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Utah Interconnect

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

This is from a couple weeks ago- between skiing and work, there ain't 'nuff hours in the day...

 My friend Danny came out from NY and we wanted to do something special. I'd never done the interconnect- I tried once but it was cancelled due to a couple feet of new snow and high avi danger. Basically, if you don't know what it is, you ski six resorts in a day by using the backcountry routes in between. We started at Deer Valley and ended up at Snowbird where we took a van back...If you are visiting Utah, I highly recommend it.

      We had a nice crop of fresh snow, which is always a good start. Our guides were Deb and Patrick (who we dubbed Fan Fan after the famous Chamonix guide...) No last names in Zion. We met early at Snowpark Lodge in Deer Vally. Deb went through basic avi safety, and handed everyone a beacon. 


 We hit DV early, mostly for a sort of ski-school-can-you-turn assessment, and everyone was a strong skier, our fellow Bear Ant was along, so the guides were real happy that we could do more challenging stuff... fun. I will say that DV is amazing at first chair with pristine corduroy... We ducked the rope at the top of Lady Morgan and bushwhacked through the trees to PCMR. We didn't ski much of PCMR, which I would have liked, as it's my home hill and I knew what was good that day....but  onward up the Jupiter lift, under the rope and to Backdoor- a really nice mountainside that leads down to the Guardsman Pass summer road. We cruised on that, hitting powder stashes here and there all along the way.


 Morning briefing. Deb fastens Danny's avalanche beacon. The route is not high risk, but it is backcountry so all precautions are observed.

Dan is an XL guy, and we left his classic Volant Chubbs on the rack in my garage- instead he took a pair of Nordica Unleashed Hells  in 186 that I had mounted demo (courtesy Start Haus'  blem sale...) and he just loved them. They're very surfy in pow, but as Danny said, the rocker makes them short and nimble when you want it, but you can lay them over and get the whole edge...



The Montage at Deer Valley, early morning.



Danny and guide, Patrick, at Backdoor, just under the rope off of Jupiter lift. We were urged not to try this without permission...

Brighton and Solitude are in the distance, where we're headed. Patrick does snow safety at Snowbird- avi control- and is one of the more graceful skiers I've seen- Deb is the honcho at interconnect, so we had the A team that day.



  First powder turns. I had to go second, after Fan Fan (Pat), because, well, I had the camera...

That's Ant coming down..




 one of our party- four guests, two guides, and a random SkiUtah tele local dude...


Random Tele local dude...Dave, I think.



Danny workin' the Nordicas...









On the Ridge before dropping down into Solitude, I shot our tracks with the telephoto.




 After this it was a long summer road touring cruise interspersed with some lovely low angle untracked powder fields all the way to BCC and Solitude. We skied powder in Honeycomb Canyon, had lunch, and screwed around Solitude a bit hunting powder stashes. Found a hop turn drainpipe chute at the bottom of one powder shot. Anything for a few creamy turns.


Highway to heaven between Solitude and LCC;



This was a revelation to me- Wolverine Cirque, out the top gate and behind Solitude. Deb said that all those Utah backcountry shots you see in powder magazine are shot here. I believe it. Wonderland. My crappy photos do not do this justice. The necklace of snowy peaks is breathtaking, but it's hard to take your eyes off the snowy powder fields below. 







Here's where my camera battery gave out. Typical. It was all like this, all day.. (well, mostly...)

We went on to great powder turns on Alta's doorstep, hit Alta just as the Devil's Castle rope dropped...but we blew past it to lap Mineral Basin at Snowbird until they threw us off the mountain. Great day. I highly recommend it. 

Edited by Mr. Crab - 2/28/13 at 8:59pm
post #2 of 23

Wow, what a great day!  yahoo.gif


Truly envious my friend.  Thanks for sharing a great Utah classic.  Looks like you had perfect conditions as long as you weren't cutting the skin track.

post #3 of 23

Nice report. 

post #4 of 23

great pics and report

post #5 of 23

That brings back fantastic memories.


Thanks for the report.

post #6 of 23

Bummed I couldn't make it as planned MR. Crab.  Looks like a great day.  I did manage to sneak out to Utah this past weekend for a few days, though.  TR to follow.

post #7 of 23
Nice, SOME DAY I will be able to stay in a ladge near Down town PC and get to lift assist to any PC resor / BCC resort/ LCC resort. I have no idea how you get there from here, but thats what needs to happen!!'
post #8 of 23

I wanted to try this trip but never had the chance.  Maybe someday.  It looks like a lot of fun!


Thanks for the pics

post #9 of 23

just did this yesterday (March 1st) --Amazing day of skiing --- really pushed my limits


We started the day at Deer Valley -- skied a few runs there then ducked the rope (legally it was an adventure tour) headed into some steep tight trees that were loaded with Powder--- we worked thru that and ended up at Park City Mountain resort. 

