SNEWS and RootsRated help you seek pow at OR – Chapter 1: Resort skiing

Planning to spend some time on the mountains while at Outdoor Retailer in SLC? Find out the best runs, backcountry access and après ski spots.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 is two weeks away, and there’s a strong chance you’re packing some skis or a snowboard along with your trade show badge.

For many, a trip out West to Salt Lake City is not only a chance to check out the latest gear at Winter Market, but also to get outside and enjoy the mountains. For sure, we’re all doing a little snow dance — or perhaps burning a snowman as a sacrifice to the snow gods — for some Utah powder days in late January.

So where should you go get in your turns? SNEWS/O.R. Daily and RootsRated have partnered to bring you the ultimate insiders ski guide to SLC. We not only shell out the best resorts surrounding Salt Lake City, but tips down to the best runs, the best backcountry access, and the best après ski hangouts.

Today we look we look at some recommendations while skiing inbounds. We’ll focus on the backcountry next Friday, Jan. 16, and après ski spots on Jan. 23. You can find all this content on our Insider’s Guide to Skiing in Salt Lake City.

Solitude (Home of the All Mountain Demo, Jan. 20)
If it’s a snowy day, then hallelujah. Shred the open slopes below the Powderhorn lift while you wait for the Summit lift to open, then cruise over to Summit and pillage the peripheries of its upper bowl. Duck into Headwall Forest, a steep, densely treed area that intimidates the masses but invites experts and resort employees to duck in and play on its natural terrain features. Then, once the ropes drop on Honeycomb, you’re hitting home runs for the rest of the day. Click here for more tips.

Austen Diamond


Lower Gad Valley is where most of the resort’s beginner-friendly terrain is located, but while the beginners hover there, you can venture to Gad Valley’s upper and peripheral areas to explore the less-tracked goodness tucked between the trees. Click here for more tips.

Austen Diamond



As much as that may irk snowboarders, the resort’s traditional ski roots are also a big part of its charm. Its Collins lift was one of the first ski lifts in North America. The lift machinery may have been updated over the years, but skiers are enjoying the same classic lines as Alta-goers did in the thirties. The buildings retain their rustic look, an ongoing reminder that this resort helped define what skiing is as a sport. It’s “the original.” Click here for more tips.

 Austen Diamond


It’s worthwhile to give yourself a full tour of the place, going all the way out to the Strawberry Express Gondola to check out the surprisingly challenging chutes and narrows you can access from its nearby DeMoisy Peak. For an unassumingly locals-oriented resort, these are some pretty badass goods. Click here for more tips.

 Snowbasin Resort


Powder Mountain
Powder Mountain believes so deeply in powder for the people that it offers cheap cat skiing you can pay for ride-by-ride, as well as a free shuttle bus to pick up people who drop off the backside of the mountain for a sidecountry run. The shuttle bus is still often being driven by the original Woody, an enthusiastic powder-happy local who’s worked for the resort since its founding in 1972. Click here for more tips.

Powder Mountain 


One of the principal gems at Brighton is its Millicent lift. Millicent is across the parking lot from the main base area, so it’s off the beaten path. This terrain is the most challenging and interesting at the resort. Cliffs, stumps, and rocks of every size and shape dot the landscape, making the perfect takeoffs for jumps and tricks. The Lake Mary cliffs lie a short traverse away from the lift, and they’re an excellent spot to test your hucking mettle on a powder day. Click here for more tips.

Austen Diamond




Dealing with Resort Crises: Be straight, get help

“By the time I got there" 10 or 15 minutes after the incident, recalled Sugarloaf general manager John Diller, “we were already on CNN.” Diller was recounting the Christmas vacation derailment of Sugarloaf’s Spillway East lift, which dropped five chairs to the snow and injured more


Gear trends: 2015/16 Backcountry skis

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 20 – 24. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update more