Typical skinning this year: find a pile of rocks coated lightly in powdered sugar; ascend. I have noticed a fairly massive thickening of backcountry travelers this year. For example, since Derek was out with me, there was a 100% increase in foot traffic on the day, as compared to my last time up here a few weeks prior. Staggering growth! Parking remains an issue at the forefront of any debate.
I don’t even know where to start describing this outing. Coming up on 36 hours, napless, as I write. Tried to sleep twice, both unsuccessful. Too much cortisol running amok in my system? Could well be.
Think I’ll just let Continue reading ‘Northeast Couloir, Broad Fork Twins’
Oh Box Elder. If only you were this good to us today…
Super variable conditions out there today. Doesn’t matter. I’ve had my week of luscious powder, now I’m (mostly) just happy there’s snow on the ground.
Funny thing happened today. Headed out with Swain and Borro. Miles into the approach, I said nonchalantly to Swain, ‘this is a prime example of Wasatch crowding.’ No tracks, no one around for miles except the three of us. He laughed, we moved Continue reading ‘The Environs of Box Elder’
Sunshine, a few tracks, Travis making his own tracks..
Visiting very crowded places isn’t how I generally choose to pass my time on skis these days. On Monday, a holiday as it turns out, the local masses plus a few vacationers headed to LCC. The scene reminded me of long distant memories of vast crowds at Disney World. Untold numbers of vehicles were parked on the roadside, bursting out of stuffed ski resort parking lots. Parking attendants guided the wayward, presumably because people don’t Continue reading ‘Disney World aka LCC on a Holiday’
When the bounty lands, someone has got to get out there and make sure it’s as bountiful as all that. I twisted Jason Borro’s arm until my idea of fresh, untracked powder, zero crowds, and occasional sunshine sunk in as being far better than arm twisting. An empty trailhead, a few bridge crossings, and a few miles of trail-makin’ put us in position to take the temperature on our mad pow disease. About a million untouched acres surrounded us. The big decision of the day was who would go first on each descent. Not a tough choice..
J-Bo throwing in a change of direction.
The cure for mad pow disease = plenty of snow. We found some forest that was up to par.
Cold, light, untracked gunsmoke. We became sensationally Continue reading ‘Mad Pow Disease’
Safe is as safe does. That was part of the decision process that led J-Bo and I up to the Wasatch’s Lake Blanche for my second day in a row. With the offer of safe terrain, a skin track that was already in, and uncrowded views, it seemed a fine antidote to resort crowding and tracked out muck. 50 meters past the trailhead, we didn’t see anyone all day. To have this sort of experience on a popular trail, one must commit to skiing these sorts of areas before anyone else realizes that they’re good.
Same place, different day, different ski partner, different weather.. The Sundial in clouds.
Of course, ‘good’ is different for each person. We nailed several rocks each during the pow surfing, and even more on the lower section of the exit luge. Those unfamiliar with Mill B – and even those familiar – may cringe to hear that coverage is just as one might find after the first snowstorm of the year. Thin, but doable. Still Continue reading ‘Blanche Redux’
Crowds? What crowds? Getting out to ski the backcountry is a fantastic way to escape the noise, grit, grime, crowds, pollution, and other irritations of daily life. It surprises me on some level that people who live and work in busy, congested places seek out crowded ski resorts to recreate and unwind. But it’s really no different than going to the ever-crowded Disney World for a vacation, so perhaps the surprise factor isn’t so large after all.
Crowded, and flat. Not my favorite two variables…
However, it seems counterintuitive to me, since spending a day riding lifts at an area is bound to provide exposure to dozens of less than savory personal human traits. Check it: people yelling (in your ear) to a friend who simply can’t hear them, standing in the way (especially out of sight just beyond rollovers), being rude, clonking you on the head with the safety bar just as you’re sitting down on the chairlift, Continue reading ‘Serenity (Answer 11 of 12)’