They say that Utah has the best snow on Earth. It's a bold claim, but it may just be true.
A couple of months ago I moved to Utah. Having grown up in British Columbia, I thought I knew what great snowboarding was. I was wrong.
Although it's not as well-known as it's neighbour Colorado, some say that Utah has the best snowboarding in the United States. It is definitely some of the most convenient. There are ten great hills within an hour's drive of my house in Salt Lake City, several of which are regularly featured on best-hill lists and receive ridiculous amounts of fluffy dry powder each winter.
Appropriately, Utah has a prominent place in snowboarding history. The first snowboarding company, Winterstick, was founded here. I walked into a the Salty Peaks Boardshop the other day to find the walls all decked out with a beautiful collection of vintage old-school snowboards and snurfers, like the legendary Burton Backcountry. If there's one thing I've learned since I arrived, it's that Utahans are passionate about snowboarding.
They're also passionate about skiing. Utah is infamous among snowboarders because it's home to two of the the three remaining hills in the US that don't allow snowboarders on their slopes.
Last week I made my first turns of the season at Snowbird, which is right next door to one of those hills, Alta. It was fantastic. Not only was the snow good. It was also my first day on the of snowboarding in almost a year.
I was feeling pretty out of practice, and stopped just short of a few trees while bushwhacking. I even had to pull out my special emergency stop (which involves throwing myself onto the ground to avoid crashing into somebody or something else) a couple of times.
I'm going to be doing some traveling around this winter to visit all the hills in the western US that to date I've only seen in ski and snowboarding movies. I'm going to love visiting places like Jackson Hole and Squaw Valley, but I have a feeling that I'm going to look coming home to Utah every time.