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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    406

    Protected and Preserved Powder Hunting in the West

    Hey.

    Well right now everyone's getting a nice dose of powder in the west but it looks like the hose is going to turn off soon for a week or two.

    I'm hoping this thread could be used beyond my specific request for post storm condition updates and pontificating. I know powder can be preserved midwinter in cold protected areas or if wind hasn't wreaked havoc.

    I have a week off to chase powder starting January 15 and wondering if somewhere like Sunvalley and the Sawtooth range will hold good backcountry conditions (i.e. powder) a week or more after a storm.

    I was planning on an Eastern Sierra trip but I've learned my lesson over two decades that it's very hard to find good conditions there if it has been windy unless you get up real high in very well protected chutes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
    Posts
    7,545
    Have you considered Vail? The back bowls are legendary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    6,413
    I would hit up Powder Mountain. The name pretty much says it all.
    "We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully." - Randy Pausch

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    10,204
    Most people like to share their secret week old pow stashes on a public forum so I'll go. Yes, the Sun Valley and Sawtooth zones will be holding pow. But only because there is considerable avy danger so if it hasn't been skied by the week of the 15th, it probably shouldn't be for a bit. There are a couple persistent weak layers that will probably be around for awhile and the wind and snow that is hammering right now won't help. https://www.sawtoothavalanche.com/forecasts/#/all

    Guess that all could change though. And if you have a sled, plenty of opportunity.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    17,134
    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Have you considered Vail? The back bowls are legendary.
    ^^^ This. They are untracked.

    https://www.vaildaily.com/news/when-...lue-sky-basin/
    Is it radix panax notoginseng? - splat

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    406
    Thanks conundrum.

    I'm definitely not asking for stashes, but more general input on areas that tend to hold powder well after storms in the winter. I'm sure there are times when the snow goes to shit up there.

    Sounds like Avi conditions are considerable and these latest storms have been windy in the sawtooth's.

    I'm not seeing a significant wind or warming event after tomorrow around Sunvalley so hoping that could be a viable option. Wouldn't need to get up in the Alpine. Hippy turns in the trees would be fine.

    I'd rather not drive to Colorado from California.

    Powder mountain could be a good option for us.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Gallatin County
    Posts
    1,304
    Please don't share top secret stashes like this on the web or hordes of people will track out the powder in 45 minutes. Need to know basis only.

    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Have you considered Vail? The back bowls are legendary.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    none
    Posts
    7,755
    Aspen area has a great base and fantastic skiing. But the last few days weíve had a major wind event with rising temps into the 30ís @ 8k.
    Iím sure there will be plenty of good skiing, but there may be places better.
    Check back in a week.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Where the sheets have no stains
    Posts
    18,202
    Talked to a buddy in SV on Monday. He said it is on in that area right now with good BC options on the terrain right adjacent to town.
    Last edited by Bunion 2020; 01-06-2022 at 08:05 PM.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    135
    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    Heh. More proof that vail sucks.
    Backside of Stevens hadnt opened yet either even with more than ample snowfall.
    So I'd recommend:
    Stevens backside
    Round mountain between crested butte and almont
    Glory bowl at teton pass
    Definitely tincan at turnagain
    Anywhere on vail pass too

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    11,545
    Quote Originally Posted by pajamas View Post
    Thanks conundrum.

    I'm definitely not asking for stashes, but more general input on areas that tend to hold powder well after storms in the winter. I'm sure there are times when the snow goes to shit up there.

    Sounds like Avi conditions are considerable and these latest storms have been windy in the sawtooth's.

    I'm not seeing a significant wind or warming event after tomorrow around Sunvalley so hoping that could be a viable option. Wouldn't need to get up in the Alpine. Hippy turns in the trees would be fine.

    I'd rather not drive to Colorado from California.

    Powder mountain could be a good option for us.
    Why donít you go poke around in the Warner Mtns and report back. I bet thereís decent conditions around Warner Pass. Itís closer and youíll probably have it to yourself.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,108
    Ruby mins. North cascades highway. Both require sleds, or big legs/lungs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    12,967
    i know iíll get flamed for this by the gatekeepers but molly hogan bowl might finally be in after a long cool off period.
    j'ai des grands instants de lucididididididididi

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    1,308
    Cooke City.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Big Sky/Moonlight Basin
    Posts
    12,217
    Teton Pass MT (not WY). Lifts owned by a maggot, tons of sidecountry.

    https://www.skitetonmt.com/home



    Sent from my iPad using TGR Forums
    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

    "Hike up your skirt and grow a dick you fucking crybaby" -what Bunion said to Harry at the top of The Headwaters

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    386
    Iíve heard that Mount Hood Meadows holds powder for weeks.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    288
    Teton Pass MT - wow, would love to go there, wish that was my home mountain!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    50 miles E of Paradise
    Posts
    12,640
    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    Why don’t you go poke around in the Warner Mtns and report back. I bet there’s decent conditions around Warner Pass. It’s closer and you’ll probably have it to yourself.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Or east side of steens mtn…

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    your vacation
    Posts
    3,404
    can we ban the use of the word "powder"
    please
    it's now the most over used word out west
    the denver post called the snow they got on the front range this week powder wtf? it's fucking snow call it snow but don't call it champagne powder cause thats trademarked by steamboat who is trying to cover up the reality that they are getting sierra cement these days

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
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    11,545
    Quote Originally Posted by TBS View Post
    Or east side of steens mtnÖ
    Love to explore that area in winter. I think the Warners would have better access though, there is a ski area up there and itís open.


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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    No longer Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    2,380
    This is a dumb thread.

    OP, look at a topo map, maybe some google earth, and go.

    Quote Originally Posted by CnRzG View Post
    Iíve heard that Mount Hood Meadows holds powder for weeks.
    Lol, Iím sure thereís plenty of high quality stashes left after 4Ē of rain and 70mph+ winds

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    386
    Quote Originally Posted by thefortrees View Post
    This is a dumb thread.

    OP, look at a topo map, maybe some google earth, and go.



    Lol, Iím sure thereís plenty of high quality stashes left after 4Ē of rain and 70mph+ winds
    Maybe for Jonesy on his sticks.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    1,308
    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    Love to explore that area in winter. I think the Warners would have better access though, there is a ski area up there and it’s open.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I drove by it this summer, the vert is small for backcountry turns, and they end in farmers fields I think. But it would be fun for a day riding lifts with the local ranch hands and other types and doing some bc access.

    And someone needs to rotate the Steen webcam into the sun to melt out the lens:

    https://www.alertwildfire.org/region...ra=Axis-Steens

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    286
    I agree this is a dumb thread. Besides Vail's legendary back bowls, much of the intermountain west can and typically will reliably provide powder or aged snow thats facetted and skis like powder for weeks after a storm. It just needs to not get wind jacked or toasted by the sun, so aspect and elevation are important. There are a ton of options some roadside and some requiring a sled. Read the reports, try and figure out what zones are looking good and go after it. Of course things are far from static and will more often change in a matter of hours. Figuring all of this out yourself is a necessary part of the learning curve.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Missoula DMV
    Posts
    1,244
    I've never been, but have been repeatedly told that Brokeback Ski Area is great for mid-season cruising. It's the perfect place when your in the middle of a dry spell. Sort of a hidden gem not far off from the places you've described thus far.

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