Yeah Bucky nice work, those are some great photos!! Like the bw's Snurfer, always peaceful riding through aspens
Headed up to the NW couloir of the Broads fork twins today. Always wanted to hit this line as the sun was setting, so I made plans to do so. I'm sure there are a variety of ways to make this happen, but I wanted a bit of a challenge with a splash of suffering thrown in the mix.
Decided to approach annnnnnd exit via Deaf Smith canyon. Never been in Deaf Smith before so thought it might be a good idea to familiarize myself before trying to exit in the dark. Pretty canyon, might have to do a little research about some of the sport climbing in there.
View from the SW ridge
The light was firing, pretty cool experience to ride this line in neon colors!...a few tracks, but the snow was fantastic
crazy...nice glaze on south facing
Its going to be a long walk back to town
I WILL CUT YOU!!
All in all it was a good character building experience, and feels good to accomplish your goal exactly how you envisioned it. But probably will not be doing that one again anytime soon.
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:55 am Posts: 1001 Location: Wasatch
mar123- whoa I bet that was an epic ride down in the alpenglow, and an epic exit for entirely different reasons. you see any green eyes peering at you on your hike out? some the biggest cougar tracks i've ever seen were somewhere in that drainage a few summers ago.
Hey Snowvols, good to hear from ya, hope your healing up well, awesome your getting back on the board. Most everything is cooked except high north facing or maybe high east/west that is permanently shaded from trees might work?
Yeah solo. Didnt see any green eyes, I do quite a bit of night riding on the mountain bike so maybe i'm used to being on trails at night? There was a point where I felt like I was being stalked but that usually happens every time on trails at dark, just the mind playing tricks.
The thought of Cougars crossed my mind and that maybe I should've brought a 9 to scare em off, but that would be extra weight and require a chest harness of some sort, or maybe BD could invent some sort of pole mount That canyon seemed like it would be prime cougar terrain, although I was making quite a ruckus hiking down the trail, I also wonder if headlamps/bike lights are enough to deter a curious animal? I had my board attached to the back of my pack so that would hopefully shield me from any attack from behind
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:42 pm Posts: 19 Location: Salt Lake City, UT
OK. Here's my contribution to the Utah conditions thread, after lurking all winter thought I'd give back a bit... Hope someone finds it somewhat useful
We rode Wilson chutes Saturday and it was prime spring corn. Scratchy pre-dawn entry through an icy (E) Butler fork, to the saddle between Wilson and Soldier. Brought the Karakoram crampons, but never put them on because it didn't get all that bad for that long.
We dug a pit on the ENE facing Chute, even though avy danger has been low, and were super happy with the solid stability we found. A slight shift after the 7th tap from the shoulder, about 6 inches down, zero propagation.
We rode two laps East facing, as good as Spring riding gets...really, really nice as it had softened up a bit and we exited through the Glades to Alexander Basin. Could ride the gully all the way to the road, a bit variable snow but quite nice! My first canyon to canyon, we were stoked. Road was still covered all the way to the gate, but a bit slushy in parts, so needed to scoot with my rear foot a bit here and there.
Switchback - Which canyon did you ride? There is so much sick terrain in the Oquirrh and no one ever goes. Most of the land in private property, but in my experience the land owners do not mind people on foot.
Wow Dave, one-upping the suffer factor with the ascent of Deaf Smith too! Switchback, good call on making an Oquirrh corn trip. I have been wanting to ride the background of one of your pics for a while. It looks good right now.
Ian and I had a great day in the southern Wasatch on Sunday. For anyone looking to ski stuff down there, it looks like most western approaches to the peaks are going to be dirt until 7k. The February storms also look to have plastered the upper ridges of Timp, so they aren't nearly as bare as they were in late January. There was nice settled pow between 8-9k on north facing slopes. Anything higher was shallow pow on hard windboard or nice corn depending on the aspect. Lower was a huge mixed bag. Images courtesy of Ian.
At the top
Skinning out. Touring with skiers on rando race gear is hard. Me way behind.
