Industry Website, The Ideal Vacation: Ski the Mountains, Explore the City. Please try again or contact us at support@57hours.com and we’ll resolve the problem. There are some dangerous sections, so know your route! The Backcountry Skiing Blog Site for Utah and Beyond by Ski Guide John Mletschnig Utah Backcountry Skiing Professional Information for Backcountry Skiers and Tales from the Great Beyond. Catherine’s Pass (via Grizzly Gulch) is reachable by skinning or lift and offers fantastic bowl skiing with further access to the trio of Sunset Peak, Mount Tuscarora, and Pioneer Peak – all of which offer chutes, couloirs, bowls and trees of their own. Those leaving the ski area boundaries or entering the backcountry from a trailhead need standard avalanche rescue gear, avalanche training and should regularly consult the Utah … This is a place best suited for experienced backcountry travelers in good shape. Utah’s licence plates say “The Greatest Snow On Earth,” and anyone who’s gotten in a few backcountry runs can attest to this. There’s a lot of family options and the resort itself has done much to bolster its standing amongst its other more frequented neighbors. So whether you’re a newcomer looking to earn you turns in the backcountry, crave some expert-level steep skiing, or want to tackle a multi-day adventure with friends, Utah has it all. Backcountry Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, Climbing and Skiing Solitude's Fantasy Ridge. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding have exploded into the mainstream this year. Also attainable from the Solitude lot is USA Bowl, which has good tree skiing, with other options further beyond, like South Monitor and Scott Hill. Stories. The double-resort pass offers skiers of every level a chance to experience all of the inbounds terrain that the whole area has to offer. What else should we know before connecting you with the guide? Utah Backcounty Utah mountains are home to incredible backcountry terrain. Backcountry Skiing Utah: A Guide to the State’s Best Ski Tours. Take an avalanche safety course and always check local avalanche conditions before you head out. The skiing is really good here. If you’re looking for an abundance of dry powder, thousands of acres of terrain AND backcountry access, the Alta and Snowbird ski areas are the place for you. The region typically gets 500” of snow, and in a good year, conditions can be favorable through late spring. Not helpful? The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA) promotes cross-country skiing in the Salt Lake City area, including the popular Mountain Dell ski area and upper stretch of Mill Creek Canyon. For those who’ve skied at Alta or Snowbird, it’s impossible not to draw an eye on Superior with its steep, white encased mass towering 3000’ above the Little Cottonwood Highway. Be sure not to park there if not staying at the resort, look for legal parking on the road instead. Depending on which objective you take, the terrain is diverse: trees, glades, high angle, chutes and couloirs, The access here is good and relatively straightforward, depending on your objective. Within Park City, the Park City Mountain Resort is the largest ski area in the United States which means there’s tons of paths and activities to choose from, whether you’re an adventure seeker, luxury traveler or going on a family vacation. From the Alta trailhead, follow the Cardiff Pass route. Believe the hype! Utah Backcountry Skiing Skiing the Utah Backcountry. Another option for the area is Flagstaff Mountain and Upper Days Fork, which can be tracked out fairly quickly, but is still worth getting up early to hit skiable chutes, bowls and trees. The Ideal Vacation: Ski the Mountains, Explore the City, Copyright © 2020 Utah.com. From the bowl, you can ski to the south side and finish the ascent up the to the summit. The LaSal Mountains offer miles of trails and unlimited backcountry skiing terrain. Development of this platform was partially funded by EU. If there were a poster child for skiing in Utah, Mount Superior would be it. Next-door neighbors, they both have their own unique vibes . Who is backcountry skiing right for? Ample slackcountry and backcountry access; use Alta lifts or use the Alta parking lot and skin up! The name says it all. The Wasatch Mountain Range might come to mind for most when they think of the best backcountry ski spots in Utah, but there’s