Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Wasatch Backcountry Skiing

Christmas day of 2014 delivered a huge snow storm and it was followed by another dump of dry, fluffy wasatch powder 2 days later.  Both storms accounted for as much as 50" of snow.  That week was one of the best weeks of skiing I have ever experienced.  I skied at Alta twice and skied in the backcountry 3 times.

Wasatch Backcountry
Day 1: Summit Park - honestly, not the most efficient place to ski (or atleast the line we choose).  We skinned up to Summit Park Peak(?) in about an hour and a half and skied down in about 30 minutes. 5 minutes of that was skiing through knee deep, dry powder so no complaints.

Nice view to the south from atop Summit Park
Looking southeast from Summit Park 
John enjoying the untracked, dry snow in Summit Park 
Making some nice, easy turns on mild terrain in Summit Park backcountry
Day 2: Flagstaff Mountain, Little Cottonwood Canyon - we may not have done it in style, but we had a great time skiing Oingo Boingo, Upper Days, and Toledo Bowl on this fine day in the mountains. The ridge line was pretty windy, but just below the ridges it was calm and the snow was undisturbed and deep!
Luke coming down Oingo Boingo
Skinning back up Flagstaff
Day 3: Decided to get a little creative as a lot of the easily accessible backcountry was getting skied out.  A crew of amateur backcountry skiers made our way up White Pine Fork in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  With a tentative plan in mind, we followed the skin track up the canyon which pretty much forced us on the eastern side of the canyon (where much of the snow was wind-affected and not ideal). We yielded to the terrain and skied part of Columbine Bowl and West Scotties.  A lot of work for a couple turns, but it was fun to get out - as always.
Billie, Dani, and Luke coming up White Pine
Getting windy and cold up on West Scotties in White Pine Canyon
Climbing up Columbine Bowl