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Location, Location, Location: Best Bets For Powder In SnoCountry
Throughout SnoCountry, certain mountains always seem to get more of the white stuff than others – meaning a better chance at a powder day.
SnoCountry took a look around the country and came up with a half-dozen mountains that perennially attract the most snowfall.
California's Sugar Bowl sits atop Donner Pass (7,056 feet), one of the snowiest spots in the lower 48. Moisture-laden storms roll off the Pacific and collide with the Sierra Nevada. A 500- inch season is normal; twice since opening in 1939, Sugar Bowl got 800-plus inches.
Hard to miss Mt. Bachelor for a northern Pacific storm. Just four hours from the coast, the 9,065-foot stratovolcano is the Northwest's highest ski and snowboard mountain – and it sits on the eastern slope of the Cascades. Thus, the powder is usually lighter than others. Luckily, with a 360-degree trail map, skiers and riders can move around to avoid infamous winds.
All of the Wasatch Front mountains catch the powder, but Alta remains the king. Storms pick up salt from the Great Salt Lake to produce infamous light Utah powder. Alta sits at the head of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and storms like to stall in there – and dump major-ly. More than 800 inches fell in 1982-83, and week-long snowfall reigns.
You ask “where's the powder” in Colorado, and the answer must be Wolf Creek. The southernmost ski area on the Continental Divide, “Wolfie” summit is nearly 12,000 feet and the ridge gets first shot at storms roiling in over the San Juans. A 500-inch season is de rigeur; anything less disappoints.
In a remote spot in northernmost Midwest, Mount Bohemia stands tall on a lonely peninsula into Lake Superior. Hence, the “lake effect” holds sway, the mountain eschews snowmaking because it gets 250-300 inches a year.
Three weather patterns repeatedly converge on northern Vermont's Jay Peak to create the renowned “Jay Cloud.” Dumps of light powder re-occur, and the resort typically leads New England in 400-plus inch seasons.