another truly great location, definitely off the beaten path, that bears mentioning as a serious destination for any backcountry skier: La Sal Mountains, just outside of Moab! So, while the 3.5hr drive from SLC may not be on the top of everyone’s weekend ski list, those who decide to make the journey will find themselves soon planning out their next trip back. Touring bindings allow a free heel for climbing that can clip in for descents. The ridgeline is accessible if you want to skip the lines, Moderate amounts of dry Utah snow during the entire season, Ski area boundaries and routes are available here. Cirques, chutes, bowls, and plenty of powder and steep runs, and yes, cliff drops, 10,026’ at Alta; Snowbird’s slightly higher at 11,000’. Millicent provides runs that will take you all the way to Alta and Snowbird. All that snow, and tons of backcountry locations only 35 minutes from a major American airport make it easy to have the time of your life skiing the backcountry in the best snow around. There’s paths everywhere and lots of trailhead options. A little inbounds to get out of bounds isn’t a problem. When looking west from Snowbird it’s hard to miss the mass of peaks, ridges and chutes choking the skyline. Superior 11,050’ (base); 3000’ vertical from the South Face, Drive your car. Simply put, it’s a gem of a ski vacation destination where there’s plenty of skiable lines available after it’s more famous neighbors get tracked out. Carry food, a shovel, extra warm clothes, a probe and a beacon at a minimum. The groomed trails pass by several meadows, some steep enough for telemarking. This area is also accessible via the White Pine Trailhead if you’re not based out of the resort. Utah. People who love powder enough to climb up a hill for it. The Chuting Gallery by Andrew McLean. Tyson Bradley is a nationally recognized extreme and backcountry skier. And if you feel like springing for it, there’s heli-skiing if you want that hard-to-reach pow. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a discount and updates on 57hours offers, webinars, and reviews. WHO BACKCOUNTRY SKIS? Not bad. Snowbird routinely ranks as a top resort and its surrounding area ranks as a backcountry skiing paradise because there’s ample, varied and steep terrain everywhere you look. Much of this terrain comprises the Lone Peak Wilderness Area, more specifically Hogum Fork. He writes a regular skiing … Or at least trying to. Touring boots have an unlockable ankle for freer motion when climbing. (optional). Heli-skiing and side country/lift-accessed backcountry skiing count, but backcountry in its purest form is human-powered. Diverse terrain. Backcountry Skiing The Central Wasatch. Knock off work early on a Friday, and you’ll log two full weekend days of backcountry skiing before you need to make the drive home. Backcountry skiing — aka ski touring, alpine touring, ski mountaineering, randonnée — is on the rise in Utah for its compelling mixture of exercise, adventure, first tracks, freedom and being free (once you’ve … Backcountry Skiing Utah is an indispensable resource for planning safe day trips and extended ski tours in the mountains of the Beehive State. One good thing to know about Alta: the resort doesn’t mind backcountry skiers using its snowcat route for backcountry access. No resort pass required. Long considered a local’s locale, Solitude is far less crowded than its neighbors and offers plenty of Utah’s famous powder. In fact, it’s skiable on all sides, which are comprised of steep, expert terrain where conditions need to be optimal before approaching anywhere near it. 1100’ at 50° for The Hypodermic Needle (approx. On the northside of the Ridgeline consider Dutchess Draw and McDonald’s Draw each with big, each skiable and mega on powder days. Backcountry Skiing Park City Utah for the Wasatch Mountains in and around Park City Utah. On snow days, when the resort skiers are doing their thing it’s the perfect time to check out backcountry options. Join thousands of outdoor enthusiasts subscribed to our newsletter! Sign up for the 57hours newsletter and join our growing community of outdoor adventurers. It’s also a world-famous destination for snowboarders, too, so if you’ve got one in your group (or your family), there’ll be something for everyone. On the other side, the lines off of Mt. If you’re looking for an Alta and Snowbird backcountry trail map, you won’t find a better one than the Wasatch backcountry ski map mentioned above. The terrain variety is impressive, both at the resorts and in the backcountry, More crowded than other spots on this list, Solitude Resort is smaller compared to others in the area, Lift tickets for slackcountry are priced well, Accommodations are limited, so be sure to book in advance, GREAT FOR SKIING BOTH ON AND OFF RESORT BACKCOUNTRY, Great slackcountry right off of Park City Mountain Resort, It’s a 3.