Wasatch Mts, UT Backcountry Report: Suicide Chute on Mt. Superior in Low Tide

Miles Clark | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report

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Report from December 2nd, 2020

Yesterday, Martin & I climbed up and skied down Suicide Chute on Mt. Superior in Utah in some classic low-tide conditions.

According to Andrew McLean’s “The Chuting Gallery – A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch”, Suicide Chute is 1,500-vertical-feet, 40º steep, and a 2 out of 3 star run.

I’d been eyeing this all early season but it didn’t quite look like it went until this week.

Someone had skied it last weekend, so I believe we were the 2nd and 3rd to ski it, I think.

There is a mandatory climbing section at the very base of the couloir where it touches the apron that is a bit of ice and rock climbing and downclimbing. 

Suicide Chute on Mt. Superior, UT. image: snowbrains

3rd class climbing I’d say but feels like 4th class in ski boots…

Two climber/skiers were ahead of us and they were happy mellow people who let us ski first.

Thanks again Alec & Nick.

Martin in the belly of the beast. image: snowbrains

The snow was bad.

Chunky, tricky, punchy, funky, and exhausting.

I tried to ski the whole chute without stopping but couldn’t and had to stop once to catch my breath.

Ready to drop. image: snowbrains

It was tough skiing, but admittedly better than I thought it would be.

There was a section at the top where you could get some rhythm and a section in the middle with the same.

Both rhythm sections were where the snow was firmer and more predictable.

Martin down-scrambling. image: snowbrains

The parts of the chute that had deeper, wind-board snow were the toughest parts.

I didn’t hit many rocks, maybe only five or so and they were glancing blows.

We were concerned about the downclimb, but it ended up being quicker and easier than feared.

Looking back to Salt Lake City. image: snowbrains

The apron was horrible…

Sharky as a South Africa reef-break and unpredictable.

I mostly side-slipped and inched my way down to the road.

After we got back to the car, Martin went to Snowbird for some laps and I went to Alta for some laps.

Snowbird from the base of Suicide Chute. image: snowbrains

All in all, it was one helluva great day and fun to be in some big mountain terrain once again.

Avalanche danger was LOW but check out the video below from the Utah Avalanche Center about how this early season snowpack is going to cause problems once it starts snowing again.

 

Also, please check out our podcast with the Utah Avalanche Center director Mark Staples where he discusses the exact scenario we’re facing right now:  dangerous early season snowpack.

 

Avalanche Forecast:

image: utah avalanche center, 12/3/20

Photos:

Looking back to Salt Lake City. image: snowbrains
Martin made it to the road. image: snowbrains
Martin in the belly of the beast. image: snowbrains

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2 thoughts on “Wasatch Mts, UT Backcountry Report: Suicide Chute on Mt. Superior in Low Tide

  1. Miles, Laudable pushing of the envelope, but enough with the sped-up video.
    It’s not worth watching. You think we don’t have 5 minutes to devote to virtual
    skiing while we wait for snow?

    1. Thanks for the comment and copy that, Mark. You’d be surprised how short peoples attention spans are online 🙂

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