that's exactly what i wanted to do when i went there actually, but there wasn't enough snow on the milky way bowl. you could go down it if you wanted, but i didn't think it was gonna be worth the hike. the glades all over the place was what i liked, it was fun to go to the very top and just ride glades for longer than any of the trails are. elle's or ellie's or whatever it is, is a good trail tho.
also, the gondola is a painfully long ride, preferred going up gunbarrel express and powderbowl express. they have free parking at the california lodge, but not really at the gondola. at the gondola you have to park nearby and walk a couple hundred yards. gunbarrel and powderbowl lift lines are small usually, and if you do go up powderbowl to get to sky express, make sure you don't accidentally force yourself into going back down to the bottom of powderbowl.