ALTA, WYO – I had the pleasure of spending the past three days enrolled in the Knowledge is Powder Camp at Grand Targhee Resort and wanted to share some of my experiences. When a ski resort boost 500″ of annual snowfall one would think this would be the perfect place to throw an introduction to riding off-trail camp. Grand Targhee’s Knowledge is Powder Camp lived up to its name thanks to great instructors and abundant snowfall that had each and every one of the campers improving their powder riding skills by the end of the weekend, myself included.
Knowledge is Powder Camp Review
Our weekend “at camp” started off with a light breakfast, strong coffee and a much needed morning practice of light yoga and stretching. Now I love to stretch however yoga and I don’t really get along. This, however, was refreshingly different as it was not assumed we knew how to get into upward cowpose? Instead, everyone stretched at our own pace as our great local instructor/snowcat guide helped us get into the poses with proper form and zero guilt. After we warmed up it was time to hit the mountain.
Who’s the “Knowledge Is Powder” Off Trail Camp For?
Campers from all ages and locals around the globe took part in the third Knowledge is Powder camp of the season. I use the word camp loosely and more tongue in cheek as this was a group of adults (and one teen) looking to rip powder for 3 days straight while improving upon their confidence skiing and riding off groomed runs. Midway through the first day I couldn’t help but think a program like this would be a great first step for someone looking to get into the backcountry. As the majority of Grand Targhee reminds me of a mellow “backcountry light” zone. This place is a freeriders dream with natural terrain in every direction. It’s no wonder our group improved immensely day after day. Especially during La Nina Winters.
By the second day we had managed to chew up a good portion of the fresh snow and since it hadn’t snowed in a few days it would be easy to assume we would be riding in crappy conditions.. You might be thinking, why on earth would anyone book a powder camp without any guarantee of fresh snow? Well, it’s easy, it always snows here but shhh don’t tell too many people. And even if it hasn’t snowed in a few days there is plenty of fresh snow to be found especially when Targhee’s Ski and Snowboard School Director Mark Hanson, who’s spent 24 years at the resort leads the hungry powder hounds to the feast. Along with Mark, we had a very talented professional snowboard instructor named Paul from Montana that was able to make a ton of progress with Darren and his son Cooper that were visiting all the way from Australia. I watched these guys go from riding off-trail somewhat timidly to completely opening it up on the last day of the camp and the snowboarders weren’t the only ones.
Check out the video below which starts at Day 1 and ends with a bang. Be sure to watch the entire video it gets progressively better…
As you can see the mountain, the snow gods and everything came into place perfectly at Grand Targhee this past weekend. One thing that’s different about Targhee and has me coming back over and over again is the lack of crowds, a lack of attitude and I have yet to see a lift line, even on opening days or weekends when it dumps. And speaking of dumps, it snows here, a lot.
Our crew consisted of a couple of skiers from the midwest, a local Idaho Falls skier, father and son snowboarders from Australia, myself and the incredible instructing team. By the end of three days riding in the camp, it felt like I was hanging with old friends and hopefully, these people will continue to be in my life moving forward.
There is a certain magic about Grand Targhee Resort, this is where families come to ski and ride. This is where the working class plays as well as destination skiers “in the know” and this is where some of the deepest powder riding continues to go down in the lower 48’s year after year. Do yourself a favor and book the ski and snowboard trip of your lifetime.
Last but not least huge thanks go out to the Grand Targhee marketing department and entire staff working at the resort from the cooks to the baristas, ticket sellers, everyone has welcomed me in like family and we will happily do the same for you and yours. Come see what real skiing is all about! And in the summer, the Targhee Music Fest is a must not miss weekend event of live music.
One thing we recommend when coming to the Ghee, is a powder board. Our picks for the best powder boards can be found here.