Brought to you by 10 Barrel Brewing
Report From May 4, 2021
Yesterday, May 4, 2021, Daryn & I walked up 11,045′ Mt. Superior in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and skied its legendary South Face directly fall line off the top – which I’d never done.
Superior’s South Face is one of the “50 Classic Ski Descents of North America,” and rightfully so.
The South Face beckons every skier and rider who gazes upon it from Alta & Snowbird all winter long…
“The South Face of Superior is the ultimate Wasatch gem, offering excellent skiing in an incredible location.”
– Andrew McLean in “The Chuting Gallery“
South Face – Mt. Superior, UT Details:
- Summit: 11,045′
- Vertical from car: 2,300′
- Vertical skied: 2,500′
- Pitch: 40º
- Distance: 4.1-miles round trip (3.1 miles if you hitchhike or get a ride from the base of Superior)
- Time from car to summit: 2 hrs 30 mins
- Car to car time: 3 hrs 15 mins (includes a 1-mile walk up the road to the car from the base of Superior)
We started walking uphill at about 10 am in a stiff breeze and cloudy skies.
The forecast had called for full sun, but that’s not what we were getting on the hike up.
It was cold and felt like winter.
Despite being early May, I was decked out in a base layer, soft-shell jacket with the hood up, and a puffy vest.
I was tired on the skin up to the ridge.
Spending April in Alaska at sea level definitely had dropped my acclimatization.
Luckily, Daryn was a beast this day and put in the bootpack and lead the entire climb.
The ridge walk was spicy as usual, but there was still quite a bit of snow up there, making it less spicy than it was in January.
Once we’d been on the ridge for a bit, the sun started to flash.
Eventually, we were bathed in nearly full sun, and that helped warm both us and the south-facing snow we were about to ski up a bit.
It had snowed a little bit the night before, and we were certainly curious what sort of conditions we were gonna get on the way down.
Regardless, we marched on and reached the top after about 2.5 hours.
The summit was different this day.
Normally, there’s a large flattish area to transition upon easily.
Yesterday, the summit was a conelike point that made getting slippery skis on a challenge.
Our goal was to ski directly fall-line off the summit down through a narrow chute, then out onto the fields of glory below.
I dropped first, and the upper turns were a bizarre mix of new snow and softening corn that skied well enough.
The upper chute was a bit too tight.
I had to side-step and side-slide down most of the tightest part of the chute, although I did get one pedal-hop jump-turn in.
After the tightest section, the chute opened up, and I could rip turns down onto the upper apron.
One more short chute took me to the middle apron for some wide-open turns on the fields of glory.
This is where the snow changed a bit, and the upper part of this middle apron was a bit sloppy, but it improved as we dropped lower.
After making the sneak-around on the skier’s left, we found the lower apron an abundance of great corn snow.
We zipped around and chased each other down the lower apron, through scraggly bushes, and back to our awaiting car.
This was the first time I’d ever skied fall-line right off the summit, and it was a great adventure.
I think I’ll go back up Superior today and ski the one last run that I’d like to ski but haven’t yet…
Recent Trip Reports:
- Trip Report: Mt. Dana, CA – “Dana Couloir”
- Trip Report: Mt. Dana, CA – “Solstice Couloir”
- Trip Report: Mt. Timpanogos, UT – “Grunge Couloir”
- Trip Report: Mt. Timpanogos, UT – “Cold Fusion Couloir”
- Trip Report: Snowbird, UT – “Pipeline”
- Trip Report: Mt. Superior, UT | “South Face”
- Trip Report: Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT – “Tanners Gulch”
- Trip Report: Nez Perce, WY – “The Sliver Couloir”
- Trip Report: Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT – The 3,200-Vertical-Foot “Y Couloir”
- Trip Report: Ruby Mountains, NV – “Terminal Cancer Couloir”
- Trip Report: 11,929′ Mt. Nebo, UT – “The Northwest Couloir”