After yesterday's fun outing at Sunlight, I drove an hour to Grand Junction's hometown hill, Powderhorn.
As you head west on I-70 from Glenwood Springs, the landscape quickly transforms into a high desert similar to southern Utah or New Mexico. Here are shots from the last 20 minutes of the drive to Powderhorn:
I stopped the car to admire this rock cirque -- way more impressive in person than the pic:
While Powderhorn's vertical drop of 1,650 feet isn't overwhelming on paper, it skied larger than that and there are many acres inside that map. In addition to all the rolling blue squares, there was a lot of challenging terrain/more than I'd expected, especially if you like trees. Two lifts serve the entire ski area; the one on the looker's left is a HSQ that was installed three years ago; the one on the right is a really slow double (the same speed as the Red chair at Magic):
The most unique part of the Powderhorn experience is that it's literally where the desert meets the mountain, on the edge of what's reportedly the world's largest flat-topped mountain, the Grand Mesa. Visually, it reminded me a lot of skiing at Pajarito near Los Alamos, NM. My pix don't convey the breathtaking vista but here's what I have:
It was a busy day there -- full parking lots and locals said it was at 100% capacity; however, as a single I skied onto virtually every chair and I'd often have to wait several minutes for someone to ski by me to use as a photo subject.
Looking toward the West End sector:
Aspens mixed with pines:
A dumping ground for boulders becomes a terrain park:
I ended the day with a Shock Top and watched the end of the Chiefs/Titans game:
Looks like a beautiful drive getting there, to say the least. And who could ask for better skier density numbers then that? Looks like they could double their lift capacity and still have empty trails.