side of the hill and was totally exhausted. Decided to take a rest and just flopped over in the snow. Looked around and maybe half a dozen other people were doing what I was doing. Decided to check my pulse: 156. It had probably been 156 all day.

In a more than quarter century on snow nothing else comes even remotely close.

... but there was a March day at Roundtop in 1993 with 18 inches  of fresh...

wojo
January 31, 2021
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
320 posts

Torn between the big 3 foot storm several years ago and last year in Utah.

I went to Liberty and boarded in champaign pow getting freshies as late at 2pm.  It was crazy, but it was Liberty!!  Capped it off with a few brews in town and more to follow in the hotel.  We did get in trouble with our wives for the extra day we had to stay due to the roads being closed :-).

Last year, I was in Salt Lake with a good group of me and 4 young adults, 5 days and 3 of them had at least 18 inches of fluffy pow.  Three of the four had never skied pow, and two were blue run intermediates.  They all can go anywhere on a resort in any condition now.  At Solitude we did Honeycomb Canyon and Headwall Forest; at Snowbird, did lots off of the Gad 2 lift and Little Cloud lift like Gad Valley, Boundary Bowl and Thunder Bowl.  It was truly sublime!!  We picked up the left overs at Brighton on the last day off the Great Western and Milly Express lifts.  As a trip, this one might never be matched.

Both those trips I will think about for a long time.

wojo
January 31, 2021
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
320 posts

wojo wrote:

Torn between the big 3 foot storm several years ago and last year in Utah.

 None of the pics do justice to the memories.

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itdoesntmatter
January 31, 2021
Member since 01/17/2007 🔗
144 posts
Copper mountain, 2019.  Snowed so much an avalanche closed I-70.  Snow was so deep in the back bowl I fell and couldn't bget back up.  Luckily my daughter was there to get me going again.  
needawax
January 31, 2021
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
15 posts

Mine would be Whistler/Blackcomb 2008. I am a long time mid-atlantic skier, having made only a few trips to any real ski resorts over the past 40 years (you can count'em on one hand). 

It snowed 8-12" each of the three nights we were there.

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Shotmaker
January 31, 2021
Member since 02/18/2014 🔗
108 posts

This week in 1982 also year with 780" (65 feet) reported at Kirkwood my home resort that year. Skied all over Tahoe from early November to June.

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Best day was tree skiing Sierra at Tahoe (back then it was Sierra Ski Ranch). Lived in South Shore could only get to SSR & Heavenly as road and pass closures made it impossible go very far.

wfyurasko - DCSki Supporter 
January 31, 2021 (edited January 31, 2021)
Member since 07/27/2014 🔗
283 posts

I haven't had it yet, but I have only skied in the Mid-Atlantic with the exception of one moring at Eldora. Someday...

camp
January 31, 2021 (edited 5 months ago)
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
630 posts

I've had several great powder days at Blue Knob.

But staying at Mount Snow when this one happened, and being able to walk to the lifts was certainly the best score I've had. 30"+, and we learned our son was a powder skier. 

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needawax
January 31, 2021
Member since 04/19/2019 🔗
15 posts

Thats a sweet shot...

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 31, 2021
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,941 posts
My most memorable is still the first time I "got it."  Sometime back in the early 1980s I was skiing Laurel solo midweek. The place was empty and there was over a foot of snow covering most of the slopes as grooming back then consisted of either a have roller pulled behind a snocat or a piece of weighted fencing also dragged behind. First tracks could be found all day or so my memory goes. I spent most of the day struggling, falling down, and swearing then it clicked, it all came together and I was floating in velvety smoothness the likes I'd never felt before. What a rush! I've had face shots out west, deep and steep in the trees up north, first track just last week at Laurel but that first day when I put it all together is still the best of my memories. 
JimK - DCSki Columnist
January 31, 2021 (edited February 2, 2021)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,822 posts

Nice topic, especially since we got fresh snow here inside the Beltway today!  Jan 31, 2021.

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PART ONE

I got a lot of great 6-12" powder days skiing frequently at Blue Knob, PA in the 1970s and 80s.  It was my pre-digital camera era, but this will give you an idea, getting ready to ski at Blue Knob around 1985:  working to post. See part two.

January 22, 2017, Snowbird UT.  It had snowed the day before and again this day.  It was so deep it was kind of hard to measure and I suppose varied from 12-24" of pretty good quality snow.  This is a companion who skied with me that day.  He took a wipeout as he approached me and I feared for him because it took about 10 seconds for his head to pop up from the deep snow in Lower Cirque.

