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Daly Chutes at Deer Valley - need details

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Friends, I am heading out to DV tomorrow for four days. Just fresh of a week at Vail where I skied blacks off China Bowls with no problem (first time out west). I hear that the Daly Chutes are the most challenging terrain at DV. Would appreciate any suggestions as to how to approach them, tactically, and what to look for to determine if the conditions are right to ski them at all. Thanks. David

post #2 of 27

Just interjecting a site tip for David and anyone reading: I added the tag "Deer Valley" to this post. That way, it gets indexed with all conversations about Deer Valley--so it will come up in "related threads" when a tangential topic is being discussed, which may make it more likely to be seen by someone who has the information you are seeking. If we all could use the tag system, like information would be aggregated with like information and this would make it infinitely easier for us to find when we go looking for it.

post #3 of 27

They ARE on the most extreme runs list, so I assume they would be pretty gnarly. Work you're way up the trail rating system before attempting the chutes!

post #4 of 27

I think they look harder than they are. The traverse out to them is benign (and you may want to detour into the trees before you get there if it has snowed recently - lots o' stashes). The first chute is wide at the top - the hardest part is at the bottom where it funnels and gets rutted. You can enter part way down skiers left of the chute if you are cautious, or go skiers right and double back in at the top or drop off the cornice. The chutes farther down are trickier, in part because they don't get skied as much and the snow can be choppy.

 

IMO Daly Chutes are the funnest things at DV, although I don't know the mt. very well.

post #5 of 27

 If you had to drop the cornice from the top they might be considered hard.  But the traverse in is easy and they are very short. IMHO the tree runs are better.

post #6 of 27

Just wondering, what's harder to ski in a foot of powder in perfect visibility: the chutes in gate 1 of Mott Canyon @ Heavenly or these Daly Chutes?

post #7 of 27

You're not talking about Killebrew right?  Cos I think that's harder than Motts depending how you drop in.

 

I'd still have to say Motts simply because of the presence of trees and rock.  But Daly is steep and they pinch off part way down.  Dunno how they are skiing right now.  I think they are shorter than Motts.  Plus Motts has that nasty top part that's narrower.

 

As someone mentioned, first trip out west you might want to back off the throttle a bit.  OTOH what the hell if you think you got it in you ....

 

post #8 of 27

Last year, when I was skiing everything in sight on the East Coast, I took my second trip out west, the first one being 4 years before at Jackson Hole, when I was only a black skier by East Coast standards. I remember staring at the crazy double diamond drops (the only ones I saw were Toilet Bowl area and Expert Chutes) and insane skiers.

 

So, now, 4 years later, I take a trip out west to Tahoe. I expected the double blacks to be like JH. So I took it slow levelling it up to harder runs at Heavenly for the week. Gunbarrel was not your typical steep double black so that's an exception, but I'm talking about the two expert canyons (Motts and Killebrew). By the third day, I knew I was ready. I headed into Motts under the lift, and saw terrain that felt unbelievably steep. But I was reassured because I had progressively gone steeper. If I had stepped in there the first day, I would have been freaked out of my mind as the difference between the Eastern double black and Western double black had a huge difference of steepness.

 

Concluding, adapt yourself to the steeps. Please don't just head in to the hardest stuff the first day. The trails are a lot steeper and you can fall down the slope top to bottom quite fast, as I've seen it happen, which you won't find on the East Coast (unless Tuckerman's!)

 

 

 

edit:

 

Mott Canyon: 37 degrees over 680 vertical

Daly Chutes: 41 degrees over 400 vertical

 

just steepness. don't know about rocks, trees, obstacles, etc. just for some fun lol.


Edited by skiking4 - 2/25/2009 at 06:32 pm
post #9 of 27

Seconding the advice to be careful.  China Bowl isn't steep or difficult by Western standards.  Did you have a look at Prima Cornice?  That would be more representative of a typical Western double-diamond run.  I haven't skied DV, but I would expect Daly Chutes to be a big step up from China Bowl.

 

Anyway, the trick to this stuff is deciding how likely you are to fall at any given point in the run and then determining what will happen to you if you do.  If there the consequences to a fall are low (nothing to hit, unlikely to rag-doll long distances), then you have a good opportunity to push yourself if you are so inclined.  As the consequences of a fall get more serious, your confidence that a fall won't happen (which should be based on skill) needs to grow significantly or you will be asking to get hurt. 

 

As far as deciding whether/when something is skiiable, there are lots of options.  First, talk to the ski patrol.  If the run is open, they'll know how it is skiing.  Find out where the easiest line is (so you can start there).  Find out the best time to ski it.  Find out how to get out (i.e. is there a catch line or a cat track, is it possible to miss that and end up lost?).  Ask if there are any hazards to watch out for (i.e. don't charge the second rollover because most of it is a cliff band and there is only one line through).