Being a weather nerd, I was curious what year was the best early season in history in the Central Wasatch, particularly since many of the pre-January months in my 7 years in the Wasatch have been poor. Early season snowfall not only means a longer season, but also less likelihood for deep persistent weak layers and better touring while the south facing slopes can still survive a day of sun.
Quite a few of the good years recently were only so good because of snowy springs. '08-'09 is the classic example, where it was in the 70's for several days in mid-March and everybody was writing off a slighly below average winter. Then Alta got 250 inches from 3/22-4/26. Hopefully that will happen this year, but its unlikely. It does look like a decent stormy period starting Wednesday.
Anyway, in the 83-84 winter there was minimal snow until Nov 7. It started snowing on Nov 7 and is didn't really take a break until Jan 1. 385 inches had fallen in 53 days with basically dirt to start with. That year must have been so good for stability. It went on to set the record for seasonal snowfall at Alta. The epic early season of 04-05 ranks as the 12th best in the last 70 years. Incredibly the four best early seasons in Alta history were the consecutive years '81-82','82-'83,'83-'84,'84-'85.
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:55 am Posts: 1001 Location: Wasatch
on sunday my mountaineering friend wanted to rally and do a trip up south ridge of superior. I got off work at midnight and after a few really really short hours of sleep we were on our way up the canyon. Alpine climbing is cool and I'm enjoying getting my feet wet, but god damn you have to take a lot of shit with you. I've done the south ridge several times in the summer but wasn't sure what we would find in the winter so we brought a 30m rope and a smallish rack(still way more pieces of gear than would ever be necessary on this route. I normally use my CAMP super light crampons for spring stuff but a few mixed climbs has demolished them so I borrowed the Grivel g14's. Super rad crampon but the really aggressive size of the teeth made the first pitch really awkward. For those of you interested in going up this way, expect some short pretty easy rock pitches(only roped up for one pitch and it wasn't needed) and a lot of walking on top of cornices with big exposure. Also there were a few really steep 60degree(guess) snow pitches as well. We reached the summit a few hours later than I thought (really need to get my rope game organized), but the turns down the W chutes were pretty good. Main south superior and the apron rode ok, but are marked up with moguls and debris. Watching my friend glissade and tromp through the wet spring snow on the apron made me so happy I lugged the splitboard with me, on a few of the rock moves I was cursing it as it bashed into the rocks above almost knocking me onto the LCC road a few thousand feet below.
STEEP (quick google search indicates that the pitch does hit 60degrees here)
I wanted to climb the crack straight up from the first piece of pro but after a few attempts said fuck it and took the easy route
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:33 am Posts: 91 Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Snowvols, Ophir Canyon. No kidding about the private property back there. Its really confusing with all the no trespassing signs but then you see a whole bunch of stuff like trail head markers and signage that suggest that access is allowed. I actually got "caught" hopping a fence as I was walking back to my truck. I talked to a property owner and she said that they don't mind skiers and snowboarders as long as they don't leave an impact. Its the slednecks and off roaders that they want to keep out.
Mej, you mean this one?
I tried to ride that one yesterday but I took the wrong drainage up and used up all my water and energy just getting back to the correct drainage.
While ascending, I saw a set of cougar tracks
and shortly after found myself in a death gully litter with bones. Some big ones too (cow or moose?) I counted at least 8 spinal columns in about a half mile. Creepy to say the least. Im OK with hiking solo in bear country but cougars make me uneasy. I just imagine the evil nature of a house cat at ten times the size. Next time Ill have to bring my BD pole mounted Glock.
I also came across what was left of this cabin, probably destroyed by cougars...
Anyway, after 4 hours of bushwacking, climbing straight up an icy 40 degree slope (hooray for crampons!) to get out of the death drainage and traversing across another, I said fuck it and decided to ride a similar slope on the other side of the cirque from my intended line. (Note what happens when you use your ski pole as a machete)
It was not a bad consolation prize.
Perfect corn at 1:30 on a SE aspect. Ill take it.
Exiting out the correct drainage, I realized it was a pretty easy and straightforward hike and skin. I even saw a few sets of ski tracks.