Wasatch Dispatch: December Is Here | Cold Days & Jolly Fellows

John Solder | BackcountryBackcountry | Trip ReportTrip Report
Gooood morning Little Cottonwood!!! Last gasps of the storm streaming off the Wasatch peaks. credit: J. Solder

With 4 feet of snow since Thanksgiving, the shoulder season daze is lifting all across the Wasatch Front and cold dry powder is now on our collective minds. A short break in the weather was forecasted, a magic blue window on Saturday morning, and we knew it was going to be a special day.

This time of year the people are hungry, Mr. Black and I knew that the time to meet was early. It is better to get your fill before the frenzy. In the grey morning light we broke the skin track up through boot-top to knee-deep classic Wasatch powder. It was all a little harder than we remembered from last year. Early season dues were now getting paid.

Wasatch powder crystals on a clear morning.
Early morning light catching the frozen snow crystals. credit: B. Black

A short discussion led us to the clear decision, “if we ski there, it will be good”. Just in time, as we got extra layers on and ripped our skins off, the sky went full bluebird. Ah, yes, magical. This is worth living for!

Keeping good protocol, and with the extra first-run-of-the day caution, we hop-scotched our way down a 1,000-vertical-feet of glades, fun roll-overs, and natural half-pipes. No question, we were in the right place.

Wasatch Backcountry Skiing
Necessary ‘evil’ to get first tracks. credit: J. Solder

After having already done the big lift to get the skin-track in, now it was time to reap the reward. In half the time and with half the effort, we were to the top again. Second run is always better. Better feel for conditions, legs are primed, knowing exactly where to go and how you want to ski it.

At this point, the hoard had swarmed. Our previously two-timing ski track was now a veritable highway. Welcome to the Was Angeles. Ehh, it’s best to not be greedy and we had already planned our escape. 1200’ feet of untracked Utah powder right to the car.

Not too bad for a morning jaunt. I’ll never get tired of this.

Photo Tour:

Little Cottonwood Utah Powder day amazing views skiing
It is hard to catch your breath with these views! credit: J. Solder
Wasatch Backcountry Ski Powder
First turns off the top. Ooo LA LA! credit: J. Solder
Wasatch Powder ski after glow
Mr. Black is all smiles after that run. credit: J. Solder
Wasatch cliff drop ski jump powder
Early season air-time. Keeping the excitement in check while the sharks still lurk. credit: J. Solder
wasatch powder ski
Little Cottonwood Canyon, Wasatch backcountry playground supreme. credit: B. Black

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