HITTING THE OPEN ROAD, loaded to the gills with gear, plans to live in a truck camper for two months — my brother and I knew this was a road trip of epic proportions that we didn’t want to let pass by, so we pulled the trigger and headed north to Alaska, with hopes of extending our winter as spring approached at home in Sun Valley, Idaho.
After finally committing to the trip, Yancy and I spent a week packing all the winter camping gear we could think of. We carefully put together a quiver of split boards, pow surfers, approach skis, and high-powered snowmobiles to prepare for any terrain conditions. Feeling equipped to tackle the Powder Highway, we blazed into Canada and pointed it towards Revelstoke, BC and the Monashee Mountains.
Best spot on the slopes: Molly Green’s, Brighton
12601 E Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton, UT
Molly Green’s exists precisely for those days when you just can’t be bothered to pull your boots off before tucking into a gigantic heap of nachos.
Short of providing beer service on the chairlift, Brighton could not have made apres easier for you. Just ski, slide, tumble, or have your buddies drag you into the cozy cabin at the base of the hill for the best on-mountain place to sit for a beer, a nacho mountain, a handful of Gaz-Ex wings burning a hole into your hand, and a three-hour brag session about the backside 3 you seriously can’t believe nobody saw you spin.
Hint: Increase the difficulty level of the tricks you landed incrementally in accordance with the number of beers you drink. (I mean, it was really probably more like a backside 5, anyway.)
You’ll need a breath mint after: The Cotton Bottom Inn
2820 E 6200 S, Holladay, UT
Many an epic pow day has ended here. The Cotton Bottom is located just past the 215 on your way down from Brighton or Solitude.
Finishing your day here is akin to finishing your day in the basement bachelor pad of an old friend. Pile in through the kitchen (has anybody ever even seen the front door open?), grab some pitchers of one of the four beers on tap, and don’t bother messing with the menu. You want what everybody else is having, and your server already knows what it is — the garlic burger.
The name doesn’t lie. It’s garlicky heaven sandwiched between squishy rectangles of bread fused together with American cheese. Don’t ask for fries. You get a bag of chips and a beer with this burger.
Julian Carr, Wasatch backcountry
Ben Wheeler at Snowbird. View the rest of the photos.