Report from Friday, November 11, 2022
Cold, bluebird, and deep—just how we like it.
We got to Alta at 9 this morning arriving in cold, clear, and sunny weather. The weather was gorgeous; there was zero wind and tons of happy people on the skin track.
We set off for Flagstaff with an aim to ski the Hallway: a sneaky, gorgeous west-facing couloir in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Avalanche danger was reported by the UAC as moderate on all upper elevation aspects today with wind-loading as the primary avalanche problem.
The sun was strong and we were sweating on the skinner up Flagstaff.
At the top of Flagstaff, we left Little Cottonwood Canyon and traversed along the upper boundary of Days Fork, locating the sneaky entrance to the Hallway.
We transitioned and dropped into the belly of the best.
It had been skied hard by a few parties before us so much of the chute was tracked out and choppy, but the snow that was remaining was still soft and fluffy.
I dropped first, keeping my speed through the choke.
The couloir’s rock walls cast their tall shadows on me as I huffed and puffed and made turns down the steep line.
My feet were burning.
Exiting the couloir you get thrown right into The Tube, which is a long halfpipe-type feature that takes you to the drainage below.
The tube is arguably more fun than the Hallway itself, and I made fast, surfy turns down the tunnel in what felt like almost a foot of medium-density powder.
I managed to ski the Hallway and the Tube all in one go without stopping—I could hardly breathe at the bottom but I was stoked.
My touring partner Connor dropped after me and he crushed the line, even managing to snag a couple of hilarious falls and blowing out his ski’s edge on a hidden rock in the chute proper.
His ski was totally destroyed but we were laughing hard about it at the bottom.
From the bottom of the tube, we toured up Cardiff Fork, past an abandoned 19th building of sorts, past the glorious-looking Cardiac Ridge, and up to Cardiff Pass for some bonus powder back to the car.
As we skinned, we spotted our first glimpse of surface hoar this season—is this a sign of what’s to come?
The south-facing stuff back into Little Cottonwood had developed a sun crust by about 2 pm when we dropped, making the ski down interesting but still fun.
All and all, it was about the best way we could ever ask to spend a Friday in the Wasatch.