Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Farming Superior

It's getting closer to Christmas and today I treated myself to the North side of Superior (a wise gift indeed). Now most of superior has been farmed to the bone or rock for those who don't enjoy the metaphor but with exceptional equipment and a little enthusiasm some untracked pow was still left to well...farm I guess. The approach however was heinous basically packed powder to ice in the backcountry nonetheless. 

Cardiac bowl I'd call this factory farming (an unfortunate happenstance in the Wasatch lately).

Why get to the ridge?
To see what's on the other side. Oh yeah and then side cut  30 vertical feet down to the actual skiable snow.

The North Side of Superior (more factory farmed land).

And of course no story would be complete without the picture of where we just were (dead center of the photo).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Another Wasatch Weekend

Well you know the snowpack is just HUGE when your partners aren't even remembering their beacons anymore. We (Me, A OK, and Jack) had figured the North Side of Superior would be a reasonable tour in such a shallow snow pack. We figured wrong an accident on the road had turned us around and to add insult to injury we couldn't even rubberneck we were turned around too far in advance. Unopened terrain at Brighton was are only real other option, as it turned out they didn't miraculously inherit all the snow in the world on their terrain in fact it was quite the opposite. After rocks, blood, downed trees, dirt and a broken ski we had decided enough was enough. 

A OK skiing on his (rockered ski?)

Don't let the turns fool you there were plenty of sharks lurking.

So with all these mishaps you'd figure we'd just cash our chips and call it. Nope we were back at it on Sunday same story, different title I'll let the pictures do the talking.

 Starting the day off just right (this is the trailhed?!)

 Snow and dirt. 
It looks like July out here
NO! it doesn't there'd be more snow in July.

Try downclimbing this (yes it steeper and more dangerous than it looks)

 And of course it was all worth it. Days still might as well be lift accessible with that many tracks in it.

I'd do it all over again

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wasatch 120 and then some

Saturday was race day (The Wasatch 120, 120 minutes as many laps as you can do; ski up, skins off, ski down, skins on, repeat) with the amount of talent and anti gravity there, it wasn't really a race for me (I think some of these guys sleep with Dynafit sheets). More or less my motto was don't get lapped more than 5 times. Chesy though took home first prize in the Woman's division (being the only woman there) and I of course brought home the heavy metal prize. All and all I great outing with lots of great people.

Chesy taking 1st (ripped this from Andy)

With the amount of awesome snow on the ground (a mixture of sugar, sun crust, and muck) on Sunday I went to Twin Lakes Pass.

Naturally picking up a few rock along the way.

The skin track out or in.

An increasingly rockier Wasatch.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Drought Continues

The title says it all...luckily there is still good powder in a number of places and with the 3 inches that fell over the weekend it might as well be the best of conditions thus far. It's a sad state though when you have to exit via the hiking trail.

So I went to Cardiff in search of the goods.

Still chuting....maybe picked up 2 turns in this little guy.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Snowvember, snowmageddon, and giving thanks to The Snow are all things...I didn't hear this Thanksgiving mainly because of some fantastic weather phenomena. I didn't even go skiing, most of the weekend was spent well see Figure 1.

Fortunately Salt Lake has another wide array of opportunities as equally calorie burning as skiing. So what do you do when you can't climb a mountain and ski down it. The next best thing run up and then well run down it (insert sad face) something that usually doesn't cross my mind until mid July. Luckily there was still enough snow (or ice) to kill yourself on or at least slip, fall, and get scrapes all over your hands and knees.

A very tired happy dog

Olympus and some city inversion (fancy word for pollution).

Sadness equivalent to the color brown.

Stats for Grandeur:
Vertical up: 3100 ft.
Time: 52 min.
Distance: 2 miles
Times I fell: 5

Monday, November 21, 2011

White Pine/Red Pine

This weekend yielded:
Two moose
Fresh tracks
Fresh skinning (not as good as fresh tracks)
16.5 miles traveled
12K of vertical
A significant consumption of Slim Jims

Birthday chutes on Saturday

A still rocky Wasatch

Unknown couloir in Red Pine (dead center in the photo)

Early season "Pillows" (close enough)

Red Pine Lake crossable?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lessons Learned in November

The early season has already seen one fatality (a pro nonetheless RIP Jamie Pierre). The inherent risks of skiing in the backcountry is always on everyone's mind; friends, family, and fellow skiers. But unfortunately as with most any other activity there's always a risk/reward assessment. Am I going to get seriously injured/is this going to be the sickest run ever. With that in mind be safe out there:

1. Always, always wear your beacon
2. Be aware of your surrounding (where are the cliffs, trees, and rocks that you'd hit if you kicked something up)
3. It's ok to go to Butler Fork some of the best days I've ever had were spent in those Aspens

After several runs on Sunday we witnessed some serious cracking (not limited too what's shown in red but that's about all the camera picked up). 

So before we did anything else I roped up and stomped on this thing like a rabid donkey (forgive the poor analogy) and to our avail nothing propagated so we skied the hell outta that slope. 

Be safe out there newcomers and veterans alike.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Real Day 1

Well since the last outing I think more snow has melted than fallen and judging by the base of my skis I think I could find some truth in this statement. Nonetheless, it seems as though winter is finally setting in with more storms on the way. 

After a trip up to Baldy on Saturday we came to the realization that it was either get lucky or get core shots. Going to Snowbird on Sunday was pushing it (luck that is).

Laziness at its best. Why skin when you can just boot? (Oh that's right cause it's way harder)

Snowguns on full throttle made the conditions a little safer (for skis at least) the changes from hardpack to powder back to punchcrust (not so much for my knees).

Monday, October 31, 2011


Someone once said a picture is worth a 1000 words but in some cases just 1 will do; Snow. Well unfortunately,  this week this one leads to frustration. If history has taught us something it's 9-13 can turn to 2-4 in a bathroom break and best laid plans can turn to a weekend of football instead of turns. As winter has its way with me this week 4-8 turned to 1-3. Here's to praying.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Snowbird Run

Since the snow line is receding instead of advancing (like it should be) it was decided that we try to get some "longer runs" in throughout the famine. Thus, a run up to Snowbird was on the menu for Saturday unfortunately, so was a Friday night of drinking, as well a a 6 a.m. start to a full day of work (before play of course). Nonetheless we got started at about 3:30 that afternoon.

Jack putting it down right in front of Tanner's

"Hmmm...it looks a lot more appealing when snow is on this slope"

Pure determination (might as well be an ad for Nike)

I thought you said beer and wings were at the top.

Distance: 6.1 miles
Time: 1 hr. 7 min.

Elevation gain: 2415 ft.

Friday, October 7, 2011

And So It Begins...

Rocks, Trees, Scrapes and Turns all rolled into one day. Went up to Baldy Shoulder, luckily with just the right amount of snow you don't know if its a boulder field or just some small brush (wishful thinking at least).

"All we need is like 156 more powder days and the base will be perfect"

Superior pre-sunrise, probably wouldn't do that without a parachute.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Turning the Page

I guess as every chapter ends another one begins. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. As kids we’d spend so long waiting for the clock to strike midnight on what would be Dec. 25th and we’d spend so long dreading when it’d hit 12 the following night. For me Christmas came on October 27th a storm that was conveniently placed 2 days after my 2nd year seminar. A day I spent learning how to tour at pre season Snowbird (see below).
Notice the white stuff on the trees (hint that's a good sign that you'll find powder).

And now I believe the clock has struck midnight on Sunday July 17. But before it did I decided to head back to where my season began except this time we skied Alta. After about 15 min. of this strange form of locomotion called walking I had crampons on and we were climbing (skins are just too much work this time of year). From the ridge of Mount Baldy the landscape was well needless to say “different”.

So of course the only way to ski properly in July is: 1. Make sure you go through at least one patch of grass and 2. Make sure you're doing it shirtless.

The line we chose to ski down. The most pronouced tracks are ours.

 Jack looking fine with shorts, wool socks, and no shirt.
Me, cause nothing says douchebag like skiing with a shirt off and then flexing for the picture.

So as this season ends I'd like to thank all those that have skied with me especially Chesy who has put up with me "guilting her" into skiing some scary stuff, some icy stuff, and some pure fluff. So until next season you can find me trail running up the paths of Cardiff pass, Mill b, Butler Fork, and so many more.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Going Strong into July

With the recent retreats in the snow line I've figured it's time to get my hands dirty with longer approaches and more technical lines. So this Saturday we decided to head to Thunder Bowl from the Bell's Canyon trailhead. Unknowingly of course, we figured it would take no more than 7 hours. And 9 hours later we were returning to our car without even reaching anywhere near the actual bowl. However, some good skiing resulted anyway. As well as a barrage of questions on the trail of whether or not you could "ski up there" apparently the local hiking population lacks the ability to discern the difference between 3 inches of snow and 13 feet, it's more the latter then the former (maybe they're just not as obsessed as my peers).

Jack and Tim hiking up the chute we opted to ski.
Yours truly charging along at this point I didn't know if I was going up or down. Nice job bringing one little thing of water.
The route we chose to ski: notice the peak we tried to get too was just the start of the ridge (name unknown). Thunder bowl is just barely visible in the background.

So the following day I decided to take a break and head to Tanner's. Coming up on my third year here this was my first attempt at Tanner's. Which the initial stream proved to be quite a challenge so after taming that beast and almost falling in at least 4 times I made it to the snow field only to find it was cracked in half and the stream need be crossed once more. Finally after my boots and pants were soaked my crampons were on and I was climbing.
After about an hour I'd managed 2/3 of the beast and slowly and surely a cold beer and a nice pool were calling my name so I decided to descend.
The bottom of the chute.
Don't fall in or you'll end up in Mordor.
A few scratches and a shoulder sunburn later I was at the pool enjoying summer