Say, “Ski Utah” and everyone thinks “Wasatch powder” and Salt Lake City. Well “Wasatch” is right. “powder” is right, but it’s Ogden not SLC. As with most of the Rocky Mountain areas, the second thought regarding skiing is “sunshine”. Tongue-in-cheek, I say .”Out west, it snows all night and the sun shines all day. Well, almost everyday. On this occasion, it snowed all day without no sign of the sun.
As noted in earlier in this my Idaho odyssey, coming from Denver, I have to pass through WY and UT. So it’s an “on the way” stop at the three areas in the corner of UT. But wow, not only were my two visits were out of the ordinary – cloudy and overcast, and snowing continuously – but worst yet, Cherry Peak, one of the target areas – was closed for the season. I still can’t cross UT off as one of my completed states!
Beaver Mountain is one of four areas in northeast Utah, near Ogden or more precisely Logan, UT. Like most of the state’s resorts, Beaver Mountain has good skiing with all the amenities but without the crowds. It is one of the a smaller facilities, family owned and in operation since 1939.
The vertical drop is 1,600 feet, which produces a list of 48 named runs. A quarter of the mountain is rated “advanced and the remaining slopes are divided equally between intermediate and beginner grades. But remember the average beginner’s slope in the west is usually rated intermediate in the other regions of the country. It’s all relative. I found even the easiest green runs a pleasurable cruise.
Four fixed grip triple chairs move skiers up the mountain. “Harry’s dream stretches 4600 feet base to top and serves most of the main runs. Yup, you guessed it. Harry was the visionary founder who fulfilled his dream. And I enjoyed sharing that dream. “Hey Harry, can you hear me? It’s me, Gary. Just want to say, ‘Thanks’, Harry!”.
It was a scenic few mile, 20 minute drive up Logan Canyon to the mountain. I introduced myself to the ski school director who courteously introduced her mountain and instructional program to me. And yes, they treated me well. The base area is compact and appealing in appearance. A sizeable “preparation” area offers tables, seating and lockers for storage making it convenient for skiers to “make ready”.
The second floor was conducive of the a western the lodge. It is wood lined with ample glass windows and animal trophy heads mounted on the walls that support the cathedral. A cafeteria with plenty of tables and seating.
I met Debbie Tabroton, the Beaver ski school director who has planted her European roots and heritage here at the Mountain. Debbie introduced her area and bade me well with assurance of additional information and assistance, should I need any during my visit.
Not necessary. The day went very well. It was similar to the visits made along this route. The snow was ample but necessitated attention and effort, But it is more enjoyable than the crusty hard-pack or ice so frequently experienced back home. Lines? Heck no. None. Non- existent. And all the staff was pleasant and helpful. Just a real fine day of skiing.
Had they been open, Cherry Peak is just a short distance down the road, but no suck luck. I’ll have to return another year, but it will be worth the time and effort. I will re-visit all the areas in this northeast corner of Utah where its still the Wasatch but Powder without the crowds.
For now, it’s out of Utah and on to Idaho. Pomerelle is the closest, but due to seasonal cloing schedules, I will hightail it north to Brundage and then work my way back down.