Category Archives: Outdoor News

Powdr Corp Keeping Park City Presence: Woodward Park City Becomes USSA Training Center

woodward park city aerial view

Woodward Park City just became one of the official training centers of the US Ski and Snowboard Team. Along with Woodward Copper, Colo., Woodward Park City, Utah, will usher our US freeride athletes into the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milano, Cortina, Italy.

Jumping at Woodward Park City

Located north of big daddy Park City Mountain. Woodward takes park and pipe seriously… unlike Vail Resorts which chose to massage Park City Mountain into a safe family experience, eliminating night skiing, mountain bike parks and dialing down park and pipe activities.  Woodward stepped up to fill the void in 2019.

When Vail Resorts scooped up Park City Mountain in 2014, the former owner, Powdr Corp., didn’t take its ball and go home. Nope, they focused their efforts on one of their other properties down the road- Gorgoza Tubing Park. They plotted, developed and waited. Four years after losing PCM, Powdr got the green light from Summit County to build a Woodward Camp at the tubing hill.

Woodward opened in 2019 and it didn’t take long for the freeride world to recognize this gem. With endorsements from national sports celebrities like Shaun White, Tony Hawk, Travis Pastrana and Joss Christensen it was only a matter of moments before focus shifted from Park City Mountain to this little-known Interstate-80 sidehill.

woodward terrain map

Just stroll around and see what Powdr Corp has been up to since exiting PCM. In addition to indoor foam pits and trampolines for ski jump and BMX training, there are three types of outdoor terrain venues. There’s the Learning Zone that hosts a “smart park” with rollers, drop-in ramps, small gully “mini-pipes” and a magic carpet all built on a low grade for beginners and three “progressive” parks that build up from small to medium snow and jib features.

In the Experiential Zone, beginner to expert terrain park users can practice berms, rollers, hits, jumps, rails, wall rides and, when ready, move onto the Performance Zone. This area is designed to enable competition-level athletes to hone their skills, tricks and air off of training features like a 22-foot halfpipe and big air jump.

Big Air Jump at Woodward Park City

In fact, Woodward’s halfpipe is one of the few in the world that is dug into the earth as opposed to being constructed out of surface snow.

Woodward Park CIty Halfpipe
Shaun White In Woodward Park City HalfPipe

“It’s been amazing to see Woodward embrace progression and training areas indoors and on-mountain at both Copper and Woodward Park City,” said five-time Olympian and professional snowboarder Shaun White during the 2022 Olympic Media Summit. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the pipes at both places the past two seasons getting ready for the Olympics.” He called Woodward a “consistent and reliable place for high-performance shredding.”

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboard Director Jeremy Forster announced in his press release, “We’re thrilled to partner with Woodward to elevate our freeski and snowboard athletes’ training. Woodward’s facilities at Copper Mountain and in Park City will provide key year-round training for our Pro and Rookie Team athletes for years to come.”

Child Learning to Ride At Woodward Park City

Just so you know, Woodward is also a great place to learn to ski and ride. If you already have gear, you can take a two-hour group lesson for just $139 or an all-day group lesson for $279.  The area also offers one of the cheapest intro packages along the Wasatch Front. With the “Take 3 Ride Free” package, beginner skiers and snowboarders get three, two-hour lessons, lift tickets, rentals and a one-month Mountain Park Pass (after completing the three lessons) all for $349.

Alta and Snowbird’s New Avalanche Towers

avalanche tower

Let’s see- we had super early snowfall in October that amped everybody up for the ski season. That was the fluffer. But then, just like the partner who gets a headache, the winter potential rolled over and took a snooze until mid December (now). Guess what all this adds up to? A sketchy avalanche situation for the rest of ski season. There have been 30+ skier-triggered avis in the Salt Lake area since October 14 according to The Utah Avalanche Center.

But luckily at inbound resorts, this isn’t something the average rider needs to worry about. First, it takes highly skilled, highly caffeinated ski patrol to get out on the hill before daylight to assess conditions, evaluate the dangers and start mitigating them. Then those patrol throw explosives into potentially unsafe areas to see if they can get the snow to “release”; better to do it before you open the area of skiing, when no humans could be swept away and buried. Once, things settle, they will ski cut the terrain to make sure it’s safe for the public.

This cut wasn’t made by a patroller but you get the idea-

As you can imagine, ski patrollers are first in line if something goes wrong so any sort of device that can create distance between them and a slide is a game changer. This year, Alta and Snowbird ski resorts installed 13 new avalanche towers.

