Chasing Powder

By Wolfe Ashcraft

Table of Contents

3 Secret Powder Pockets at Tamarack

Tired of getting up to Tamarack and having all of the good snow already tracked up after a winter storm? I thought I would share some of the spots I have learned to go to find that perfect uncut powder.
The first one only requires you to ride up the Tamarack Express. Now this section I’m about to tell you about should be skied or boarded after Tamarack has received over 50” of snow otherwise you will be stuck in all sorts of bushes. It also is very tight tree skiing so this requires you to have very quick reflexes and ability to turn on a dime. After you get off at mid-mountain head down Waltz past Salsa. Any place after Salsa and between the big sweeping curve of Waltz drop down into a powder wonderland. Ski down through the trees until you hit Waltz again. Make sure to not go past Waltz because that will take you all the way down the West Mountain Road.
The next two places require a bit more work, but with more work less people seem to go in these places. Both of these places also require you to take the Summit Express to the top. For these places you must be an expert rider and carry the right equipment, being a transponder and shovel. Remember to always tell someone where you are going. If you are going someplace new to you don’t go alone, go with someone who has been there. Never ski out of bounds alone!
After getting off the lift head left out on the ridge towards Lone Tree Summit. Don’t go all the way to Lone Tree summit though. After a gradual downgrade, this is where you are going to have to put a little effort in, hike up to the top of the rise where the next ridge comes up. On Tamarack’s trail maps it’s called Summers’ Ridge. This ridge is key because you will be shredding down it, but make sure to never go too far right (if skiing down) of the ridge so you can make it back to Lower Bliss. This also has very thick trees so you must be an expert rider to go down. You will find that the 10 minute hike is well worth the time and effort put in.
The last one is my favourite spot and pains me to put it out to the public, but I want everyone to share some of the best snow Tamarack has to offer. Once at the summit head left a tad and wrap around the peak and head north down the ridge. Stay on the ridge until you hit the north boundary. There are two ways from here you can go. First, you can follow the boundary line down Hip Hop, but make sure to stop once you hit the cat track. From there you will need to hike up left to the top of the old lift. On your trail map, it says future lift. The other way is to head to the Wildwood, ride down till it levels off a bit and stay right (if skiing downhill) close to the ridge. You will go across a gully and just stay in the same trail the people have made. Make sure to stay high on all of the little trails to come out on the ridge. Ride down the ridge and you will come out at the top of the old lift. Now that both trails are in the same spot head down “Hoo Yah!” (or what used to be La Bamba) and tear up the powder! When heading down La Bamba make sure that you don’t go past the cat track at the bottom. If you look at your trail map there is a purple dotted line marking where that is. Follow that cat trackback to the end of Enigma, and to where the big sweeping turn of Waltz is. I highly recommend (if going down this one) to go with someone who has done it plus, they usually know hidden spots within the secret spots for more powder and jumps to hit. This run usually will take you around 30 minutes to one hour.
Again, for all 3 of these spots make sure to tell someone where you are going. Have the proper equipment: beacon, prob, and a shovel if heading out of bounds. Ride in groups because not only is it safer, but it’s more fun. If you do head out of bounds you should take at least one avalanche/backcountry class. Never ride alone! Always be aware of your landmarkssurroundings, finding land marks to keep track of where you are at. These powder stashes are where they are at for a reason; they take some time and effort.
If you want to take a backcountry class Tamarack offers one, find more information about it here.