With Park City Powder Cats and Heli Ski
By Leah Perri
My nerves began to loosen up as I sipped my hot cider, ate my bagel, and listened to a reassuring safety talk from our guides on how to approach the rugged yet tamable backcountry. My friend accompanying me on this venture shot a thrilled glance my way as we helped each other strap on our tracking beacons. We chatted with our fellow skiers and piled excitedly into the snow cat idling outside the cabin. The beastly, lushly appointed snow cat plowed through pristine and untouched wilderness. The vast terrain around us felt infinite as we arrived at our first run: No Name Bowl. Before me lay 1200 vertical feet, with pitches ranging from something out of a Warren Miller film to more mellow and meandering terrain. As our lead guide set our line, I gazed out behind me to see Wyoming deep on the horizon. In the other direction I could see the resort mountains in the distance, undoubtedly full of skiers waiting in line for a powder experience that only the early birds get to enjoy. The tail guide told us we were free to ski our own lines; completely fresh and untouched. I didn’t have to wake up early and get first chair to just to get one run of fresh tracks? I could repeat this until my legs gave out? I was thrilled beyond words.
The day continued in much the same fashion. My fellow skiers turned into what felt like old friends as we ate lunch slope side amid the dreamy backdrop of the Uinta Mountains. I realized yet again that it was just the small group of us out on these miles and miles of untouched acreage, and I couldn’t help but feel like I would be seeing resorts in a much different way after my backcountry excursion. And I would be seeing a lot more of the Park City Powder Cats in the seasons to come.