So after a few injury laden weeks from an episode involving a stubborn tree and my hip, I finally made it back into the mountains. Tradeshows brought me down to Denver for SIA and Salt Lake City for OR, to ride some pow with my good friend Jay Beyer (jaybeyer.com) The Wasatch doesn’t disappoint even with an ice layer from a rain sequence the week prior, as we found good snow on the backside of Mt. Superior. Sunny skies and decent wind deposited enough new snow to cover up parts of that ice layer and make for some good photo opportunities and easy skinning.
My Fuze and I are attached at the hip throughout most of the winter and finally got a chance to ride my new DPS Lotus 138′s after staring at them for weeks. A few laps on the north side of Superior on wind affected, but silky smooth snow, and a final push back down to Little Cottonwood. If you haven’t ridden in the Wasatch…. You know what exclamation comes next…
That night, forecast called for a mild storm to roll in and we aimed our sights at the Y-Not Couloir on the North side of Little Cottonwood. Coming from Montana, where approaches usually take up most of the day, I felt spoiled by the leisurely morning, short drive, and minimal skinning to the bottom of the Y Couloir which would take us around the mandatory rappel in the Y-Not. Jay, Dillon and I negotiated the adverse climbing conditions up the Y, as the rain from the week before had completely solidified all the debri that had slid weeks prior. We climbed through a mix of frozen death cookies, bulletproof ice layers, and thigh deep snow. The storm came in hot that night, and we were moving through wet dense flakes, soaking us all to the bone, and obviously loading the snowpack rapidly. 1,000 feet from the top of the Y, I noticed a spin drift making its way around a corner, quickly followed by a increasingly fast moving avalanche, that fortunately we could escape from. It was a perfect storm; adverse climbing conditions, increasing avalanche activity, and 3 completely drenched skiers. Knowing when to hold em, and knowing when to fold em; it was an easy answer.
My first couple days back in the saddle and I couldn’t be happier. Good skiing, exciting climbing and good people. Here’s to the first day of the rest of the season.