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It kept snowing all that week, here's my son on Jan 24, 2017, in the trees near Mach Schnell, Snowbird, UT:

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New Years Day, 2014, Loveland, CO moi on a storm day with about a foot of new snow.  

LL

The next day was even better.  It was a Monday and no one was there and the sun came out:

LL

January of 2016, Winter Storm Jonas at Canaan Valley Resort for 28” of new snow:

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The whole month of Feb 2010 was a powderfest in the mid-Atlantic.  Laurel Hill Crazie took this one at Blue Knob back then:

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I took this one of him:

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Look at the all natural powder-bumps on East Wall Glades, RodSmith/Telerod15:

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camp
January 31, 2021
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
630 posts

JimK wrote:

Look at the all natural powder-bumps on East Wall Glades, RodSmith/Telerod15:


Wow, I have never seen the East Wall Glades look like that! Very overgrown now.

Those were some great pics JimK

 

Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter 
January 31, 2021 (edited January 31, 2021)
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,941 posts

 JimK, ahh February 2010. If the local hills could be covered like that every winter I believe I'd be perfectly content to ski here for the rest of my years. That BK day you captured through your lens ranks up there among my all-time best memories and the snow was just the half of it.

A few years back when you took me and my son and daughter along with a few others to the backside of Snowbasin. While it was mostly skied out by the time we got there, sharing that run with my kids is another peak memory.

Another time that stands in my mind is a day at Solitude with my buddy Marcus. We skied/skated out along the rim of Honeycomb Canyon and found first face shots. My eastern lungs felt like they were bleeding during the hike.

Another great powder day for me was another day at Solitude with Marcus. We took the Summit Triple then took Back Door and Solbright toward the Headwall Forest and Coner Chute.  We must have dropped into Corner Chute. I just remember passing under a wooden sign supported by tall poles forming a kind of gateway. It read Caution High Experts Only! We paused to oblige the instructions then pushed off and found a totally untracked waist-deep slope. We had it all to ourselves. That was about the only time I ever got the best of Marc. I was on Volant Chubs. He was on some skinny old school pencils and was having a difficult time finding his groove.

Denis - DCSki Supporter 
February 1, 2021
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,281 posts

While I have experienced probably 100s of powder days in decades of skiing it’s impossible to pick a favorite.  All were glorious and sublime at the time.  There is nothing else like the silky smoothness.  It has to be experienced; neither pictures nor words can do it justice.  Let me offer a few ideas and opinions instead.

powder is where you find it and to find it you go skiing.  You can’t catch fish if you’re not fishing and can’t catch powder if you’re not skiing.

many times when I expected less, it was epic.  Equally many when epic was expected, it was less than epic but still very good.

you need a strategy.  As a ‘senior’ skier I look for stashes off blue runs that the young and hard core consider to be beneath them.  They’re out there at every area.  While others chase steeps, you can have those stashes to yourself.   It helps to be comfortable in the trees.

Major storms come with wind that dies down slowly after the snow stops falling.  high open bowls and faces will have wind buff and sastrugi which ski beautifully although different from champagne powder.  Challenge yourself and develop a taste for all varieties of untracked snow.  The wind will often fill in your tracks leaving a fresh surface with each run.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 1, 2021 (edited February 2, 2021)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,822 posts

Part 2

March 2018 Hanging with Laurel Hill Crazie, Snowbasin UT, ~12" new snow:

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This photo illustrates natural snow pack in Western PA in mid-1980s.  I am 5'10".  This was taken at family cabin about a mile down access road from summit of Blue Knob.  Those Kneissl's were my Dad's.  They were fairly short for the timeframe, something like 185cms, but stiff as a board.  They were also kind of wide for the times.  I tried them a few times.  He had a classic pair of red and blue Rosemount boots he used with those skis.

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Early January 2013, Sierra at Tahoe.  Maybe 15" of new snow, this is my son in Huckleberry Bowl:

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2-3 foot storm at Copper Mtn, CO, April 2009:

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Somewhere I also have a hardcopy photo of myself skiing powder at Snowmass, CO in Mar 1991, but can't find.  We saw 30" in 30 hours on that trip.  

PS:  who's got some powder day photos from today Feb 1, 2021 in the mid-Atlantic?!?

