Skiing Snowbasin 3 Days of Surprise Powder // Seeking Snowledge
Skiing Snowbasin 3 Days of Surprise Powder in Utah // Seeking Snowledge
Snowbasin A 3,000 acre Snowboard Playground // Seeking Snowledge
In late January the Snowledge crew packed up and left a Tahoe, just ahead of the biggest storm of the season. The destination was Snowbasin in Northern Utah, nestled in the Wasatch Mountains, a resort none of us had ever skied before.
One of the oldest operating resorts in the United States, Snowbasin features a tantalizing mix of options from groomers, steep trees, and legit hike-to freeride terrain. With 3,500 acres, 3,000 vertical feet, and 350 inches of blower Utah powder, Snowbasin has endless zones to explore.
On the first day, we made the scenic drive from the Ogden Valley and rolled in to a surprise 8” of signature dry Utah powder. With the upper lifts closed due to high winds, and more snow on the way, we teamed up with Brooks Roe, Snowbasin’s Content Manager, for some classic storm skiing. Brooks gave us the local’s tour, which included numerous deep turns in the trees and fun side hits off of the Porcupine and Wildcat lifts. All of us were surprised by the amount of interesting terrain on the lower mountain despite only two lifts running.
Feeling satisfied from a full day of slashes and face shots, we made our way fifteen minutes down the hill to Huntsville and the Compass Rose Lodge. Situated in the picturesque Ogden Valley, the lodge is a one-of-a-kind farmhouse that offers comfortable beds and plenty of space, along with indoor and outdoor common areas to chill after a long day on the hill. A personal favorite of the crew was the firepit and the heated teepee with an oversized game of tic-tac-toe. Don’t forget to check out the signature aspect of the lodge – the Huntsville Astronomic and Lunar Observatory (HALO), which offers spectacular views of deep space.
Our second day started at First Lift Coffee, located inside of the Compass Rose Lodge, with what we found to be the best cup of coffee we enjoyed on our trip. We arrived at the resort and were treated to another 7” of unexpected light pow. Excited by the prospect of getting into the new zones that were slated to open, we made our way up the mountain, making laps off of the Needles Gondola and Middle Bowl lift. The terrain higher up is a mix of the open tree skiing found lower on the mountain, with some fun hike-to terrain that offered additional challenge in the form of cliffs, chutes, and a couple of fun booters. We spent the day alternating between pow slashes and airs, surprised with the number of different options we found.
Hungry from two big days spent exploring the resort, the Snowledge crew was looking forward to a night in Ogden to experience the city life that makes skiing in the area so desirable. Originally a railroad town, Ogden is often referred to as the rebellious stepchild of Utah. It’s notoriously independent and there’s something for everyone, with a mix of glamourous and gritty. Whether it’s a new resort, a restaurant, or a cool place to stay, you feel like you’re finding something no one else has.
For dinner, we landed at the B Street location of Roosters Brewing Company, a fast-growing brewery with a diverse selection of delicious beers and tasty post-skiing food options. In addition to great food and beers, the team at Roosters couldn’t have been more friendly and accommodating, giving us a full tour of the brewery. They also host community events including free backcountry awareness classes. The experience was so good, we decided to come back the next night and check out their second location on 25th Street. It was tough to pick favorites, but the beer highlights included the smooth, citrusy Roosters Tail Hazy IPA, and the refreshing Blackberry Cream Ale. On the food side, the Naughty Fries and Gorgonzola Bacon Burger were the perfect complements to a full day of riding.
The storm persisted into our third day, but subsided just enough to access new zones higher up the mountain. We spent the morning hitting airs off the John Paul Express lift, lapping the bowls and steep trees, before making our way over to Strawberry Gondola for a surprise mid day opening. The terrain off of Strawberry is rugged and open at the top, with numerous opportunities to straight line tight chutes and send larger airs from the hike-to terrain of Sister’s Bowl and Middle Bowl Cirque. We knocked out a run on White Room and hugged the rope line down to WFO, before making some technical turns through the chutes of Strawberry Fields on our way back to the main base area. With 4” of new snow falling during the day, the refills were free and the skiing was all-time.
After three days exploring Snowbasin, Ogden Valley, and the city of Ogden, we found uncrowded lines, great snow, incredibly friendly people, and an experience that felt unique in the ski world. There was one clear take away from the team about our time at Snowbasin – we’d definitely be coming back for another mission sooner rather than later.