Trip Report: Mt. Superior, UT | “South Face”

Miles Clark | | Trip ReportTrip Report
Mt. Superior & the line we skied on May 14th, 2020. image: snowbrains taken on April 3rd, 2020

Yesterday, May 14th 2020, Martin & I cruised up Mt. Superior and skied its legendary South Face.

Superior’s South Face is one of the “50 Classic Ski Descents of North America”.

“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:  11,040′
  • 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 ride from base of Superior)
  • Time from car to summit:  2 hrs 30 mins
  • Car to car time:  3 hrs 15 mins (includes 1-mile walk up road to car from base of Superior)
Martin on the ever-popular “catwalk”. image: snowbrains

This was my 4th time skiing Superior’s south face this season.

The last time I skied Superior’s South Face (Jan 30th, 2020) I was caught in a small but very scary avalanche.

Yesterday’s weather was sunny at times and cloudy at times and cool with no wind.

We parked next to the Alta Lodge, skinned up to Cardiff Pass, and took the East Ridge to the summit.

From the car at the Alta Lodge, we skinned up to Superior’s eastern ridgeline at Cardiff Pass, and scrambled and boot packed our way up the ridge to the summit.

The east ridge was rockier than I’ve ever experienced it which made for very fun, somewhat spicy, super engaging rocky crag climbing in many spots along the knife’s edge of the ridge.

Martin on the top of Mt. Superior with Monte Cristo and SLC in the background. image: snowbrains

We had a blast climbing up and summited at about 1pm.

The clouds had taken away the blue sky at this point but visibility was still great.

The top section of the South Face of Superior held perfect corn.

East Ridge route. image: snowbrains

From the top, we chose the skier’s left route and the skiing continued to be great.

The 2 long aprons of Superior’s South Face still held great corn (thanks to the cloud cover not letting the sun cook these zones into a sticky mess) but the sun cups were a challenge.

We arrived at the bottom elated.

Ryan charging up with spines all around near the summit. image: snowbrains

Due to social distancing, we didn’t hitchhike nor carpool back to our cars at the Alta Lodge but we did see the Sheriff giving two other guys a ride back up the hill on the tailgate of his pickup truck.

Too cool.

Alta is too cool.

Martin climbing up. image: snowbrains

If you’re thinking of skiing/riding Superior you’d better hit it soon – it’s melting fast and the exit between the 1st and 2nd apron is just about melted out.

2-days before skiing Superior we skied Mt. Timpanogos’ “Cold Fusion Couloir” and it was a hoot.

Photo Tour in Chronological Order:

Alta and clouds. image: snowbrains
Martin grinding up. image: snowbrains
SnowBrains sticker and Alta… image: snowbrains
Snowbird. image: snowbrains
Curious curl. image: snowbrains
Martin rocking out on the first rocky ridge section. image: snowbrains
Little Superior and my favorite tree in Utah. image: snowbrains
Martin using gluteal friction descent. image: snowbrains
Martin climbing up. image: snowbrains
The camera loves Martin. image: snowbrains
Snowbird. image: snowbrains
Martin giving the South Face the eye… image: snowbrains
Martin hamming for cam. image: snowbrains
Martin walking the line. image: snowbrains
Martin heading home with Superior in the background. image: snowbrains
Big avalanche debris from the huge February 3rd, 2020 avalanche cycle.
Alta was using a snowcat to push snow right to the parking lot so you don’t have to walk in the mud to access the mountain. Very cool. image: snowbrains
Apres ski! image: snowbrains

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