Waking up at the crack of 4:45 am isn’t tops on anyone’s list, but for those wishing to get some turns in before 9:00 am, it’s the only option. I always say that the only people who wake up this early are fisherman and skiers… we sure weren’t doing any fishing.

I met up with Ben Brutsch in the parking lot to Tibble Fork Reservoir at 5:30 am and by 5:50 am, we were skinning up the road towards Granite Flats. It was there that the previous day’s skin-tracks split left (potentially up the southest drainage off Box Elder Peak – Wide Hollow Creek) and we turned right–following Deer Creek.

Sunrise Skintracks - Ben Brutsch

Once we reached the southwest flanks of Silver Lake Flat, we did the usual multi-lap skin and ski through the open scrub oak while we were greeted with one of the most beautiful things money can’t buy… sunrise in the Wasatch.

Sunrise on the Ridge of Silver Lake Flat - Ben Brutsch

Sunrise Ridgeline from Silver Lake Flat - American Fork Canyon

Turning conditions were variable due to the strong winds of the previous day. Pockets of pow were flanked by a pretty hefty wind-crust. I was wishing I had a pair of rockered skis to stay on top of everything, but the Bluehouse Districts seemed to plow right through it with not too much effort.

The beauty of the area is astounding and the proximity to my house can’t be beat… now if we could just figure out a way to remove the 1 hour approach, then we’d be onto something.

Variable Powder/Crust in AF Canyon - Ben Brutsch

Box Elder Peak - Winter - Jan 29, 209

Mt Timpanogos - Winter - Jan 29, 2009

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly 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. Ben,
    Thanks for making me aware of this. The pictures are absolutely spectacular. I almost cried when I loked at them. It reminds me so much of the many skiing trips in the Swiss Alps I made. I am so proud of you and so glad that you find joy and happiness in something which has been a major part of my life.


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