Well, its officially spring here in the Wasatch. Its been sunny and warm for two weeks with no snow in sight for the near future. Not the worst thing though, with the warmth comes increased stability. So we set our sights on the south-facing chutes in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Each chute having at least 3000 feet of vertical and slopes averaging 35-40 degrees, we had plenty of great choices.
We started our chuting adventures with Tanners, a 3400ft drainage. The bottom third is a tight high-walled streambed, the middle third is a wide open bowl with many skiable options, even with low snow, and the top third is a very tight and steep chute.
After some quality bushwhacking, we made our way up the bottom chute with steep rock and ice hanging above us.
Rock hard chunder [Pictured: Joe CampanelliPhoto: Cyril Brunner]
After an hour of skinning we threw our skis on our back and booted the rest of the gully to the middle apron.
O yea, there’s plenty more [Pictured: Cyril BrunnerPhoto: Aaron Rice]
Finally after 2 and a half long hours we made it to the the top of Tanners.
A long way down [Photo: Joe Campanelli]
At the top the snow was a bit uneven (to put it nicely) but we had timed it perfectly and it turned to corn by the time we were headed down.
Weeeeee [Skier: Joe CampanelliPhoto: Cyril Brunner]
Two days later, having had so much fun in Tanners, we set our sights to Little Pine. Little Pine has a more sustained pitch than Tanner’s, is just as long and is a tight chute for nearly the whole distance. As Andrew McLean says in the Chuting Gallery, “The finest chute proper on the north side of the Canyon”
A little sleepy there Aaron? [Pictured: Aaron Rice and Joe CampanelliPhoto: Cyril Brunner]
Once again we had to get through a maze of schwack and aspen at the valley floor, but eventually we made it to the bottom of the chute.
Another day, another chute [Skier: Aaron RicePhoto: Cyril Brunner]
After one of the best runs of my life, we headed back to the Rustler, ate lunch, summited Superior, skied some soft-strugi on Cardiac and made our way back home via Cardiff. It was an epic day and Aaron, Joe, and I were exhausted. Well that isn’t 100 percent true, Joe ran for another 3 hours while we sat in the hot tub.
“I am trying to find a place to live” [Sleeper: Cyril BrunnerPhoto: Aaron Rice]