While the snowpack along Utah’s Wasatch Front has finally settled down, for many it has come as too little too late. Golf clubs are swinging and trails are drying out and the mountains are becoming less and less crowded–both inbounds and in the backcountry.
This past Saturday, March 27, Kendall Card and I rallied to Little Cottonwood Canyon for our first joint ski tour of the season (our schedules just haven’t jived this year). With UDOT supposedly planning to bomb the daylights out of everything from Mt Superior to Grizzly Gulch, we originally opted for a tour up Scotty’s Bowl on the South side of Little Cottonwood, just West of Snowbird.
Arriving at the White Pine trailhead, we proceeded to gear up. After a few minutes another car arrived and we got to chatting. We were lamenting not being able to ski the South side of the Canyon due to UDOT’s show of force. They then broke the news to us… UDOT had decided not to bomb as planned.
We looked at each other and hopped back in the vehicle: opting to head up the canyon (a wise move indeed).
With only a few skiers ahead of us on the skintrack, we eagerly ascended up towards Flagstaff, then broke off and laid our own skintrack up Toledo Bowl to the saddle. Light conditions were flat and the wind was howling as the snow blew sideways–we were necessarily hard-shelled up for this ascent.
The first turns of the day were had in Holy Toledo, a Northwest-facing run with about 800 vertical feet of supremely-good powder. That was our warm-up as we then skinned back up to the ridgeline and West to hit the South-facing ribs off Little Superior. Off of Little, we were greeted with boot-to-knee-deep powder from top-to-bottom. I’m still re-living each turn and the beauty of the morning as the sun came out and we enjoyed some of the finest 2000 vertical feet of turns in a long, long time.
Here are a handful of images from the descent down Little Superior to the road. Lighting was perfect and I gladly posed for the camera as I enjoyed the pow all the way down. Definitely one of the most epic descents of my life with perfect snow conditions, excellent lighting and one of my best friends there to enjoy it all with. Epic, indeed.