Skiing in the Wasatch, Utah


Big Tom and I earn our turns above Utah's Brighton ski area and get some Wasatch sun.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Tom and Karen were spending Christmas break with Karen's parents in Salt Lake City. Tom invited me to come down and do some skiing. The first day we skied the lifts at Brighton, the first time I had tried to tele since I broke my leg last June. There hadn't been much new snow for a while, so the conditions were pretty firm, even after grooming.


The next day we decided to go backcountry skiing and look for better snow (or adventure, or peace and quiet, or.. you pick).

Tom took his split board, which was problematic on this long, icy traverse. My "skinny" skis and plastic boots were much better for holding an edge as we nervously scooted across lots of old avalanche debris. But the snow was solid- we were more worried about inadvertently sliding down the hill.


Soon we had gained the saddle, and then skied up the ridge. We were encouraged by seeing a few other hardy folks already getting turns in ahead of us. This shot is looking back at the top of the ski area. Also, the foreground gives an idea of the steepness of some of the terrain we were climbing and skiing.

We climbed up to a high point on the ridge at about 10,800' (by both my altimeter and Tom's GPS). We don't know if the small peak has a name- which says something about how rugged this area is. The road in the background is access and parking for Alta and Snowbird ski areas.

While we were admiring the view, the sun started to peek out. Time to make some turns.

Here Tom is all grins.

That run was so good we decided to climb back up, although not to the very top this time. But as we climbed the ridge, we could see a big storm brewing off to the west.

In the time it took Tom to convert back to a snowboard, the clouds moved in. We had a good run back to the parking lot, although we did have to skin up briefly to get around Twin Lakes.

We had enjoyed our two days in the Wasatch, and wonderful hospitality from Karen's parents. We had to go home the next day, but we were tired and had had a great time.

That night the storm really hit in earnest, dropping over 10 inches by 9am. We put off packing for our departure and ran back up to Brighton for a few hours. It was snowing too hard to take pictures, so you'll just have to take my word that it was pretty fun.

Mr. Natural Home | 2004 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski