Report from February 16, 2023
Yesterday, we stumbled onto a true gem.
A gem that only shines on certain years – in certain conditions.
A powerful place full of spiritual rock and spire.
Awe absorbs the general feelings, but it’s not quite enough.
Wonderment, astonishment, stupefaction, and admiration might be better words…
We were told about this zone in whispers, and sideways glances on a boat in the Drake Passage en route to Antarctica.
The joy conveyed in the storytelling shook me.
I had to go.
But likely not soon because it has to be a very big snow year for this zone to fill in.
A long drive and a plan to just “check it out” yesterday accidentally put us in position before sunset.
As we realized we could potentially ski this same day, I began in car gymnastics ripping off street clothes, donning my knee brace, and slithering into ski clothes at 78mph.
I arrived clothed and started repacking my gear as I saw the orange sunlight illuminating the hoodoos.
Martin scrambled into ski clothes and packed as I was drawn into the light.
I drank it in and secured photos until Martin arrived.
We were a touch overwhelmed, but the fading light kept us moving.
We’d planned on booting and climbing up over some small cliffs to get a longer run and huck some mini cliffs.
The snow was a heinous windboard that wouldn’t budge.
We ended up punching through the windboard and swimming uphill for about 20 yards before giving up.
I was nervous before the drop.
The snow carried the potential for anything.
Ski like a groomer – ski punchy AF – ski supportable and fun – or simply rip your knee off.
It ended up being a mix of the above.
I skittered and struggled and slarved down to the small, mandatory air.
Ice, rock, snow?
I hoped the landing would be snow.
I dropped the cliff in a cloud of my sluff, and thankfully, the landing was OK.
The runout was still punchy and weird, but it was soft and by far the best snow of the run.
I got my speed under control and locked into a groovy rhythm in the wind-wiggled snow.
I did hoot at the bottom.
I was elated and relieved.
Martin ripped down the line, and we embraced while laughing.
What a weird and special day!
One thought on “Utah Report: Skiing The Red Rock Hoodoos of Lore”
Lol “location overheard on the drake passage on the way to Antarctica” makes me want to pin the spot right here. It’s not that big a secret.