 

You can often get the same information by talking to locals or really anyone who has just come off the run.  Watch for them.  Strike up conversations with people on the chairlift, at the gate, or at the top of the run.  The more beta you get, the better prepared you'll be.

 

Also, if you are worried about conditions, ski nearby slope with similar aspect.  That should give you a feel for the snow.  Consider the weather and the affects of temperature, sun, wind, and snow.  Has there been a melt-freeze cycle.  Has there been any new snow?  Is it deep enough to cover any nasties underneath?  Has there been enough time and appropriate temps to for the snow to consolidate back to soft conditions?  Is the wind blowing snow in, or blowing snow away?  Is the sun softening a hard surface, or is it turning a soft surface into glop (or baking it into a crust).   Do you have sufficient visibility? 

 

Good luck & have fun!

 

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Much obliged for the info and insights.

I would not plan to hit Daly right off but am there for four days and would want to work my way up to it as a goal. For those of you who know the hill, what would be a good trail progression from easy black to hard black to Daly? Even if I do not make it to Daly, I would like to push my personal comfort level.

Like I said, I was at Vail for the first time last week. Was a bit intimidated by the China Bowl wall (Ghengis, Jade, etc) mostly because of the cornice at top. Funny but all that went away when I skied it for the first time in a blender of a white out. Just slid off the cornice at the top. What I found "easy" and confidence building is the fact that the snow there was perfectly consistent. I ski in Maine. You can not count on having the same surface underfoot from turn to turn. Pow, packed pow, ice, crud. You just do not know what you will get as you head down and that can often pose the greatest challenge. But what I skied at Vail was "easier" even though steeper because the snow was so dependable.

Curious, how steep are the DV chutes vs the China Bowl wall? I realize the wall is easier because so much wider.

Without revealing your favorite stashes, how about some suggestions for glades/trees at DV. Did this for the first time last week at Vaul and had a blast. Especially liked Skree and Wuides. Just amazing for this boilerplate guy.

Tx. David

post #11 of 27

Ski Daly Bowl first -- it is right next to the chutes and will give you some sense of the current conditions (though it gets more traffic).

 

Challenger chute (the obvious one) was, at the time, the hardest thing I had skied.  It was scary (narrow, steep) but not insane.  If you had to drop the cornice to get in, it would become insane.

 

I wrote a trip report with pictures of Daly 3 or 4 years ago.  If you search and have good Karma, you might be able to find it.

post #12 of 27

One of my favorites is Ontario bowl.  There's a little trail off Flagstaff called Hidden Treasure that leads to a cattrack through the woods that is the easiest (non sidestepping) way in.  Stay high and and negotiate the track through the woods.  It can be tricky but keep your speed as much as you can to you come to an opening.  Take a pee and then head down (well that's what I do since there's hardly ever anyone in here ;).  I think the majority of DV people have no idea it exists which is partly why it keeps the snow so well.

 

There's usually some really good snow in here and it's ungroomed, moderate steepness.  Great stuff!

 

Empire has a nice bowl off the top - single diamond but a nice starter for seeing how the snow is in case you want to try Daly.  Generally there's some ungroomed stuff and woods off Empire also but DV isn't really known for a lot of this type of terrain. 

 

post #13 of 27

http://home.comcast.net/~mdf_ski_web...ley_index.html

 

^^ the pics

 

Eh, they look easier than a lot of stuff I've skied at Kitzbuhel.

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

Ok, I am impressed. Nice images.Would certainly try the Daly bowl first. Looks like that gets some traffic. No?

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post

 

One of my favorites is Ontario bowl.  There's a little trail off Flagstaff called Hidden Treasure that leads to a cattrack through the woods that is the easiest (non sidestepping) way in.  Stay high and and negotiate the track through the woods.  It can be tricky but keep your speed as much as you can to you come to an opening.  Take a pee and then head down (well that's what I do since there's hardly ever anyone in here ;).  I think the majority of DV people have no idea it exists which is partly why it keeps the snow so well.

 

There's usually some really good snow in here and it's ungroomed, moderate steepness.  Great stuff!

 

Empire has a nice bowl off the top - single diamond but a nice starter for seeing how the snow is in case you want to try Daly.  Generally there's some ungroomed stuff and woods off Empire also but DV isn't really known for a lot of this type of terrain. 

 


 

Great stuff. Thanks for the suggestions. David

post #16 of 27

In looking at those great pictures, one other thing pops to mind about dipping your toe into these kind of runs: if you don't have the skills to ski a run the way that it was meant to be skied, go somewhere else.  What I'm getting at here is that you need to consider the impact you may have on run with respect to the skiers that follow.  Traversing under a cornice to get into a run will make the landings more difficult and dangerous for those who follow who drop in from the top.  Sideslipping an entrance that should be straightlined scrapes all of the snow off and makes the entrance more hazardous for everyone.  If you don't have the necessary skills, develop them and come back instead of hacking up a run so it is no longer fun for anyone.  Unfortunately, an awful lot of people don't adhere to this ethic, but you don't have to be one of them.