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City. Touring potential is massive among these peaks, which can easily be … Think of backcountry skiing as analog skiing, tackling the mountain in its natural, uncontrolled state. As ski resorts are limiting access because of the coronavirus pandemic, skiers are looking for alternative … Not really the kind of beta you want to hear before embarking on a trip—but we, the ever-optimistic Backcountry Skiing … The summit ascent requires a lot of care and preparation (cliffs! Get in-depth reviews and expert advice to help you start planning your next big outdoor adventure. Also accessible from Big Cottonwood is the Park City Ridgeline, which is arguably one of the best backcountry skiing zones in Utah. Park your car. Ski Utah is dedicated to promoting the ski and snowboard industry in the great state of Utah. Now, we’re debuting the skis, boards, boots, … Backcountry skiing is the opposite of frontcountry skiing. Because we just made up the word ‘frontcountry’? Out of the hundreds of canyons and ridges that make up Utah, it is the Park City Ridge, American Fork Canyon, Millcreek Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little … It typically sees the most amount of snow, with conditions generally staying prime until mid-March. It's no surprise backcountry skiing … The state of Utah is famous for its world-class resorts and for having The Greatest Snow on Earth®. From beginner backcountry touring clinics for the whole family to expert-only choose your own adventure trips, there’s no shortage of fun to be had here. They’re also huge. “I haven’t seen it this bad in the 11 years I’ve been out here,” said a Utahan in January. More important, though, are the backcountry runs available both within and without the resort, collectively known as the Park City Ridgeline. Regardless, if you’re not too proud to take PCMR’s giant lift, the 9990, explore the southern half of the ridgeline and ski the classic Monitor Bowls or No Name bowl, all of which offer steep and sustained runs. Salt Lake City is home to the annual, massive Outdoor Retailer Show. Courtesy of Wasatch Backcountry Skiing. This year at Powder Mountain, Utah, our testers gathered for the 2021 Gear Test Week to review 121 products just before Covid-19 sent us into lockdown. The mildly masochistic segment of the ski bum set. Lastly, and most essential is the safety gear…. Learn where to go, how to get there, and much more from experts. There you go: five go-to spots even when the danger looks dicey. Start your ascent. Alpine touring skis are the most popular style, wider and lighter than traditional downhill skis, made of carbon fiber or lighter woods. Read more... WHAT IS BACKCOUNTRY SKIING? Willie has also set speed records in Africa on Mt. While there’s plenty for families to do here while on vacation, the advanced and expert skiers here will have plenty of terrain to carve and shred, both on and off-piste. REQUIRED GEAR Welcome to Backcountry Snowmobiling View the beautiful backcountry mountains while experiencing the best snowmobiling Park City, Utah has to offer. Angel Collinson Skis the Suicide Chute in Salt Lake City ... Mt. This ridgeline extends fo roughly 8 miles, offering numerous … Stay up-to-date with the latest outdoor adventure stories and get exclusive offers delivered straight to your inbox. Backcountry Touring Clinic Instruction in skinning, downhill technique on skis and snowboards and safe route-finding. East Asia. 200" of snow at Brighton in JANUARY! It’s hard work, but it isn’t hard to pick up — especially if you already have some experience with downhill and/or cross-country skiing. If you see someone ski touring without a backpack, you can check the IDIOT box on your Backcountry Bingo card. Whisper Ridge is a premier luxury adventure backcountry resort, offering guided heli and cat-skiing, as well as the only heli-MTB provider in the Continental US. Willie is a fully certified IFMGA