WHO BACKCOUNTRY SKIS? 5000’ all told) and Sliver Couloir. The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA) promotes cross-country skiing in the Salt Lake City area, including the popular Mountain Dell ski area and upper stretch of Mill Creek Canyon. I like skiing in Davis County as well. Next-door neighbors, they both have their own unique vibes . Kenya, made three attempts on the highly coveted Pakistani peak Latok 1, done first ascents on the big walls of Baffin Island and climbed dozens of Bolivian and Peruvian peaks. Moist storms that track across the desert west of Salt Lake City slam into a wall of … A more stable snowpack and warm, sunny weather are … The Powder Hound’s Guide to Skiing Alta by Brad Asmus, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, approximately 30 miles from Salt Lake City, Alta: 40°34′51″N 111°38′14″W; Snowbird: 40.5819° N, 111.6552° W. There are few touring areas that provide as varied terrain as Mill D. Long known for its easy access aspen glade skiing, Mill D has a bit of everything, including plenty of advanced options. The two main faces for descents are Cardiac Bowl and the South Face. The double-resort pass offers skiers of every level a chance to experience all of the inbounds terrain that the whole area has to offer. It's no surprise backcountry skiing … The terrain variety is impressive, both at the resorts and in the backcountry, More crowded than other spots on this list, Solitude Resort is smaller compared to others in the area, Lift tickets for slackcountry are priced well, Accommodations are limited, so be sure to book in advance, GREAT FOR SKIING BOTH ON AND OFF RESORT BACKCOUNTRY, Great slackcountry right off of Park City Mountain Resort, It’s a 3.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City. Kilimanjaro and Mt. This is a mountain biking and hiking hotspot in the warmer months, so there’s ample snow covered trails to get where you need, Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes: Utah by Jared Hargrave, Grab a cup at Moab Coffee Roasters, where they roast their own beans, Get a pint and a burger at the family-friendly Moab Brewery. Easy access to backcountry skiing with the Ninety-Nine 90 Express within the park. Utah’s backcountry skiing in the Wasatch Mountains outside of Salt Lake City is among the best on the planet – we are famous for the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” We offer Guided Utah Backcountry ski … He writes a regular skiing … More important, though, are the backcountry runs available both within and without the resort, collectively known as the Park City Ridgeline. We shot a whack of videos on new products, met with partners, exhausted ourselves and hightailed it out of then-smoggy Salt Lake City to the town of Ogden, also in Utah. From the Alta trailhead, follow the Cardiff Pass route. Whether you want to find powder stashes in the Corkscrew Glades or shred the vertical on Mount Tukuhnikivatz (Mount Tuk, as it’s affectionately known to locals), the access for most lines and runs is straightforward thanks to Moab being a solid spring and summer recreation destination. Angel Collinson Skis the Suicide Chute in Salt Lake City ... Mt. Who is backcountry skiing right for? The Ideal Vacation: Ski the Mountains, Explore the City, Copyright © 2020 Utah.com. Knock off work early on a Friday, and you’ll log two full weekend days of backcountry skiing before you need to make the drive home. Mill D North Fork. Drop-offs, chutes, bowls and lots of mellow tree skiing, There’s easy slackcountry access to some of the best backcountry in the US, complete with affordable single-ride lift tickets. Regardless, if you’re not too proud to take PCMR’s giant lift, the 9990, explore the southern half of the ridgeline and ski the classic Monitor Bowls or No Name bowl, all of which offer steep and sustained runs. The Wasatch Mountain Range might come to mind for most when they think of the best backcountry ski spots in Utah, but there’s another truly great location, definitely off the beaten path, that bears mentioning as a serious destination for any backcountry skier: La Sal Mountains, just outside of Moab! ), but there are high angle chutes and bowls waiting for you on its north face. The name says it all. Welcome to Backcountry Snowmobiling View the beautiful backcountry mountains while experiencing the best snowmobiling Park City, Utah has to offer. For the backcountry skier looking for something more challenging, be sure to check out Mount Mellenthin. Splitboards are snowboards you can separate into skinnable skis for climbing. There are a whopping 551 inches of quality powder per season! Backcountry skiing — aka ski touring, alpine touring, ski mountaineering, randonnée — is on the rise in Utah for its compelling mixture