We skied some runs at PMCR heading to the top of McConkey's and then hiking higher to Scott's Bowl literally like hiking up a knifes edge. We dropped into Scot's Bowl and worked our way down. Then up another lift and out of bounds again. 

This time a long back country decent heading into Big Cottonwood Canyon. We skied a mix of trees and powder fields most with a good pitch before hitting a cat track (think snow covered road) a mile or two down to Solitude.

In Solitude we made some runs working our way eventually to the Summit where we found if we dropped into Brighton as was the plan the route to Alta & Snowbird would possibly close due to avalanche danger. 

So we changed plans --dropping Brighton and began to climb the " Highway to Heaven (or HELL) --- think long uphill traverse along a VERY steep pitch... 
20+ minutes of high heart rate at 10,000 feet --- then a long back country decent into Little Cottonwood Canyon. ---thru Grizzly Gulch. (the name was fitting) 

We ended up in Alta ski center and did a few runs there -- then had a great lunch. Before a few more runs at Alta. 

We finished the day in Snowbird with a run into mineral basin followed by a LONG run the other way down to the Tram station. 

Amazing day... legs & wind held up well ... but man it was STEEP at times.

post #10 of 23

Great to read the reports!  I just won the bid on two trips on the Interconnect via the KPCW online auction at slightly over half-price, so I'm psyched to try it out.  I am gone for two weekends in March, so might try to do the DV --> Snowbird route this coming Sunday to make sure I fit it in!


I would like to save them for next season when I expect more visitors, but since they expire in mid-April, let me know if anyone wants to take the other off my hands!  It does not need to be used on the same day that I go.

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 


post #12 of 23
How much does this cist
post #13 of 23
Originally Posted by TFull View Post

How much does this cist

Retail is $295, includes lunch, guides etc,

post #14 of 23

A report with a very high "drool factor." Splendid images as well. It is never easy being the designated photographer. The camera can be a jealous mistress. Sometimes a dead battery can be a blessing.


post #15 of 23

We were at the 'Bird  the week of Feb 18, and I signed up for the interconnect on that Thursday (that's the day they go in the opposite direction- start at Snowbird, ski to Alta, then into BCC and Brighton/ Solitude, and head back in a loop finishing back at Snowbird). Unfortunately, I was the only one signed up, so it didn't go. Nice pictures, and certainly tempting me for the next time!

post #16 of 23

Tell me next time, dp, I'd do that tour and I live close enough for a last minute call.  Besides, it'd be nice to ski with you again!

post #17 of 23

Hi MG- I had no idea that you were located that close (perhaps I should look at a map.....). I have to go to vegas tomorrow for a meeting- is that anywhere near you? I ail unfortunately be busy almost every minute, so I am not planning on bringing skis or climbing gear (the meeting is at the Red Rocks resort which I am told is very close to all kinds of outdoor recreation opportunities, but I will be lecturing or in meetings from start to finish). I haven't gotten a single BC day in yet this season and less than half of my usual inbounds days- my worst season in a dozen years, but the 3 days in LCC were great.

post #18 of 23
I am down. If we get a big storm we should set something up
post #19 of 23

very nice!


...not expecting it to be like this next week , while I'm there...

but it'll still be nice to be in the Cathedral de Ski...



post #20 of 23

I still have an Interconnect gift certificate available for this season if anyone is interested, half price to retail! PM me for info.

post #21 of 23

Route Maps


Just to pipe in, I would like to add typical route maps, thought some of you folks might be interested. 

Keep in mind, these are just typical routes, conditions, clients resort closure predict our routes daily. 


Typical Deer Valley Departure Routes:



Typical Snowbird Departure Routes:


post #22 of 23

I have a question about this - the website says it is designed to be done on alpine gear, does that mean that nobody skins any section of it ever or is it preference? If I showed up and everybody was on AT gear would the guide prevent us from skinning instead of the alpine uphill traverses/side stepping that they speak of? I understand the need to keep the group together at all times but assume that everybody is equipped to skin.


This sounds like a fun trip but I would definitely feel more comfortable putting the skins on instead of side stepping for 20 minutes.

post #23 of 23

I did the trip earlier this season.  If you are fit, the major side-stepping portion is only about 10-15 minutes max.  Skins would probably be overkill.  On my trip, no one used skins, nor had them.  I should note that the vertical gain in the "Highway to Heaven" sidestep can't be more than 200 feet by my estimation, probably less.


They will also force you to stay in the path already laid by the leader or previous trips, particularly on this section as it is likely the most dangerous (although still quite safe)


My group had alpine, tele, and AT gear.

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