Forums Trip Reports Cedar Breaks National Monument, UT
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  • #579376
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    DISCLAIMER – No riding stoke :bow:

    Took a road trip down south to enjoy some sunshine and check out Cedar Breaks. I was keen to see the “monster” dump from the last storm and do some exploring with Snowvols. Unfortunately, he got stuck at work late Friday and I began losing my will to get up at 4am and make the trip solo. I rolled out of bed around 6am Saturday and figured since “most” of my gear was ready to go I’d follow my urge to see the sun and head south. About two hours into the drive I realized that I’d forgotten my poles, oh well :nononno:

    Access to Cedar Breaks is via Hwy 143 through Brian Head resort which has the highest base elevation of all Utah resorts. As a consequence of its altitude it has very minimal relief. I’d also forgotten the gawd-awful wind that seems to blow constantly. About a mile southwest of the “Brian Head” I parked near an altitude sign reading “10,420”and made ready to skin into the unknown. Despite clear skies and temps in the high thirties, the wind chill was probably around ten degrees with snow drifting every which way. Whatever monster dump may have occurred, most of it had since been blown off the plateau or reduced to wind board.

    Brian Head center looking N/NE from Hwy 148

    My back against the wind I followed the cat groomed ski and sled trail along hwy 143 until reaching the junction with Hwy 148 which is closed for the winter. This is the route through Cedar breaks (actually above and adjacent to), and is groomed all the way to Cedar Canyon (Cedar City). Being on a high plateau there isn’t any obvious terrain to ride. At least not anything worth transitioning for. That said, once off the highest part of the plateau and out of the incessant wind it was great to be skate skiing the splitty in the sun and venturing out to the rim whenever afforded a good view.

    This was the most do-able zone I found

    In terms of approaching from the rim; the first place I ventured out to the rim was the most promising zone I saw all day, but being without a partner and poles I opted to stay on top and save the down for another day and more snow. Off the rim and into the pines I dug a couple pits and observed around 20-25″ of total snow. There was a surface temperature crust of about 1-2″ overlaying 10-15″ loose faceted powder on top of a buried temperature crust of about an inch and then more facets to ground. This was at 10,454′ N-NW. Because of the wind there is a lot of variability from place to place.

    Same zone – snow pit 1, wind scoured near rim

    snow pit 2 – out of the wind

    10,454′

    The highlight of the trek was skinning out to Chessmen Ridge overlook. Very scenic and very informative in terms of overall snow coverage, potential access and orientation. A descent from the rim here would be entirely on dirt and would leave a lot of visual damage to the monument’s soft red dirt. However, it was a good vantage point into the lower drainage. In the right conditions the due north facing spines could be amazing.

    Would have been more enjoyable with some company and more snow, but overall not a bad solo trip. The area is beautiful and I live for the sun (mandatory Surf Punks reference). Skate skiing a groomed trail without poles was lot of fun, as it forced me to get the skater arm swing happening and seemed more efficient. This area has some incredibly aesthetic potential if one is willing to do some mixed discipline exploration. For those that just want to shred I’d say move along – nothing to see folks.

    Tushars

    Nebo

    In addition to Nebo and the Tushars It never ceases to amaze me how many cool little mountain ranges lie along the I-15 corridor, if we had more snow and better access I’d be south bound every weekend. That said I will be heading south a lot more in the months to come.

    Total round trip from Salt Lake was about 12 hours
    Tour total was 8.8 miles, 2:45, elevations 10,400 – 10,600

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #673306
    JimmyC
    351 Posts

    Cool TR and pics!

    #673307
    wasatch surf
    979 Posts

    rad dude! sorry no turns were involved, but at least you got out of the sheep pen. awesome photos. I really wish I could have seen the skate skiing with no poles!

    #673308
    Rico in AZ
    559 Posts

    That is
    AWESOME!!!!

    Me ‘n Taylor have been working on a plan to hit some of the highway 14 shots later this season. Basically the same terrain.

    Does anyone know where Dirksen hit that area? It was an outtake in Deeper.

    #673309
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    @wasatch surf wrote:

    rad dude! sorry no turns were involved, but at least you got out of the sheep pen. awesome photos. I really wish I could have seen the skate skiing with no poles!

    Ha ha, thanks brother – picture Apollo Ono (but old and fat) 😆

    @ricorides wrote:

    That is
    AWESOME!!!!

    Me ‘n Taylor have been working on a plan to hit some of the highway 14 shots later this season. Basically the same terrain.

    Does anyone know where Dirksen hit that area? It was an outtake in Deeper.

    Thanks Rico. Not sure where Dirksen was, but based on the beta gathered from Chessman Ridge and then consulting the Google, a Hwy 14 approach seems like the way to go. Its definitely on my list to go back in a month, or so and tour bottom up from 14.

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #673310
    iriecoyote
    291 Posts

    Gorgeous zone, missing the SW big time right now. I showed my wife this thread and asked if we could move there. She dismissed me with some comment about 10 wives. Sounds like a management problem to me but I could go with snow and red dirt.

    #673311
    Snowvols
    291 Posts

    Nice work Doug! I am still pretty bummed to say the least that I missed out on it. Looks amazing down there. So much potential.

    #673312
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    Yeah keep me and Rico posted on your plans Snurfer. I’ve scoped that area for years. Henrys and Abajos are setting up nicely this year too, as is the Kaibab Plateau in N. AZ (canyons with limestone pillows).

    Some eye candy from a S. Utah flight last week:

    @sun_rocket

    #673313
    UTAH
    830 Posts

    Nice work Doug, way to motivate. I took that canyon out of Cedar City up to Brian Head and over to Bryce for the 1st time this summer. I agree, there is a lot of potential and I for sure want to be in on a mission one of these days. Maybe meet up with Rico and Taylor mid way or something. Take care.

    #673314
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    Thanks for all the kind replies dudes (sweet Pics Taylor!) – Sounds like the makings of an AZ/UT group trip.
    I’m hanging out local for the Wasatch Splitfest in February, but I’m open to suggestions if anyone wants to throw out some dates for a organized effort.
    I’ll probably make a few impromptu trips this season to check conditions, but I’ll happily PM you guys when I do.

    Cheers :guinness:

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    #673315
    ale_capone
    864 Posts

    Rad!

    Imo, most beautiful area in the usa, especially with snow. Well worth a nordic split tour.

    Ive walked around that area in the spring when there was enough remnants of snow to imagine. Thoughts of splitting there someday was one of the few saving graces when i lived in vegas.

    Loooking forward to seeing some turns next time you make it, though not necesary.

    #673316
    nedrapier
    235 Posts

    Lovely pics, Snurfer! And Taylors too!

    My wife and I finished our honeymoon here. Went for a walk a way round the rim, then cooked up the last of our food while we watched the sun go down. Waited for dark before we drove back to Vegas and the flight home.

    Beautiful, beautiful spot.

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