Wasatch Range, UT, Report: Creamy Cardiff, Thrilling Two Trees 

Martin Kuprianowicz | BackcountryBackcountry | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Here is Juan dropping in to “Spicy Taquito” in Big Cottonwood Canyon. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

Report from Friday, May 13, 2022

Plan A—the one that included a rappel into Heart of Darkness, a spicy descent on the ultra-exposed Diving Board, and a cool line home in Mill B—was a bust.

So, for Plan B, we skied some super fun, creamy powder on a north-facing descent into Cardiff dubbed “Spicy Taquito” and a thrilling southwest-facing line in Two Trees all the way to the highway. 

Juan and I started hiking a little before 8 am today, but by 9 am when we were on top of Cardiff Pass heading towards Superior the winds were howling. 

30 mph sustained winds, lots of flagging, and wind transport on the peaks made the Diving Board not sound like such a good idea today. 

The Diving Board is a one-and-done type line, the kind with an exposure that will give you nightmares. 

Juan with Superior. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

Because of the strong winds today, we weren’t sure what the snow would be like there, so we decided against it—the Diving Board is a line you have to ski in perfect conditions. 

You can’t fall there. 

So we opted for creamy pow into Cardiff Fork instead.

Cardiff Fork, below the Spicy Taquito. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

Spicy Taquito skied like a smooth dream, and Juan and I arced super long, easy turns down the bulgy, surfy terrain that flows into Cardiff from the Little Cottonwood Ridgeline. 

Juan was on a split board and I on skis but our tracks looked the same. 

We had a snack break in a flat area with a gorgeous vantage point of the mountains when a French Canadian split boarder named Hugo randomly appeared. 

Within moments we had a new touring partner and friend. 

Back to LCC. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

The three of us trudged back to the LCC Ridgeline and weighed descent options.

Top of Superior looked good, especially its backside, Black Knob looked fun, but you couldn’t go wrong with Two Trees…

After some back in forth in one of the prettiest spots to have a conversation ever with big mountain views in all directions, we decided on Two Trees.

Juan took Hugo and me to his “secret” entrance into the zone, we transitioned, and then ripped the line.

The zone was thrilling, with steep turns in between rocks and trees and fast, flowy, intuitive terrain for a couple of thousand feet. 

Hugo dropping into Two Trees. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

Hugo went first, steezing it out in the untouched snow, which was a little hot and heavy but still super chargeable.

The top part skied well and we all made aggressive turns in style.

The snow was thin in spots and a little sharky.

Towards the bottom of Two Trees, we entered a short but pinner couloir that funneled into an Apron below.

Hugo amongst giants. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

Juan gunned it, barely even slowing down.

I made elegant, mellow turns in the hot pow.

Hugo just looked like he was having a grand old time when he was in it.

After the choke, we party-skied down very sticky and not very turnable snow to the highway.

Hugo in the choke. | Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

Skiing right to the highway is always a good feeling.

When we got there around noon, it was sunny and probably 20-degrees warmer than on the ridgeline.

We took off our gear and walked back on the road to the car at Alta in ski boots and t-shirts.

The mountains shined with grace and excellence.

May in the Wasatch is a wildly fun time to ski.


Screenshot courtesy of NOAA 5/13/22


Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains
Photo courtesy of SnowBrains

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