Have you ever experienced something and thought “that’s as good as it gets” (or at least as good as it’s been all year) only to have something else outdo it shortly thereafter? Well that’s been the last week for me on skis.
Friday morning, Mike and I skied Scotties, and it was one continuous face shot top to bottom. At one point I crashed because I couldn’t see for all the snow flying up into my face.
Saturday, Mike, Jon S., Brian, and I did four laps in Days—starting with first tracks—with similar conditions as Friday but the added bonus of bluebird skies. It was the best day of the year to date.
Yesterday, I got an IM from Dug asking if I was interested in hitting Suicide Chute in the morning.
Suicide Chute is a consistent 40ish degree pitch off of Mt. Superior. If you’re coming down the canyon from Alta, it stares you in the face and taunts.
It’s about 2000 feet of climbing from the road. We did the first 1700 or so in an hour. Then we switched from skinning to booting, and the last 300 or so took another hour. Thankfully we had Rick on the front doing all the work, with an occasional spell from Rob.
Looking down from where this photo was taken, it was kinda steep. In fact, I had already done one yellow column test because whenever the pitch is over 35 degrees I involuntarily feel the urge to wet [myself]. It’s sort of like having a built in inclinometer. I suddenly had to go again looking down at this pitch at 40+.
As we hiked, I commented on what song would be playing if Apple figured out how to base genius on neural networks such that it played a song based on what I was thinking. After we heard a rather loud explosion from Alta, and I very nearly did more than just wet myself, that song would have been More than a Feeling.
From the top looking over the other side of the ridge, the view of the canyon floor was nice.
Rick, having done most of the work, got to do the honors.
After pausing for a look, he opened it up.
And didn’t stop until the apron. I followed, then Dug.
The snow was so deep and soft and nice that the chute skied smooth and easy. I’ve never skied a line that steep with so little effort and absolutely no fear. Then we got onto the apron and just let it ride to the road.
From the road we had to walk all of 200 yards to where we were parked. Best line I’ve skied all year. And that is why I will never move. Where else can you climb and ski a line like that and be done before 9:00 a.m.? The Colorado plates I saw in the parking lot suggest it can’t be done there.
I feel compelled to write a love sonnet to Utah.