To think we ever worried. But even in Little Cottonwood Canyon, there's no such thing as a sure bet for powder. Still, we couldn't think of a better location than Snowbird, Utah, for our inaugural powder-ski test—partly for ease of access, partly for lift infrastructure, but mostly for reliable snow. Our luck defied belief. In the midst of a record season (632 inches...as of June 29), Canyon dwellers had been choking on sustained snowfall for a week when we arrived. The storm broke, and for our two days of testing on the Gad Zoom we had everything a powder test needs: spectacular terrain, deep snow, a high-speed lift and state-of-the-art sandwiches from General Gritts. Oh yeah, and capable testers. In Utah, one needn't look far for rippers wise to the ways of fat skis. As everyone knows, you can't swing a ski pole on the Cirque Traverse without hitting two or three world-class powderhounds. Below are brief bios of the folks we entrusted with testing your new fatties. Just click on the slideshow to check 'em out. You couldn't ask for a more reliable bunch.
Dates: Feb. 17—18, 2005
Location: Snowbird, Utah
Conditions: Powder, glorious powder!
Categories: Freeride XL, Freeride XXL
Rating Scale: 1-5
Snowbird Resort, The Cliff Lodge, Mountain Hardwear apparel, Smith eyewear