Alta, UT Report: Dark, Ominous, Alone – Main Chute in Powder Snow

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Report from November 9, 2021




Main Chute at Alta, UT in powder today.

Alone atop Main Chute. image: snowbrains

I only saw one other human on the trail. 

I passed him just as the storm was picking up, then he was gone.

Alone on top staring into the throat of Main Chute with visibility coming in and out felt ominous.

It felt dark.

Trail up Mt. Baldy. image: snowbrains

I was hoping there was just enough wind-blown snow to cover up the ice moguls that humbled me last time I was in here. 

I was nervous, so I gave it a ski cut to make sure it wasn’t a wind-loaded canon waiting to fire.  It wasn’t. 

I dropped in tentatively, slashing turns to test the snow while still feeling and hearing the firm layer claw my skis from beneath.  Once in the choke, elation, fear of my incoming sluff, and knowledge of the wide-open area below took over and I let ‘er rip a bit.

Collins Chair. image: snowbrains

Smooth, lightly textured snow greeted me after the choke and allowed space to both control my speed and feather the throttle. 

I tried to hoot, but it came out hoarse. 

The apron was glorious, but I couldn’t see a thing.

Main Chute smoothies. image: snowbrains

In a mini chute on the lower mountain, I was able to squeak out a weak hoot. 

That hoot felt like the beginning of the season…

Main Chute up there somewhere. image: snowbrains



We didn’t see any avalanche activity nor instability this day. 

While the UAC isn’t generating forecasts, former UAC avalanche forecaster Mark White has been submitting great avalanche observations:

image: UAC, 11/9/21


image: NOAA, 11/9/21

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...