Wasatch Mountains, UT Report: Suicide Chute on 11,045′ Mt. Superior & Why “Bad is Rad” in the Wasatch

Miles Clark | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

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.

Just the tips. image: snowbrains

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.

Mt. Superior. image: snowbrains

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.

Looking good, skiing bad. Mt. Superior. image: snowbrains

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!


image: Utah Avalanche Center, 2/14/23


image: noaa, 2/15/23

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