mountain guide and AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide, based out of Sandy, his home in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah with wife Liz. It’s also a location where the right snow and avalanche conditions are essential for safe travel. There’s little margin for error out there. One last word to the tech-savvy: if you’re sticking around Wasatch, and let’s face it, most of us are, there’s an amazing app called Wasatch Backcountry Skiing Map available on both iOS and Android, it’s not free, but it has ALL the route beta you need to know. Each day, hard-working ski patrols make the terrain inside of ski area boundaries extremely safe from avalanches. Great … And obviously, check … An excellent starting point is Grizzly Gulch, which only requires a short skin and delivers quickly on skiable pow – great for beginners. His star began to rise when he obtained the first ascent of the 3,000-foot North Face of Pakistan’s Nameless Tower (“Book of Shadows” VII, 5.10+ A4 W14). Splitboarding at Mill D in Big Cottonwood Canyon 12/20 & 24, 1500’ vertical for Short Swing or 2100’ for Reynolds Peak, Easy and rewarding. One of the easier runs is Haystack Mountain, which, with its south and east-facing aspects, serves up plenty of corn come spring. Beyond Wasatch, the La Sal Mountains have some solid places to ski right around Moab. It should be noted that there are plenty of approaches to diverse terrain regardless of hazard conditions. If you’re looking to ski off-resort all together, there are plenty of Park City backcountry ski tours available, with guides who can introduce you to the best — and least crowded — places. When in doubt, hire a guide to show you the best the area has to offer. So go nuts (cautiously). All profits from the paper map are donated to organizations that promote avalanche safety or the preservation of the Wasatch … As the first ski resort in Utah, Brighton has something for everybody: there’s family-friendly trails, lots of night skiing and amazing slackcountry and backcountry terrain. If you’re just starting, go with someone who knows what they’re doing to learn the ropes. As one of the largest backcountry resorts in the world and only 60 minutes from Salt Lake, Whisper Ridge … Here’s a primer for skiers ready to earn their turns, put some skin(s) in the game, etc. About the Backcountry. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security due to all the other skiers in the backcountry, more people means greater attention must be paid to snowpack and weather conditions. If you’re looking for something a little crazier, you can mountaineer up the South Face, but do so with a guide. The Wasatch Backcountry Skiing Map includes the names of more than 1,000 backcountry locations. Backcountry Skiing Utah 2014. Hiking up hills and finding your own first tracks. Dramatic peaks, inspiring lines and untouched fields of The Greatest Snow on Earth® beckon from beyond the resort boundaries. The resort offers sidecountry access to challenging terrain in Honeycomb Canyon, where skiers can discover chutes and wide-open powderfields in Wolverine Cirque. When you combine the epic Wasatch terrain with 500” of annual snowfall and easy backcountry access, you get the best off-piste ski locations in not just Utah, but the whole country. I’ve also skied in the Bear River Range, the Deep Creek Range, and the Uintas.”. Kenya, made three attempts on the highly coveted Pakistani peak Latok 1, done first ascents on the big walls of Baffin Island and climbed dozens of Bolivian and Peruvian peaks. The Powder Hound’s Guide to Skiing Alta by Brad Asmus, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, approximately 30 miles from Salt Lake City, Alta: 40°34′51″N 111°38′14″W; Snowbird: 40.5819° N, 111.6552° W. There are few touring areas that provide as varied terrain as Mill D. Long known for its easy access aspen glade skiing, Mill D has a bit of everything, including plenty of advanced options. About the Author. Bluebird+ includes: Three Bluebird Backcountry lessons ($227+ value) Free access to daily clinics / ski … He’s led over 20 Himalayan expeditions, including thirteen Everest summits, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, Ama Dablam, an attempt on the North face of Jannu, and the “The Crystal Snake” first ascent on Nuptse. You can also skip the resort, too, and find access to Silver Fork Canyon and Honeycomb by parking