mayday in little cottonwood canyon

May 3, 2010

As Kim has pointed out to me, May usually means Spring, ribbons, sunshine, and dancing around a Maypole.

Okay, we almost never dance around Maypoles.

But last week, nature threw us a curve, and Little Cottonwood got 60 inches of snow from Wednesday to Sunday. I don’t know how much is a lot of snow where you live, but 60 inches is a lot, even in these parts.

So while Mark went south to ride his bike, Rick and Jon went west to race bikes, and Mike slept in, Ben, Wonder Twin Rob, and I headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon to see what several feet of fresh in May looked like.

Ben had been eyeing a cliff band that dropped into Cardiff between Holy Toledo and the Hallway for a while, and told us, as he put it, “I think something goes through up there.” Very comforting words.

Here we are climbing up Flagstaff. The snow was great, visibility was marginal. But with awesome snow, who needs to see?

me n ben climbing

Artsy Rob camera shots on Flagstaff ridge.

ridge fog

artsy ridge fog

On the point between Cardiff, LCC, Toledo, and Days:

me n ben prepping

So as we dropped down the hanging snowfield above the cliffs, not knowing where a proper line went cleanly through, Rob got impatient, and headed down.

And ended up here:

robs cliffs

No problem, right? Just toss your skis over the edge, and downclimb. All in a day’s work.

Ben quickly discovered the actual chute, ski cut it, and skied it. Here’s me following:


The snow was pretty good. Did I mention, several feet of fresh?

exiting chute

Ben posing on the climb back up to Little Superior:

ben posing uphill

The fog rolled in something fierce for our exit out Little Superior. The snow was awesome, visibility was, well, there was none. Rob got vertigo I think.

But the skiing was not so bad:

me in the fog

I did take some video, though with visibility not so great, and my hand all frostbitten and whatnot, I didn’t get too much. What I like about the video is it shows the spot where Rob drops  early, and Ben quickly decides the chute must be a little farther over. Sorry Rob.

A good day in the mountains. I don’t think we’re done yet.

ski pic


8 Responses to “mayday in little cottonwood canyon”

  1. Jeff Says:

    60 inches of snow in May? This post has caused my usual East-Coast based Utah-envy to wane considerably.

    • dug Says:

      well jeff, strictly speaking, only only about 20 of the inches fell in may, the rest in april. strictly speaking.

      and most of it fell in the mountains. valley rain, mountain snow. a nice combo if you can get it.

  2. Rick S. Says:

    I’m happy for you. Next time, please go into my garage (you have the code), and puncture my tires. I should have been there.

  3. KanyonKris Says:

    The snow and skiing look good. Happy May!

  4. Rachel Says:

    You should hike back up on Wednesday with burritos for the ultimate cinco de mayo.

  5. Daren Says:

    You heading back up during the week? A little dusk patrolling maybe?

  6. bikemike Says:

    it was 90 degrees here may 1st. minimal snow fall was predicted but i kept watch anywho. my skis are waxed and ready!

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