Powder is what every skier and boarder lives for, but only the best really know how to take advantage of it. There's no better place to learn how to float on the fluffy stuff – champagne, in the connoisseur's parlance – than Alta and Snowbird, which gets more dry snow than any other resort in the Lower 48.

At the Alf Engen Ski School, named for the man who invented powder skiing, they've perfected powder-technique instruction. "Once you learn," says Brad Asmus, author of 'The Powder Hound's Guide to Skiing Alta,' "the very steepest pitches will be open to you." After getting the basics, head to the High Traverse trail (Alta is skiers-only; boarders should hit the similar Cirque on the Snowbird side): It goes from chute to chute, each one steeper than the last. The first, and easiest, is Upper Sunspot, followed by Annie's, Jake's, Santa Clause, and Jitterbug. When you can float down the hardest, Stone Crusher, you know you can ski powder anywhere.

More information: Half-day private lesson, $285;