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| | |-+  February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
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Author Topic: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt  (Read 2301 times)
skier8484
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February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« on: 02/13/13, 03:08 PM »

After a week of awesome skiing in the Tetons storm chasing lead me back south to Utah and the Wasatch Mountains.  The accessible couloirs in this range are really something special, especially this year when the lower elevation snowpack is actually pretty fat (a lot more snow in South SLC now than Jackson).  I was fortunate to meet two locals, Jason and Ian, who helped show the way and broke more than their fair share of trail.  We were able to re-use the approach skin track to hit 4 couloirs in three days, enjoying relative solitude only miles from the suburban sprawl of SLC.

Day 1: Couloir #2
We got an early start so Jason and Ian could make it work sometime around lunch.  The pre-dawn city lights looked pretty cool:



City commute:


Mountain commute:


Trailbreaking was slow with 12-18" of snow making the going somewhat difficult.  But cool temps (~5F), clear skies and blower snow kept pace and moods up.  The view of South SLC from the saddle really put things in perspective:



Rock.  Paper.  Scissors.   Jason's dropping first!


Deep snow lower down:






Breathe!


We made three laps and were back to the cars by noon.  Jason and Ian went to work; I may have gone back to my buddy's house and napped  Wink

Day Two: Couloir #1
With more couloirs in the vicinity and the approach skin track in place, I was eager for more turns.  With stability looking good, a solo trip was in order.  Travel was fast up the day old track:



Looking up the line:


Looking down from the top, a small rollover made for a fun entrance:


Happy to be done breaking switchbacks!


Evidence of fun had:


I recycled the skin track for a second lap and called it a day.

Day 3: Couloirs #3 and #4
Ian and Jason were eager to get out again, so another dawn patrol was arranged.  Used the skin track up #2 to access the top of #3.  Couloir #3 was the most interesting of the bunch, with a snake like middle section with steep rock walls - super fun.  Jason entering the snake:



Great snow on the lower apron:






The line in the background of that photo was too good to pass up, so up we went, switchbacking relentlessly to the top.




Such an aesthetic line:


Crazy quartzite rocks on one edge:


A long double fall line down!


Time to ski:








More powder turns ensued down the exit canyon, with a cliff and frozen waterfall making the ending more interesting/sporty.


I got back to town around 11 AM, craving a late recovery breakfast.  This fit the bill nicely:


All in all, an incredibly satisfying three days of skiing.  It really is hard to beat bagging some interesting backyard lines in stable pow, meeting new people and exploring new terrain.   
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chmnyboy
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #1 on: 02/13/13, 03:34 PM »

Jesus, shave.

Edit:
nice headband, too prof. plum.
but yeah, well done. How many days is it for you now?
« Last Edit: 02/13/13, 04:16 PM by chmnyboy » Logged
Rowan Stewart
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #2 on: 02/13/13, 05:00 PM »

Awesome tr - That wasatch blower looks nice from here in the northwet. Breakfast of champions too; nice work.
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Walking makes the world much bigger, and thus more interesting.
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Pandora
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #3 on: 02/13/13, 08:58 PM »

Cool lines; great photos. Thanks for posting!
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gfunk
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #4 on: 02/13/13, 09:40 PM »

Nice trip.  Where's all the people?  Surprised there was so much pow in those chutes after skinning up them and sending a few skiers back down.
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samthaman
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #5 on: 02/14/13, 09:23 AM »

Awesome man! Any plans to head back to the PNW in the near future?

What's with the small breakfast, you on a diet or something?  Roll Eyes
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Marcus
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #6 on: 02/14/13, 09:32 AM »

Love that you had a Clif bar on the side, just to top the breakfast off...
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skier8484
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Posts: 349


Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #7 on: 02/14/13, 09:58 AM »

Jesus, shave.

Edit:
nice headband, too prof. plum.
but yeah, well done. How many days is it for you now?

Haha.  Jealous of the natural face warmer T?  Tomorrow will be day 50 on the winter, including 23 in a row!

Awesome man! Any plans to head back to the PNW in the near future?

What's with the small breakfast, you on a diet or something?  Roll Eyes

Likely not back in the PNW for a few more weeks.  I'll see if I can step my breakfast game up in the meantime, haha.
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skier8484
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #8 on: 02/14/13, 09:59 AM »

Love that you had a Clif bar on the side, just to top the breakfast off...

Dessert  Wink
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JimD
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #9 on: 02/15/13, 07:01 AM »

Sweet! Thanks for the memories. I take those are on the N face of Olympus? I've glissaded there coming down off winter climbs of the rock face, but I didn't have the skills to ski there on skinny skis BITD.
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avajane
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #10 on: 02/15/13, 11:21 AM »

Great pictures. Must have been sweet to get to ski in that light snow! The only time I skied Utah was a drought year...
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
JoshK
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Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #11 on: 02/15/13, 03:29 PM »

Mountain commute > city commute. Great pics, looks wonderful, I especially dig the shot of those wild rocks.
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Griff
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Posts: 486


Re: February 11-13, 2013, Wasatch Couloir Hunt
« Reply #12 on: 02/15/13, 05:16 PM »

That's just ridiculous. How amazingly easy to get great turns in the Wasatch. Man there is no doubt one of the best places to tour on the freakin planet..........

Great pics bro, thanks for sharing.
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