Report from February 14, 2023
I rolled into Little Cottonwood Canyon at about 10:30am yesterday with a plan to ski Alta.
The road that goes right under Mt. Superior was closed and there wasn’t a track on the mountain…
I pulled over at the Peruvian and oogled Sucide Chute.
No tracks, no people, no cars.
I couldn’t resist.
I parked at the far end of the Alta lot and walked through The Peruvian and skied down the road.
As I started skinning up, the clouds parted and the sun began to rage.
Despite temps in the teens, I had to strip down to my base layer and open my vents.
I was employing my long time Wasatch strategy: “Bad is Rad”
It’s so busy here now that I’ve learned to go after rad lines in bad conditions.
The bad conditions keep the crowds at bay and I have a better time.
Yesterday was severe “dust on crust” so I could be pretty sure I’d have all Mt. Superior to myself.
The key to “Bad is Rad” is for a glimmer of hope that the conditions won’t be as bad as feared.
That kept me grinding up Suicide Chute yesterday.
At the base of the chute, I switched from skins to boots and started up.
The firm snow underneath didn’t hold me well.
For the majority of the climb, I was sinking to my knees.
The 2-5″ of new snow on top of the hard layer was very dry and wasn’t helping much…
Just as I began to near the top of the chute, the sun went away replaced with fog, gray, skulk, and light snow.
It took me 2 hours from the Alta lot to get to the top of Suicide Chute.
It was nearly a whiteout and dark up there.
I waited for a bit hoping for a blue hole then gave up and dropped in.
The steeper the worser in there.
As I hacked my way down in the “dust on crust,” it got a little better as the angle eased in the middle and bottom of the chute.
I think this was the most turns I’ve ever made in this chute…
Still fun though and I came out onto the apron with a smile.
The apron was real bad but I was lucky that the road under Superior had opened and the very first car to come along picked me up.
Another weird one in the Wasatch!