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