[Sponsored by Ikon Pass]
Serious skiers and riders know the feeling—dropping down into a bottomless supply of pillow-soft powder. Floating over a dreamy field of white for as far as the eye can see. First tracks on deep freshies is a euphoric experience and one that causes powder hounds to crave their next fix.
While great snow can happen anywhere, some destinations and regions are powder town legends, due to their higher elevations, vast snowpack, lake-effect snowfall, or other location-based conditions. Whichever your regional snow preference, the multi-mountain Ikon Pass has you covered with access to the planet’s best destinations—giving you the flexibility to chase the best powder and make the most of your winter adventures.
Get ready to shred private powder stashes, bold backcountry, and untouched terrain during an off-the-grid journey with CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures. With three million acres of skiable terrain worldwide, CMH has hundreds of thousands of acres that are dedicated to an exclusive group of people, so sharing the slopes is a non-issue. When you book a heli-ski trip with CHM, you’ll be dropped on a pristine mountaintop, free to bag big lines from alpine to valley and back up again.
Solitude Mountain Resort
Utah’s Big Cottonwood Canyon gets some of the planet’s coldest, driest, deepest powder—and is home to Solitude Mountain Resort. Head to Solitude for some of the best in-bounds off-piste powder anywhere, including more than 500 inches of annual snowfall on uncrowded terrain. A short, steep hike to the 10,400-foot Fantasy Ridge summit delivers you to Black Bess and Honeycomb Chutes, where you can ski deep pow run after run, day after day—even after the storm has passed.
Snowbird and Alta
Just over a mile separates two of Utah’s best—Snowbird and Alta—both home to “The Greatest Snow on Earth®, aka, the heaps of light, fluffy pow that stem from the climate and conditions surrounding the Great Salt Lake. While Snowbird is known for its “steep and deep” terrain and 500-plus-inch annual average snowfall, Alta is known plain and simply for its endless mountains of powder, including a 30-year, 545-inch average. At Snowbird, there’s no better place for powder laps than Mineral Basin and Mach Schnell. For low-angle powder skiing, check out the Ballroom at Alta.
Known for its massive snowfall—including a record 800 inches at its 11,053-foot summit—and legendary snowpack, Mammoth Mountain hosts one of the country’s longest seasons, often lasting into July and August. This Golden State gem in the Sierra Nevada range is California’s highest resort and has the powder to prove it. If it’s snowing, hike to the Hemlocks on the backside of the mountain for in-bounds powder pillows, enhanced natural terrain, and maximum airtime. And don’t miss the steep-and-deep laps you’ll get off Chair 22, Wipe Out, and Drop Out Chutes.
Find yourself in northwestern Colorado for legendary skiing and riding on the first trademarked snow in America—Steamboat’s famous Champagne Powder®. This unique brand of pow that covers all 2,965 acres at Steamboat averages six percent water content, compared to the 15 percent water content typical at other destinations, and was coined in the 1950s by a local rancher who said the snow “tickled his nose like champagne.” Powder day? Be sure to jump on some of Steamboat’s snowiest runs, such as Ted’s Ridge, Buddy’s Run, and the hike-to terrain at the top of Mt. Werner.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort
British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies is home to Revelstoke Mountain Resort—the most massive destination along Canada’s legendary “Powder Highway.” Revelstoke’s snow-blessed terrain includes North America’s longest vertical drop, plus amazing heli, cat, and backcountry skiing. If it’s dumping, make sure to hit the Stoke Chair for access to Revelstoke’s world-renowned powder glades. And keep an eye on their webcam to watch freshies fall on Gnorm the Powder Gnome. If the snow report looks promising, sign up for Revelstoke’s First Tracks program the night prior for prime access to perfect powder. And bring your fat skis—it’s gonna be deep.
With an average 480 inches of snow annually, Washington’s largest ski area, Crystal Mountain, doesn’t disappoint when it comes to knee-deep powder and world-class terrain. When it starts dumping, head first to The Doors on the front side of the mountain under the Rainier Express chairlift for some steep and deep turns through wide-open trees. And keep a close eye on the Crystal Mountain Twitter account for white room updates—you’ll be the first to know when the gates open in Southback and Northway. To access Southback’s technical terrain and deep powder, be sure to take the high-speed two-seater, Chair 6, known locally as Crystal’s most legendary lift.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Mountain Resort never comes up short in the powder department. In fact, its light, bone-dry Cowboy Powder—all 459 inches of it, annually—is one reason people lose their minds over this legendary destination. Tackle the south side’s Thunder and Sublette, on days where it’s dumping, but don’t forget to make some tracks off the new Teton Lift, as well. Opened in 2015, the Teton Lift gives skiers and riders access to previous hike-to terrain.
Imagine lake-effect snow but on an oceanic level—that’s what happens at Niseko United when seasonal winds pick up moisture over the Sea of Japan’s warm currents to form some of the planet’s most plentiful, driest, and lightest powder. Take the trip of a lifetime to the island of Hokkaido to experience Japan’s premier pow, where skiers and snowboarders consistently get to experience the deepest days of their lives. With perfect powder tree runs, such as the famous off-piste Strawberry Fields run at Hanazono, there’s plenty of terrains to satisfy all your powder cravings. JaPOW!