Twelve-Thirty, as we like to call it, is a long, treeless, open run just outside The Canyons Ski Resort boundaries. Short hikes outside the access gates reward you with killer bowls, natural terrain features, chutes and drops. Two years as a ski instructor at The Canyons, I learned one thing-when there’s no lessons, we go OB (out of bounds).

OB at The Canyons opens a new world to an already sizeable and varied inbounds offering. During the winter of 1999, Kendall Card and I spent much of our spare time hiking OB. We hiked and skied lines with untracked pow days after storms when inbounds was bumped out and littered with Texans.

Utah Backcountry Skiing

This season, Ken and Brigham Graff have, once again, been working at The Can. I graduated and decided to start working for real, so Saturday has been my only guaranteed ski day-except for, ahhhem, sick days. They have skied The Thirty plenty of times and always call my office from their cell phones just before dropping in.

Let me tell you about Twelve-Thirty. The first time Ken and I skied it, he made 30 turns to my 12 and it was just past 12:30 pm. As we stood at the bottom admiring our artwork, we knew just what to call her, Twelve-Thirty. At any chance we could, we’d hike back there and ski it’s perfect pitch. We love her.

Obviously, this run means more to us than it ever will to you, but every true skier has his or her stash that they protect and revere like a good friend. The sad thing is that The Canyons is expanding into that pristine backcountry area. Twelve-Thirty will soon be spoon-fed to the masses of vacationers from Texas or Georgia who will turn it’s perfect, usually untracked slope into an obstacle course of uneven bumps. We will be forced to hike elsewhere.

Brig, Ken and I gathered to ski Twelve-Thirty for what may be the last time-at least as a backcountry stash. We brought the video and still digi’s to document our last respects to our backcountry friend. I’d like to share that day with you using the video and stills we took.

I’m all for modernizing our ski resorts, but there’s a point where enough is enough and expansion must stop. We can’t spoon-feed the goods to the masses-anything good in life is worth working hard for. That’s what we did…

By the way, guess what time we skied it… 12:30 on the button!

Utah Backcountry Skiing

Utah Backcountry Skiing

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

1 Comment

  1. Looking back… we were a bunch of dufuses as we went out into the backcountry without the proper equipment. This was nearly 10 years ago… DO NOT GO OUT OF BOUNDS UNPREPARED!!!!

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