yes, i realize it’s may 20th

May 20, 2008

The temperature is supposed to reach 93 degrees Fahrenheit today. Which makes this morning that much sweeter.

Ben and I met a couple of Ben’s groupies from Black Diamond at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon at 6:00 this morning. I’m pretty sure the temp was already over 60 at that point. Doesn’t matter. We drove up to the White Pine traihead, about five miles up canyon, and parked at the base of Little Pine, a south facing chute on the north side of the canyon.

Here’s how Andrew McLean describes Little Pine in his essential “The Chuting Gallery: A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains.”

“The finest chute proper on the north side of the canyon due to its uninterrupted, perfectly straight fall line. A striking couloir streaks uphill for 2,500′ before blossoming into a slightly steeper bowl section up above. Little Pine has had 19 avalanches cross the road in the last 16 years.”

Here’s a pic from the car (nobody brought a real camera today, so all I have are camera phone pics, sorry, I know that’s lame):

little pine from road

I don’t know of anywhere else on Earth where I can get out of my car, stumble through trees for about 50 yards, and be ON the snow, in May, when it’s 93 degrees in the valley. The beta on that chute: average 38 degree pitch, base elevation 7,500 feet, summit 10,750 feet, about 3,230′ elevation gain.

It’s all booting, skis on the pack:

ben dropping me on way up

Arms really come off well on camera phone shots, don’t they?

me nearing top

At the top, a slight traverse to the true summit:

summit traverse

But Ben is never satisfied with the normal way to drop in, so here he is traversing farther, looking for something more exciting:

ben traversing looking for a harder way in

Here’s the view from the top looking down. Across the road is Scotties Bowl, which I wrote about in April. And that’s White Pine Canyon beyond Scotties.

view from top including scotties across road

And begin:

ben ripping

Ben goes fast:

ben skiing far below

On the climb, the snow was frozen in spots, super soft in spots, and bouldery in spots. But on the descent, the snow had warmed up to a beautiful, consolidated summer snow consistency. A pleasure to ski.

There is a LOT of snow in them there hills. I think we’ll pick a chute a week until it melts. Or maybe it won’t melt.

Utah. A pretty, great state.


11 Responses to “yes, i realize it’s may 20th”

  1. Rick S. Says:

    Very nice. Put another notch on your belt for yet another great line in the Wasatch. But seriously, no camera? I thought Ben always packed that thing.

    How are the legs?

  2. Ben Says:

    Yeah, no camera today because I was testing a small little backpack and it wouldn’t fit…lame. The skiing though was SWEET. Gotta put the bike away Rick and bust out the boards, it’s ski season til the snow’s all gone.

  3. Rick S. Says:

    Ben- You are our next project in the cycling community. Keep an eye out for a nice new red road bike on your doorstep within the next couple of weeks.

  4. Jonathan Says:

    nice report Dug. Always like reading through your blog and realizing you have decided to write about something other than toilet paper or bathroom etiquette. Looks good….see you at the base of LC at 5:45 on November 23.

  5. dug Says:

    jon, i’m curious. are you saying you have to get into an entry before you realize that i’ve written about something other than TP and bathroom etiquette?

    or, are you saying you enjoy the REALIZATION that i’ve written about something else, or you enjoy the actual “something else”? or are you just saying you like realizing stuff?

  6. Well done, Dug. I have not been out since May 1st, but summer skiing just keeps calling me. Last year I skied ever month of the year. I haven’t really decided if I am doing that again this year. The key is the Aug 31 – Sept 1 overnighter on Timp with some turns both days. My problem this year is that I will be out of town that weekend so it will be much more difficult to accomplish. Good luck out there.

  7. bikemike Says:

    i’m in florida, do you guys take toilet paper with you when you ski or do you just use a handful of snow?
    you see Jon, anything can be related to toilet/paper humor, just like kevin bacon.

  8. KanyonKris Says:

    What is this snow you speak of? In my mind it’s summer.

  9. Sleepy Says:

    You should open up a touring business. I can’t think of another person that has been to more places along the Wasatch than you.

  10. Kathy Says:

    I realize this has nothing to do with today’s post, but I’m about to solve all your toilet-paper-related problems, and those of any TP-obsessed readers. My office has the four-roll dispenser. We never run out of toilet paper. You’re welcome.

  11. dug Says:

    kathy, i disagree. this is about the human element. your solution doesn’t fix the problem, it displaces it. someone still has to replace the rolls, and that someone still needs to follow the outlined rules.

    also, i’m not sure i’m ready to install a 4 roll dispenser in my home bathrooms. now a bidet is another story, but even there, ya gotta have some paper.

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