Regrets from non-powder days past

Every season we inevitably find ourselves at resorts riding hard pack, groomers, and bumps. Obviously not our preference, but it happens. Over the years and across numerous resorts the phrase “Imagine this place on a powder day” keeps being repeated.  As in, “yeah conditions kinda suck today…but imagine this place on a powder day.” That got me thinking, of all the resorts we’ve been to where powder did not grace us, which were the biggest ITPOPD moments. What are our biggest non-powder day regrets?

#5-Sugarloaf

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Unfortunately we were 3 days late following an epic storm in 2012. The result was a day of semi soft bumps, boney glades, and an occasional side trail pow-turn. Nonetheless the terrain was impressive for an eastern resort and the glades looked promising. Some appealing cliff drops were spotted and we were all in agreement that Sugarloaf warranted consideration as an eastern pow-day destination (if the storm favors ME)

#4- Whistler

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Man did Whistler suck. The poor conditions, massive amount of snow-tourists, and outrageous ticket prices all contributed towards a lackluster day. However the vast amount of terrain is undeniable. The steeps and cliff bands off the Whistler Peak express in particular got our attention and had us thinking ITPOPD. Making it back to see what Whistler Blackcomb has to offer on a fresh day is doubtful though.

#3-Alpine Meadows

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Despite the poor conditions we had at Alpine Meadows, we still managed to have a good time due partly to our local friend Todd but also to the fun terrain and beautiful views. Lots of good steeps, bowls, trees, and cliffs. There is some fun to be had here on a powder day for sure.

#2- Vail

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The amount of ski-able terrain and the amount it cost to access are equally striking at Vail. That first view of the enormous backside bowls made me think fresh laps could be had there all day after a big dump. Other than a few cliff bands however the terrain did seem a bit boring. Doubtful we will return, but the amount of potential in bounds powder was surely notable.

#1- Grand Targhee

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The incredible terrain, magnificent views, low crowds and cheap tickets had us all salivating at the possibility of hitting Targhee on a pow day. The relatively remote location and few mountain side accommodations would take away the most nerve wrecking component of any powder day; the crowds. Is there a worse feeling than standing in a long lift line knowing others are skiing your powder!? We got the impression that any pow-hound could find fresh laps well into the afternoon here.

Targhee also had the kind of terrain you look for when the fluff is deep. Long sustained steeps, good trees, and plentiful cliff drops. Add in the amazing view of the Grand and reasonably priced lift tickets and it’s a sure thing that YPGP will be back to Targhee. Hopefully next time we won’t be saying “Imagine this place on a powder day.”

-G. Falcon

ps: Just realized Utah is nowhere on this list. Not sure what to make of it yet