 

Based on the pictures, I would expect that truly skiing the Daly Chutes involves a cornice drop.  Confirm that when you get there, but assuming I'm right, either step it up and do the drop, or find some different terrain to play on where you can push your abilities without ruining the run. 

post #17 of 27

Can't figure out how to delete my double post, so I'm editing instead. 

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post

 

http://home.comcast.net/~mdf_ski_web...ley_index.html

 

^^ the pics

 

Eh, they look easier than a lot of stuff I've skied at Kitzbuhel.

 

 

Good detective work.  If you look at the full size pics, some of them have annotations that don't show up in the thumbnails.

 

It hadn't snowed for awhile, and it was near the end of President's week vacation.

 

1984 is an overview.  You can see some of the Chutes futher along the ridge are knarlier.

 

2017, 2019, 2020, 2021 are Challenger chute from the top (side entry).  2021 has yellow arrows showing the route.

 

2030 is Challenger from the bottom with my pole blocking the sun.

 

2062 is the Olympic mogul run (on a different part of the mountain).  Pretty steep for a competitive course.

 

1996 is the excellent learning bumps under the Empire Chair.  In fact, that is my son learning.  (He is now taller than me and as good a skier as I am.)

 

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post

 

In looking at those great pictures, one other thing pops to mind about dipping your toe into these kind of runs: if you don't have the skills to ski a run the way that it was meant to be skied, go somewhere else.  What I'm getting at here is that you need to consider the impact you may have on run with respect to the skiers that follow.  Traversing under a cornice to get into a run will make the landings more difficult and dangerous for those who follow who drop in from the top.  Sideslipping an entrance that should be straightlined scrapes all of the snow off and makes the entrance more hazardous for everyone.  If you don't have the necessary skills, develop them and come back instead of hacking up a run so it is no longer fun for anyone.  Unfortunately, an awful lot of people don't adhere to this ethic, but you don't have to be one of them.

 

Based on the pictures, I would expect that truly skiing the Daly Chutes involves a cornice drop.  Confirm that when you get there, but assuming I'm right, either step it up and do the drop, or find some different terrain to play on where you can push your abilities without ruining the run. 

 

Actually, that year at that time the cornice was rotten and roped off.  THe side was the only entry.  Challenger is the easiest of the chutes, and so I don't think it is inappropriate for hackers to learn on (yours truly included).  

 

I agree with your general point, but it is always a judgement call where to draw the dividing line between "learning" and "real" terrain.

 

Last week at Kirkwood, we were dropping a 3 or 4 or so foot cornice off of "the Wall".  By the end of the day, the weak entry had developed a traverse rut across the bottom of the vertical part.  I was a little annoyed, but I understood where the other skiers were coming from.  It wasn;t that long ago that I was one of them.

 

Oh, yeah, and even though I can drop smallish cornices now, I still can't drop to a narrow chute.  I need room to make a big sweeping braking turn.

post #20 of 27

Don't get hung up on the chutes.  IMO the best skiing at Deer Valley is in the trees, Triangle Trees, Ontario Bowl, Anchor Trees, Centennial Trees.  Triangle Trees and Ontario Bowl are great!

post #21 of 27

agreed Daly is kind of a small part of it really - there's more to explore than just cruisers at DV

 

Just find that little sign into the woods and take it off Hidden Treasure ... ;)

post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post

 

agreed Daly is kind of a small part of it really - there's more to explore than just cruisers at DV

 

Just find that little sign into the woods and take it off Hidden Treasure ... ;)


 

There is also a way in from the Ontario run on the other side that will get you higher up in the bowl.

post #23 of 27

Yeah, when I go to DV, I'm content to play in Ontario Bowl all day long. That little cut off of HT is perfect. I'll spend some time with a few runs in the Daly Chutes, but Ontario is where I'd rather play. The trees on the traverse over to the Dalies are pretty nice too... lots of room to get lost in there.

 

Enjoy... the nice thing about DV is that anyone who wants to go off piste doesn't go to DV, so their off piste stuff stays nice much longer than the rest of PC.

 

post #24 of 27

If you get lucky and hit a Powder day at DV be sure to hit the Mayflower side. Mayflower and Perseverance Bowl are a blast in fresh powder

post #25 of 27

Last couple of times I was there it was pretty obvious that the off piste stuff had been "discovered". And was being tracked out fast. 

 

Just show up for the advanced mountain tour. They do a god job of filling people in on the lay of the land...

post #26 of 27

One thing to keep in mind, just about everything at DV is frozen solid, off piste is very hard underneath with at best a couple of inches of snow on the top.  Warmer temps in the next couple of days might see it soften a little.  Enjoy.

post #27 of 27
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