SnowBrains’ 2021 Mt. Superior, UT Project: “Hanging Couloir” | 7-Lines in 9-Days

Miles Clark | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report
The 7 lines of the SnowBrains 2021 Mt. Superior Project. Photo taken on January 20, 2021. image: snowbrains

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Report from May 5, 2021

During a big dry spell in January 2021, I decided to create a fun mini-project comprised of skiing all 7 of the lines I was fired up about on 11,045′ Mt. Superior in Utah.

I was able to complete 4-lines in 5-days in January and they were all a blast.

SnowBrains 2021 Mt. Superior Project

7-Lines in 9-Days

I had 3 more lines on Superior that I wanted to ski and as I shipped off to the Tetons for a powder cycle at the end of January, I hoped I’d have time to finish the project in springtime.

I also needed it to snow.

A lot.

Especially to ski the fall-line zone directly off the summit.

Fast forward to this first week of May and I found myself in Utah with good weather and corn snow.

On Sunday, May 2, 2021, I skied Suicide Chute with Ben & Erica in moody skies and delicious corn.

Monday, May 3, 2021, held lousy weather so I took a day off.

Yesterday, I skied the direct fall-line run right off the summit with Daryn for the first time and it was a dandy.

The narrow chute just off the summit was barely wide enough to side-slip and pedal-hop through.

Today, I went for a super sneaky line that I’d seen tracks in when I was on the mountain in January.

Today’s line takes some local knowledge because it doesn’t look like it goes from the bottom and it looks like a death trap from the top…

The first 50 turns of the chute are completely hanging in space as the chute ends in a cliff and you have to make a mandatory right traverse at the bottom of the chute to return to snow that connects to the middle apron & safety.

A tumbling fall here would be bad news…

South Face of Mt. Superior vistas. image: snowbrains

I think this might be my new favorite line on Superior…

I’m calling it “Hanging Couloir.”

I didn’t get started hiking today until 10:15 am and I worried I was a bit late – that things would be too soft.

So I moved fast.

The skin to the ridge was straightforward and hot.

Final ridge walk. image: snowbrains

The ridge walk was exciting and windless with few knife-ridge sections and exposure.

I’d just climbed the ridge yesterday, so the moves felt familiar and more comfy than normal.

I made it to the top in 2 hours and 15 minutes, which is good for me in these conditions.

I was scared on top.

I was confident I was in the right spot, but not 100% confident…

1 quick rest break. Food, water, pee, sunscreen – every time. image: snowbrains

Luckily, 2 humans had already skied the line and there were tracks.

But the tracks appeared to mysteriously disappear…

I figured worst-case scenario, I could bootpack back up if I was in the wrong chute.

I dropped in, and the snow up top was perfect corn.

About 1″ deep, slarvy, fun.

Looking west. image: snowbrains

I ripped down a nose-y ridge-y thinger for 20 turns with big exposure on the right before dropping into the chute proper to the left.

The chute held excellent corn snow and was just wide enough to allow for fast, comfy turns.

The end of the chute pinched and shot me onto a hanging snowfield with exposure below.

No fall zone.

I made a few turns in sticky, challenging snow on the hanging apron before traversing right onto the middle apron (there are 3 aprons).

Mt. Superior on 5/5/21. image: snowbrains

I then thought I’d try something new and traversed across the middle apron to hit this neat nose/spine on the far skier’s right.

Bad call.

The snow was uber-cooked and manky.

I struggled down the nose, dodged big avalanche debris, and cut back hard left to the furthest skier’s left part of the middle apron.

The snow was way better over there (a bit more west-facing here and some big ridgelines that blocked the morning sun from the east) – corny, smooth, and fast.

Looking up the East Ridge. image: snowbrains

From there, I was down through the trees in good corn and whacky bushes.

At the road, a crew of 3 was waiting for their ride after having also skied/ridden Superior.

They all gave me cheers and hands over the head.

Snowbird. image: snowbrains

I figured they thought I was one of their crew, but they were just being super cool and inclusive.

Thanks to them.

Good times.

Recent Trip Reports:

Après ski! 10 Barrel Brewing. image: snowbrains

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