Needless to say it did not suck to get up early and hike for Utah cold smoke. What likely sucked was if you were one of the many lemmings standing in line at the Collins lift of Alta Ski Resort at 9:15 am while I punched a virgin solo line down Toledo Bowl across the street.

As we pulled up to Alta and parked next to the Alta Lodge at 5:45 this morning, it was apparent that it would be a full on assault. There were 6-7 other cars there with guys busily donning gear for the assault. Most of which were Black Diamond employees who are known in these parts to posses an intensity for the skin track and a hunger for untracked powder before the sun comes up.
Sunrise on Superior – One of the finest peaks in the Wasatch
Sunrise on Mount Superior, Little Cottonwood Canyon
Getting ready for the first lap
Sunrise on Flagstaff, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Got this huck – another Black Diamond fellow

I was ready to drop in so Andy stopped midway up the skin track and snapped some pics as I got immersed in Utah’s finest dry reserve. OH THE LOVE! [One of the photos he took would make it into Backcountry Magazine as the content page] After I hit the meadow I was in a hurry to skin back up and drop back to the car so I could make it to work in good time.

When I got to the top of the skin Andy was waiting there while Matt was below on his way up from round 2. As we looked across Toledo Bowl to the west, the untracked bowl was calling my name. Andy asked where I was headed and I said I was thinking of just dropping Flagstaff back to my car but that Toledo looked ripe. That’s all it took. He responded, “Go ski that line and I’ll take pics from here.”

It took me 20 minutes to skin up, across down to the saddle and then back up to Toledo Peak. I looked down at all the folks in line at Collins thinking what Toledo and my soon to be solo line would look like from thier vantage. I suppose a bit of pride creaped in as I gloated to myself the untracked love I was about to devour. After getting things ready and a wave of the pole across the bowl I dropped into knee to mid thigh blower while Andy snapped away.

Do you see the lemmings?

My solo line in Toledo Bowl

I didn’t stop until I was just shy of the car. My quads screaming, the stoke meter amped! I watched for a moment at the many people just starting up the skin track. As I pointed for the final turns to the car, a guy skinning up said to me, “You goin’ down already?” Already? I guess he thought I had only spun one lap. “Gotta get to work” I tossed over my shoulder as I headed down. But my work was done and the assault was complete.

About Author

Kendall has long been known for his passion of the outdoors. In the past 10 years his love for skiing, particularly backcountry skiing, has defined his pursuits. He's also been active in trail running, mountain climbing, rock climbing, ski mountaineering, cycling and has recently taken up backcountry bow hunting. Aside from writing reviews on he also reviews products on and is co-founder of

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