at the lower Solitude lot and skinning/bootpacking up to Silver Fork for runs like Silver Spoon, Meadow Chutes and Brad’s Line. While the majority of people may consider Moab primarily as a hiking and mountain biking locale, locals who know the area are taking advantage of its 12+ 12,000’ mountains for backcountry skiing objectives. They also lead to high terrain where experienced backcountry explorers and mountaineers can find long descents equal to any in Utah! Utah native and Rad-Older-Brother archetype Layne Caldwell, who contributed anything useful you’ve read above, offers these observations: “The resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons already own the prime north-facing ski terrain, but there are many side canyons that still offer great skiing in the Central Wasatch. Download our free app and discover your next adventure today! ), but there are high angle chutes and bowls waiting for you on its north face. Please try again, or contact us at support@57hours.com and we’ll resolve the problem. There are tons of objectives for every level of skier, from mellow tree skiing to steep couloirs and low angle meadows. Who would have thought the Great Salt Lake could make such great light powder? In upper White Pine, there’s the spectacular Glacier Bowl and the West Pass. Mill D North Fork. And just beyond Millicent is the Wolverine Cirque, with insanely steep chutes. Cardiac Bowl and Chutes can be gained after some demanding skinning along the ridgeline, which requires concentration and experience. Designed for participants with little or no experience in the … avalanches! This is a mountain biking and hiking hotspot in the warmer months, so there’s ample snow covered trails to get where you need, Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes: Utah by Jared Hargrave, Grab a cup at Moab Coffee Roasters, where they roast their own beans, Get a pint and a burger at the family-friendly Moab Brewery. If you want to take full advantage of the area and head off-resort, Snowbird and Alta backcountry guides that offer day, weekend and week-long packages for all objectives. What dreams are made of. Classic. Some people gravitate toward the resorts since they’re bound to be in the areas with the most snow, though you’ll want to check their policies on walking up the hill. Backcountry Skiing in Utah and Beyond We send bi-weekly updates on new stories and trip discounts, 57hours mobile app is the easiest way to book a guide. The ski season in Utah usually kicks off mid-November and lasts through April. Whether you want to find powder stashes in the Corkscrew Glades or shred the vertical on Mount Tukuhnikivatz (Mount Tuk, as it’s affectionately known to locals), the access for most lines and runs is straightforward thanks to Moab being a solid spring and summer recreation destination. ... Backcountry Skiing Terrain Parks Gear Store Ski Utah Magazine eNewsletter & Snowmail Compare All Resorts Ski Swaps Real Estate Ski … Just off of the Great Western Lift is Hidden Canyon which offers some of the easiest backcountry access you’ll find, and runs lasting for days after a storm. Easy access to backcountry skiing with the Ninety-Nine 90 Express within the park. There’s no doubt that the Wasatch Mountains hold the goods in Utah — Little Cottonwood Canyon around Alta and Snowbird, Big Cottonwood Canyon near Brighton and Solitude, the Back Wasatch — all areas that are renowned for their conditions and proximity to one another. Drop-offs, chutes, bowls and lots of mellow tree skiing, There’s easy slackcountry access to some of the best backcountry in the US, complete with affordable single-ride lift tickets. Canada. It's available as a paper map, on your desktop, and for your mobile device. All of these options and more are attainable with skins. Brighton has some of the coldest and driest snow in the world, and there’s plenty of it throughout the season. A more stable snowpack and warm, sunny weather are … No matter your experience level, we are here to help you become the backcountry skier you want to be. The two mountains share a two-mile-long ridgeline that stretches from the top of Sugarloaf Pass, through to Baldy Shoulder, and then down to the bypass road. Backcountry skiing — aka ski touring, alpine touring, ski mountaineering, randonnée — is on the rise in Utah for its compelling mixture of exercise, adventure, first tracks, freedom and being free (once you’ve bought all the gear…). 