Backcountry Skiing the Wasatch | Days Fork (Video)

02/26/2023 – With avalanche conditions slowly healing from the previous weeks storm that dropped over 3ft of powder on the Wasatch Mountains, it was time to get out and do some skiing. I linked up with my buddy Mike and his friend Skyler to check out some safe terrain in Days Fork of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The plan was to keep it mellow and low angle, because the avalanche conditions were considerable due to the heavy wind loading along with the wet-slide potential from the unseasonably warm weekend temperatures.

We parked at the spruces campground and headed out on the trail, up the bottom of the valley until we reached the zone that we wanted to ski. The plan, depending on our observations on the snow, was to ski Main Days or Crystal Palace, seeing as both zones have some mellow terrain. On our way up Chicken Shit Ridge, we dug a pit at 9,500ft on an East facing aspect, similar to what we’d ski. And in that pit, we saw the 2ft layer from the previous storm, but it wasn’t nearly as reactive a we thought. The findings from the pit started to have us relax our conservatism. So we finished the climb to the top of Crystal Palace and prepped to drop in.

We ripped halfway down to the valley on Crystal Palace, and found some surprisingly stable, creamy snow! The snow was deep, and variable in feel, but way better than what we expected as the sun was heating up the aspect we were on. This gave us some more information we need to have some more fun on our second lap. We skinned back up Chicken Shit Ridge on our previous track, and this time, we changed up our plan, based on all the information we had gathered about the healing snowpack on this aspect, and decided to ski Days Draw. This ended up being some of the most incredible skiing I’ve done all year, on an open glade off the shoulder, then down into the draw where we hit a few cliff drops and mellow rollers that we party skied. After skiing down to the truck, the day’s total was 6.7 Miles with 3,610ft of climbing in just over 4 1/2 hours! What an incredible day in the mountains

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