The towers made by Wyssen Avalanche Control, use a remote control to trigger a blast. “The deployment box contains 12 prepared explosive charges, which can be individually deployed by remote control. When the explosive charge is dropped, two igniters are pulled and the explosion is set off after a time delay. The charge remains hanging from a cord at a pre-set height above the snow cover, which is completely dropped after blasting. To reload explosive charges the complete deployment box is lifted from the mitigation tower by helicopter and brought to a station building or warehouse respectively.”

These avalanche towers may be new to The Bird and Alta but Alta, often considered to be the birthplace of North American avalanche research, was an early adopter of remote-controlled systems. The resort uses Remote Avalanche Control Systems (RACS) along with Avalaunchers, two-pound hand charges and an M101-A1 105 Howitzer to control avalanche-prone slopes around the ski area.

The next time you are scooting across the East Baldy Traverse, look up and check out the alien-spaceship-looking things above you. These O’Bellx’, use a mix of oxygen and hydrogen to create an explosion that generates controlled avalanches.

Alta Ski Areas Obellx Avalanche System
Courtesy Alta Ski Area

Pretty cool, huh? So that’s what’s going to keep you safer in Little Cottonwood Canyon this winter.

Free Sundance Film Festival Tickets For Locals

Sundance Film Festival Marquee
I just picked my Festival films! The program went live this week and the Sundance Film Festival tickets went on sale for Press and Industry today with everything being released to the general public on December 17.

Sundance Film Festival is back with in-person screenings, lectures and gatherings but for those still afraid of catching Covid in a movie theater, the Institute has instituted a variety of protocols that should make you feel safer. They range from mandatory vaccination card presentation and onsite PCR tests to online viewing of just about everything the Fest has to offer. Would you believe that you have to download an app and show it to people at the door to prove you’re infection free? If you attend a party, they will also force you to get another PCR test if you want back in on the public screenings!

And while there are some restrictions on movie choice if you are not in the USA, organizers have made the Festival more accessible than you could ever imagine- and that includes local opportunities.

Sundance Film Festival Locals

The Sundance Film Festival will once again offer locals-only opportunities for the 2022 Festival. The Festival takes place January 20–30, 2022, and as part of its new Local Lens program, they have planned a handful of free in-person and online screenings, ticket discounts, student screenings, and more.

This 2022 version features a lot less opportunities for the public to have a seat at the table- three less theaters, no Music Cafe and more. It’s to “protect the health safety of the community,” said Festival Director Tabitha Jackson.

Following are the Local Lens offerings with details on the specific film screenings. Locals can prepare for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival by registering online at and sign up for Insider emails here. Details for how to get tickets to the free screenings and how to take advantage of the discount offer will be on the locals page (and more on that below.)

In-Person Free Screenings
For residents in and around Summit and Salt Lake counties, the Festival will offer the following free screenings. Thursday, January 27: Two Summit County screenings at the Park City Library and Redstone theaters. One Salt Lake County screening at the Grand Theatre
Friday, January 28: One Salt Lake County screening at the Grand Theatre
Additionally, there will be two free Best of Fest screenings in Park City and Salt Lake City on Sunday, January 30, with each venue exhibiting an award-winning fiction and nonfiction feature from the 2022 Festival. Two films at the Eccles Theatre in Park City. Two films at the Grand Theatre in Salt Lake City.

Online Free Screenings
Utahns from across the state can participate in two free Sundance Film Festival feature film screenings from the comfort of their homes.
On Saturday, January 22, catch a film during the first weekend of the Festival on the online Festival platform.
On Saturday, January 29, locals can log back in for a Best of Fest award-winner film.

Free Screenings for Students
The Sundance Institute provides Utah high school students (and their families ;)) with the opportunity to watch three screenings of feature-length films and/or view a shorts program during the Sundance Film Festival, and then have a conversation with the artists who created it about the film’s themes, storytelling, and production. These free screenings engage students with emerging and leading independent filmmakers, introducing them to new perspectives.

The screenings for high school students will be available through the online platform exclusively, allowing young film lovers in grades 9–12 to participate from anywhere in Utah. Educators interested in having their classes attend an online screening should contact

Discounted Access to the Festival
For a limited time only, the Salt Lake City Package can be purchased at an early bird 20% discount ($100 savings) for $400 starting on December 17, 2021, through January 3, 2022, after which the package price will return to $500. Created for Utah residents, this package offers 10 in-person tickets to feature film screenings at all Salt Lake City venues, with early access to ticket selection, and includes all the benefits of our Explorer Pass.