Denis - DCSki Supporter 
February 3, 2021
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,281 posts
Bump.
Crush
February 3, 2021
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,087 posts

I'd have to say in my recollection one of the deepest days was I dunno somewhere around 2004-2005 when I lived in Park City. Lance Bravard from the DC Fagowees ( dcfagowees.com ) visited and we were skiing at The Canyons of course and went through the back-country gate at the top of 9990 for a quick lap off the first saddle you come to. There was probably over 4 feet of snow in the storm we were skiing in; the snow was so deep the back country gate was completely buried! Lance has the pictures he took of us but I still remember those images well.

AbuEllie
February 5, 2021
Member since 01/30/2021 🔗
4 posts
Bretton Woods a couple of seasons ago. Drove up from the place I was staying with a friend, which we really shouldn't have -- more than an hour each way in an ancient Honda Odyssey in a storm it was truthfully unsafe to be driving in. But we arrived safely, the mountain was empty and covered in tons of overnight/morning snow, and it probably dumped 6 or 8 inches on us during the course of the day. Even not being able to ski powder to save my life it was a dream.
dinozaur
February 5, 2021 (edited February 5, 2021)
Member since 02/1/2014 🔗
15 posts

2018 in Smuggler's Notch for a week. 12" of snow fell during the drive up from VA to VT, 6" more overnight, and then 12" per night for the next week. I think we ended up with 60" of powder snow while we were there. The snow was incredibly light and powdery because of the polar vortex. Unfortunately that means low temperatures were around -14F and highs around 10F.

Made for a week to remember! Still skied open to close every day except for one.  

ParkCrewDrew
February 8, 2021 (edited February 8, 2021)
Member since 01/24/2014 🔗
125 posts
January 2010 (before snowmageddon) at 7springs.   It was already a good year prior to the February dumps.   I showed up on a midweek day and there was surprise 12" of lake effect snow when I arrived.   Nice super light stuff (on top of a nice 6" of crust).   I was there at 9am and got a solid hour of the best powder I have ever ridden (it got tracked out quick because it was so light but, it was so good).    February 2010 wasn't too shabby either! 
MSnow
5 months ago (edited 5 months ago)
Member since 02/19/2022 🔗
1 posts

Best powder skiing ever … that’s easy … Alta Utah Feb-1998!  I remember this ski trip like it was yesterday. Three (3) of us (brother & friend) headed to Alta but were forced to ski "Park City" upon arrival as it had been snowing hard at Alta for days which kept the canyon pass closed.

When the canyon opened for traffic, I remember hearing radio reports about Alta/Snowbird getting a record-setting snowfall of 8 ft of new snow. As we all know, this isn't just any snow, this is Dry Powder Utah Snow! So when we heard this we found the closest ski shop and bought Fat Boys and 1-piece snowsuits.

As we were walking up to our Alta home rental the snow was literally up to the garage gutters. Our first hour of skiing Alta however was absolutely horrible because we had slapped on GS skis which were too much work as we were sweating bullets and falling. No fun at all, especially since we never fall, damit!

Once we clicked into our Fat Boys the fun switch flipped Full-On. Skiing was effortless as we porpoised up and down virgin slopes in 8ft of powder dragging streamers and making pole plants that never reached the packed base. Making 1st tracks in powder that soft and deep was surreal. We skied it like a mono-ski and watched snow depth ebb and flow from our knees, waist, and shoulders to the occasional full submersion.  

What a blast! It definitely brought out the inner crazy as powder this deep makes it easy to pump the brakes. We jumped into some hairy-ass steep and narrow couloirs that we normally wouldn’t have skied on packed powder. Skier beware though ... "NO Nose Dives" in powder this deep and soft! 

Cheers!1645786475_oikjrfqkflvm.jpg

JimK - DCSki Columnist
5 months ago
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,822 posts

MSnow wrote:

Best powder skiing ever … that’s easy … Alta Utah Feb-1998! 

Cheers!1645786475_oikjrfqkflvm.jpg

 I think MSnow just won this thread with that photo!  Deep and Beautiful.  Kudos to the person who took it.

Crush
5 months ago (edited 5 months ago)
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,087 posts

Unknown for me - I was probably too bliss'd out or too drunk afterwards. Oh wait - yeah the time under the now gone Eagle bowl double chair lift at The Canyons at 9:30 AM after teaching my computer course. I was welcomed to 3 feet of powder and 10 tracks going in so I owned it; cranked my iPod  listening to Dada "surround" and made the best 12 face shot super-G turns in my entire life.

I remember just as the ride-out for Surround was coming up I was coasting down back to the base area and it was just perfect. I looked over my shoulder and saw my tracks and said "YESSSS" --- my signature. No need to put any more runs in. I can still feel it when I hear that tune.

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