May 27, 2013

Baldy- Great Skiing Continues

This weekend I had two great trips on Baldy.

Saturday was a busy day with many important family activities. I only had a short amount of time to get something in, so I took Andy's advice and did a quick trip on Baldy to soak in some more turns. I got a late start (probably too late) from the lower parking lot and put on my skis a few yards up where the snow begins. The snow was spring for sure but a beautiful day! I had to be home in less than two hours. So, in a hurry I climbed Baldy main and then up to the barren top. I then skied down my up line on soft cornish snow mixed with rock shards and some really run turns on the apron.  Arriving at the bottom, with a car to car time of 1 hr 7 minutes, I had a few minutes to spare making it home for a family festivities. I'm so grateful to have been raised here!

This morning, Jason and I in an effort to continue our Memorial Day ski tradition, got out and skinned up icy snow to Hidden Peak and then over to Baldy. We descended down Baldy Main and found soft fun skiing! With some rock spots increasing in size. We then traversed over and back into Snowbird. Last year the bird was closed at this time so we could ski the Pipeline, but with it still open, Pipeline didn't happen this year.
 Baldy on Saturday

Looking down the Main on Saturday- Not bad right?

Jason and a dry Baldy summit

Jason in the Main

May 24, 2013

Spring on the west slabs

Andy Dorais and I had a splendid solo up the West Slabs of Olympus today.  The main couloir still boasting a good deal of snow was a bit too firm for just approach/running shoes. Not having an ice axe, we each kicked quick steps while carrying a sharp piece of quartzite instead.

Upon reaching the rock, the slabs were wonderful as always. Although, they felt steeper and more blank than normal. Signs of old age. Not wanting to slide for life down the snow couloir we chose a detour from the top of the slabs and traversed up to the north summit and then over to the south summit of Olympus. We didn't take pictures but should have. I did actually sneak one in here of Andy talking with what seemed to be kind of a bearded hermit that graciously offered us dried almonds;  asking us if there was a safer way down than the usual trail. We weren't sure what to say. He was a nice man, obviously content to stare at the view as shown below.
Andy! Olympus south summit

May 4, 2013

Dromedary via Tanner's Slide Path

 Toady, 7:53 AM  nice view of Sunrise and Twins from Dromedary summit
This morning's forecast called for 54% cloud cover with a 40% chance of showers by 11 AM. Upon waking up and seeing sub 29 degree temps at Alta mid mountain, a clear sky morning and a waning moon, plans changed from a more casual tour to skiing somewhere with a little more alpine feel and vertical. Needless to say, the weather folks were wrong. Scott, Eric and I started at 6 AM at the Tanner's slide path in hopes of getting some long turns off one of the more photogenic south faces of the Wasatch.

Dawn was beautiful with a silent rising of the sun over the great east faces welcoming the smiles of our gazes. Both skinning and booting, we moved up the lower Tanner's slide path couloir amidst aged avalanche debris and then along the broad south face. I chose a direct couloir up to the summit which required some interesting 4th/5th class climbing with my TLT boots; then some outstanding steep hard snow making whippet and ice tool use effective and fun.

On top of Dromedary the wind was absent, the morning sun was trying to get serious and the 360 degree views were spectacular. I looked down broads and over to Twin to see if I could see Blake and Chad B. who had some great plans to ski off Twin's west side. Awesome time for sure.

Brisk front pointing down the direct south face of Dromedary and then into the main couloir was enjoyable. We skied from here on down, each of us enjoying ice, corn snow and frozen avalanche debris.

Morning family duties called so we didn't have time to really let the sun work the top couple inches to create perfect conditions, however the adventure was still excellent.
Massive south face Sunrise left and Dromedary right

Top and interesting spring knife edge

Self photo- me and my trusty Hagans

Coalpit headwall and Lone Peak's east aspect

Eric and Scott, focused on a down climb with a back drop of heaven
Scott bottom of main upper couloir

Remnants of an old wet slide and Scott in perfect form, thinking he is skiing powder