This season has started off with a real bang, beginning with an epic storm three weeks ago (click for the video), and some smaller follow-up storms from this past cycle. So far, according to the Utah Avalanche Center, the new snow is bonding well, and there aren’t too many instabilities on the shady slopes, which is awesome. If we want to get all 22 of the 11k peaks, then we need to have safe avalanche conditions.
On Wednesday we were able to get out into Grizzly Gulch and get some turns on the north facing shady side of Patsey Marley. We were pressed for time so we were on the dawn patrol, and really only got to do one lap once we hit the shoulder.
We had the GoPro Camera out and Andy Earl snapped a little bit of video while we were shredding, and those are a few screen shots from the video. The snow was soft and creamy, but a little sparse when we were headed down below about 9,500′. We got stuck in some gnarly shrubbery on the way down and I thought Andy was lost forever for a little while. Fortunately he survived. I was pretty stoked that David Kaplan, our new filmer for Season Three, could come out, and that my dad and Tanner could tag along for the trip as well. It was super fun.
On Thursday I ran up to Snowbird and picked up my season pass and toured around the Albion Basin road for about a half hour. It’s great to be back in LCC for another season. Last year I was on the backside of the Wasatch for the bulk of my resort riding, and although I love Park City and the Canyons, my heart definitely resides in Little Cottonwood. It’s amazing to me to see how much more snow makes it to the ground in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, compared to the Park City area. I also love the fact that, living in Provo, I’m less than an hour from being on the Tram at Snowbird if the roads are dry.
On Friday, I connected with Hayden Price, a buddy whom I met with last season while filming with my friend Blake Nyman for Nimbus Independent’s web videos. Over the summer I sent an email over to Mike from Surface Skis, and asked if he knew if any of his riders would be interested in getting involved with the Summit Project, and he hit me back like 20 minutes later saying that Hayden would be the perfect candidate. We decided we wanted to ski some good snow, so we skinned to the top of Mount Baldy in between Snowbird and Alta, at 11,068′. It was my most vertical I’ve ever done in the backcountry on one trip, and I am pretty stoked that I did it with no breakfast.
My buddy Russ Baughman tagged along on his daddy board (173cm Voile) and we got an epic panorama of most of the peaks on the hit list for the Summit Project, and it was a pretty neat experience being up somewhere where very few people had trod this season thusfar.
Saturday I roped my buddies Jade Magnum Thomason and Marcus Patterson into coming to opening day at Snowbird, and it was pretty awesome just doing some laps on the groomers and getting some pow turns. We connected with my internet friend Forrest Gladding, and he showed us some fresh zones that I didn’t even know were open on the south end of Regulator Johnson. Here’s the gallery from all the photos we’ve snapped over the course of the week. Some by Andy, some by Hayden, and some by David. Thanks everyone for shredding hard and getting it done!
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