12 Must Ski Runs in Salt Lake City When you book a Park City snowmobile tour with us, … beware! The two main faces for descents are Cardiac Bowl and the South Face. Compared to other areas, access here requires a good deal of effort and a big day but the reward of solitude and plethora of five-star terrain is unbeatable. What makes Brighton so special is it is a perfect place for regular resort skiers to get a taste of the backcountry. THE BEST LOCATION FOR GLADE SKIING. I like skiing in Davis County as well. The drainage there also acts as a relatively safe harbor when avalanche hazard is elevated. Truth is, anyone can do it. Join me, Burke Alder (https://www.burkealder.com), as I climb on a pair of backcountry touring skis to the summit of Lone Peak, Utah at 11,253 feet. Utah may be known for its world-famous powder, but spring is the best time to backcountry ski big lines in remote ranges. All rights reserved. Yes, you can ski between Alta and Snowbird. You’re out in it, away from the crowds, away from the ski patrol and avalanche control. Does it help if we define frontcountry as any controlled ski area with lifts, signs, groomed runs, etc.? It’s not on everybody’s bucket list only because of its name. The Bear River Range, located near Logan in Northern Utah, holds some of the best backcountry skiing in the state. Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding Friendly, professional UMA guides will share their knowledge and skills while leading you to bowls, glades, chutes and peaks covered in Utah's famous soft snow. The point of backcountry skiing is you can pretty much go anywhere you want (though private property laws still apply…). The defining part of a backcountry setup is the skins — flexible strips you slap on the bottom of your skis with hairs or fibers that grip the snow while you climb, then peel off when you’re ready to do what resort skiers pay all that money for. Where else in the world can you ski six resorts in one day? By the time any of the 40 annual Pacific snowstorms make their way to Utah, they become proverbial ‘perfect storms’ and dump 500” of amazing, blower powder annually around Salt Lake City and the rest of Utah. Kilimanjaro and Mt. People who like trail running and mountain biking in the warmer months. Splitboards are snowboards you can separate into skinnable skis for climbing. Backcountry skiing is like rock climbing and falling in love: The same thing that makes it fun makes it dangerous. While you can get to the ridgeline directly from the resort, the terrain and its bowls and treelines are attainable from outside the resort, mostly on the Solitude and Brighton side of Big Cottonwood Canyon. We shot a whack of videos on new products, met with partners, exhausted ourselves and hightailed it out of then-smoggy Salt Lake City to the town of Ogden, also in Utah. Start skinning from Spruces Trailhead, Expect the same stellar conditions as the rest of Utah. This past January, we had the pleasure of visiting Utah once again. Slackcountry access to White Pine Fork happens via a Snowbird backcountry gate, from where you can take a short hike to the west to Temptation Ridge and shred the Temptation Chutes, or traverse up the ridgeline and head for Birthday Chutes and Tri Chutes. This accomplishment made with his brother Damian in 2003 won them Climbing magazine’s Golden Piton Award. The best month to ski in Utah is February. See also: Red Baldy (west of Snowbird), Greens Basin (near Solitude), Mill D (south face of Big Cottonwood), Bountiful Peak (via Farmington Canyon), Ben Lomond and Willard Peaks (Ogden), Logan Peak, La Sal Pass (near Moab), Delano Peak (near Beaver). , where skiers can discover chutes and wide-open powderfields in Wolverine Cirque allow a free heel for climbing that clip... Utah: a guide to the summit ascent requires a lot of care and preparation ( cliffs, of! Who love powder enough to climb up a hill for it, there ’ s margin! That makes it dangerous signs, groomed runs, etc. uncontrolled.... Hard-Working ski patrols make the terrain inside of ski area boundaries extremely safe avalanches! From mellow tree skiing to steep couloirs and low angle meadows tour with us …... For legal parking on the road instead challenging terrain in Honeycomb Canyon, where skiers discover. By tyson Bradley be sure not to Park there if not staying at resort. 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