Beginning Wednesday, January 26, the Festival will offer a 25% discount on single tickets – $15 ($5 savings)- for locals for in person screenings taking place on Wednesday, January 26, through to the end of the Festival. Utah residents can receive a $5 discount for up to four single tickets per person, based on availability. Utah residents who have created a Sundance account will receive the discount and tickets can be purchased online or in person at any box office location beginning January 26th at 8:00 a.m. MT.

Sundance Film Festival Venues
Festival venues for 2022 include both theater and non-theater locations. Non-theater venues will host conversations and events (including live music and panels) — an ideal spot for Utah artists to converge. The Sundance Film Festival’s online platform will expand the reach by increasing accessibility for audiences across Utah (and beyond).

Park City
All Park City theater venues will be operating for the duration of the Festival (January 20–30):
The Eccles Theatre, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, UT 84060
The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., Park City, UT 84060
Holiday Village Cinemas, 1776 Park Ave., Park City, UT 84060
The Library Center Theatre, 1225 Park Ave., Park City, UT 84060
Prospector Square Theatre, 2175 Sidewinder Dr., Park City, UT 84060
The Ray Theatre, 1768 Park Ave., Park City, UT 84060
Redstone Cinemas, 6030 Market St., Park City, UT 84098

Two Park City non-theater venues will be operating from Friday, January 21, to Tuesday, January 25. These venues are free and open to all Festival patrons:
The Filmmaker Lodge, Elks Building, 550 Main St. (2nd Floor), Park City, UT 84060
The Craft, 950 Iron Horse Drive, Park City, UT 84060

Salt Lake City:

All Salt Lake City venues will be in operation for the duration of the Festival as well:
The Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
 Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. Broadway (300 S.) Salt Lake City, UT 84101 
Broadway Centre Cinemas (2 screens), 111 E. Broadway (300 South) Salt Lake City, UT 84111
SLC Library Theatre, 210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 

Two Salt Lake City non-theater venues, hosted by Visit Salt Lake, will be open from Friday, January 21, to Saturday, January 29:
Festival Lounge at Copper Common, 111 E. Broadway #190, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
The Queer Lounge at Twist, 32 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Sundance Mountain Resort
Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room, 8841 N. Alpine Loop Road, Sundance, UT 84604


Kids and the Ski Utah Passport

I’m coming out this season! My best friend in Washington texted. It had been nearly 10 years since we had skied together as instructors at Deer Valley Resort. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take all the credit for this spontaneous announcement. She bought a Ski Utah Passport.


Since 1998, Ski Utah has been inviting 5th graders to its slopes for next-to-nothing and Jada was finally in 5th grade. Krista wanted to show her daughter what Utah skiing was all about and what better way than with FREE skiing? Well, practically free.


For $45* and the five minutes it takes to fill out the online form, Jada could ski three times at all 15 resorts including on weekends with her little SKi Utah Passport.* That’s basically $1/ticket. And for one week, we took advantage of every day starting with Deer Valley, moving to Solitude, Canyons, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Snowbasin.

Her mom, a high school teacher, does her best to groom her kids to be skiers but resources are finite. With the Ski Utah Passport, it was cheaper to make the drive to Utah, stay with me and ski, than go anywhere else. Plus, let’s be honest. Where else would she have this kind of fun in March? The snow was deep, the sun high and the après in full swing.  When they packed up the car for home, plans were already growing for the next year because Ski Utah also has a Sixth Grade Passport.

Sixth Graders Get In On The Ski Utah Passport Too

Whether you missed participating in the Fifth Grade Passport, Ski Utah invites Sixth Graders back to keep skiing on the cheap. This time around, however, they’ll get one day (instead of three) at 15 Utah resorts for $45*.

* (price increases December 1, 2021)

The kicker is that both Ski Utah Passports are available to any child in the world, throughout the ski season. Home schoolers can also register. Unfortunately there aren't a ton of perks offered for parents (ie Chauffeurs) this year but there are a few:

-Eagle Point: $4 discount on adult all-day rental packages -Brighton: One Day or Twilight $60.00 buddy pass to be used in conjunction with the Passport -Powder Mountain: 1 additional day for the passport holder

With the prices of everything involved with a ski vacation reaching maximum velocity, the Ski Utah Passport is a golden ring for ski families. I can’t tell you how often I hear that people quit skiing because it costs too much. But then I mention the Passport and their eyes light up. My kids can ski and I don’t have to forgo next month’s groceries? The Snowsports Industries of America actually report that more kids ski and keep skiing because of the Pass.


The Theory Behind The Ski Passport

The idea is simple. Winter is long, especially in Utah. One of the best ways to keep children engaged is to get them outside and moving. Studies show that kids between the ages of 10 and 12 begin to find their passion for skiing because they are ready for more complex sports. They have the motor skills and cognitive ability to explore movements and mountains.

In addition, children this age are also at a crossroads for mental and physical health. Do they sit inside playing video games and smartphone apps or do they embrace something healthier and active? Get them active now and they will be active as adults.

You Don’t Need To Live in Utah

Let’s say it again. If you are considering a winter trip and you have fifth and sixth graders in your midst, a Utah visit is a no brainer. The Fifth and Sixth Grade Ski Utah Passport pays for itself in a single day. You apply online, upload a current photo of the fifth or sixth grader and use your credit card to complete your transaction. You’ll get confirmation within 24-48 hours and can use it immediately after.

How You Know What You’ve Skied

This year’s Passport is completely digital from registration to tracking. See where you’ve gone and what resorts remain to be ridden through your online portal. Chances are you’ll have enough days left for a second vacation.

I’ll probably need to find another reason to get Krista and her family out to Utah now that Jada’s in high school but soon she’ll be in college and Krista can come by herself again.

This kind of makes me sad. You know how you look at your kids and wish they stayed little forever? College. Wow. Ski Utah gives you one more reason to wish they never grow up.

Find more information and to get your kid registered for the Ski Utah Fifth and Sixth Grade Passport go to

*Deer Valley, Solitude, Park City, Alta, Snowbird, Cherry Peak, Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, Sundance, Brighton, Nordic Valley, Eagle Mountain, Beaver, Brian Head, Woodward Park City

Blackout dates for the Ski Utah Passport exist for some holidays and weekends during the 2020/21 season due to Covid restrictions. But you can still use the pass during spring break!

kids gear on sale

Ski Scholarships For Women of Color

women of color stand together at the top of a ski mountain

It’s no surprise that skiers and riders are predominantly white. Your surmise is as good as mine; but regardless, there are people and organizations out there trying to change things up.


Rossignol kicks off the 2021/2022 winter season with the continued support of Women of Winter (WoW). In 20/21, WoW partnered with PSIA-AASI to expand their instructor program which is focused on encouraging participation amongst black and Indigenous women of color (BIWOC). For 2021/22, WoW and PSIA-AASI will provide 30 (up from 6 scholarships in 20/21) scholarships for women of color to receive PSIA-AASI Level 1 certifications.

A grassroots organization that provides women with scholarships for PSIA-AASI Level 1 certifications, avalanche
education, and more, Women of Winter aims to become the change they want to see by creating a community of
visible role models, building community, providing education and eliminating barriers to entry. Women of Winter’s
mission is to inspire and empower women and girls to get outside, to be courageous, and to boldly embrace and
pursue their dreams by carving their own paths in the mountains and in life.

“Rossignol is incredibly proud to stand alongside Women of Winter and PSIA-AASI to help foster greater diversity and
representation in snow sports,” said Nick Castagnoli, Brand Marketing Director, Rossignol Group North America. “As
we all work to create a sustainable future for our industry, one of the most crucial things we can do is to work to
create an environment where all feel welcome. Supporting and uplifting underrepresented voices is a critical cause
that our Group is committed to addressing through meaningful and sustainable actions.”

For the 2021-22 season, Women of Winter and PSIA-AASI will host Level 1 certification events for BIWOC scholarship
recipients at the following dates and locations: Big Sky Resort, MT March 5-8; Hyland Hills Ski Area, MN February 1-4;
Windham Mountain, NY February 7-10; and Eldora Mountain, CO February 7-10.

The deadline to submit is Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. Scholarship recipients will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021.
For more information on applying, visit:


SheJumps’ mission is to support diversity, equity, and inclusion among women and girls in the outdoors. Their Snowpack Avalanche and Ikon scholarships address the inequity by generating opportunities for education, community-building, connection, and leadership development through skiing and backcountry avalanche certifications. 

In 2019, SheJumps and the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) launched the Snowpack Avalanche Scholarship Program in an effort to bring affordable avalanche education opportunities to women in the Pacific Northwest. They also started another scholarship specifically for women of color. The Snowpack Ikon Pass Scholarship Program will donate 15 Ikon passes to provide lift-accessed adventures to iconic ski destinations to Women of Color looking to get into the sports of snowboarding and skiing nationwide. 

In addition to the Ikon passes, scholarship recipients will receive a full-day ski or snowboard lesson voucher and one-day rental ski or snowboard gear (offered by Alterra Mountain Resorts), skis, bindings, and boots from Nordica, and boot warming product from Sidas and Thermic. The application is open to adults (18+) self-identified Women of Color with little to no skiing or snowboarding experience.

​The deadline to apply is Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 11:59PM PST. Applicants will be notified by email of scholarship standing by November 29, 2021.

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