of exercise, adventure, first tracks, freedom and being free (once you’ve bought all the gear…). Join me, Burke Alder (https://www.burkealder.com), as I climb on a pair of backcountry touring skis to the summit of Lone Peak, Utah at 11,253 feet. When you book a Park City snowmobile tour with us, … Because we just made up the word ‘frontcountry’? Bluebird+ includes: Three Bluebird Backcountry lessons ($227+ value) Free access to daily clinics / ski … “I haven’t seen it this bad in the 11 years I’ve been out here,” said a Utahan in January. It should be noted that there are plenty of approaches to diverse terrain regardless of hazard conditions. Backcountry Skiing Utah: A Guide to the State’s Best Ski Tours. Get in-depth reviews and expert advice to help you start planning your next big outdoor adventure. Join thousands of outdoor enthusiasts subscribed to our newsletter! Start skinning from Spruces Trailhead, Expect the same stellar conditions as the rest of Utah. The adventure stories you want in your inbox. For even more of an adrenaline rush, there’s Fantasy Ridge which requires a hike over very exposed terrain that leads to narrow shoots and other technical delights — all of which is just a short trek from the resort. Just off of the Great Western Lift is Hidden Canyon which offers some of the easiest backcountry access you’ll find, and runs lasting for days after a storm. Backcountry Skiing in Utah and Beyond Millicent provides runs that will take you all the way to Alta and Snowbird. The mildly masochistic segment of the ski bum set. What dreams are made of. Skin and bootpack. Not really the kind of beta you want to hear before embarking on a trip—but we, the ever-optimistic Backcountry Skiing … Take an avalanche safety course and always check local avalanche conditions before you head out. So go nuts (cautiously). What makes Brighton so special is it is a perfect place for regular resort skiers to get a taste of the backcountry. Read more... WHAT IS BACKCOUNTRY SKIING? In upper White Pine, there’s the spectacular Glacier Bowl and the West Pass. What else should we know before connecting you with the guide? 200" of snow at Brighton in JANUARY! When in doubt, hire a guide to show you the best the area has to offer. The best month to ski in Utah is February. Courtesy of Wasatch Backcountry Skiing. The point of backcountry skiing is you can pretty much go anywhere you want (though private property laws still apply…). Mill D is a great stomping ground for new users but it also draws experienced folks due to its diversity and the forgiving nature of its terrain. Who would have thought the Great Salt Lake could make such great light powder? Stay up-to-date with the latest outdoor adventure stories and get exclusive offers delivered straight to your inbox. It typically sees the most amount of snow, with conditions generally staying prime until mid-March. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding have exploded into the mainstream this year. THE BEST LOCATION FOR GLADE SKIING. Cardiac Bowl and Chutes can be gained after some demanding skinning along the ridgeline, which requires concentration and experience. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a discount and updates on 57hours offers, webinars, and reviews. The state of Utah is famous for its world-class resorts and for having The Greatest Snow on Earth®. Yes, you can ski between Alta and Snowbird. As one of the largest backcountry resorts in the world and only 60 minutes from Salt Lake, Whisper Ridge … Utah. Some people gravitate toward the resorts since they’re bound to be in the areas with the most snow, though you’ll want to check their policies on walking up the hill. The Wasatch Backcountry Skiing Map includes the names of more than 1,000 backcountry locations. Backcountry Skiing Utah is an indispensable resource for planning safe day trips and extended ski tours in the mountains of the Beehive State. View backcountry skiing locations in Utah's Wasatch mountains on your desktop computer. Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Not bad. On the other side, the lines off of Mt. Another option for the area is Flagstaff Mountain and Upper Days Fork, which can be tracked out fairly quickly, but is still worth getting up early to hit skiable chutes, bowls and trees. Backcountry Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, Climbing and Skiing Solitude's Fantasy Ridge. Also accessible from Big Cottonwood is the Park City Ridgeline, which is arguably one of the best backcountry skiing zones in Utah. Diverse terrain. Does it help if we define frontcountry as any controlled ski area with lifts, signs, groomed runs, etc.? Lastly, and most essential is the safety gear…. Learn where to go, how to get there, and much more from experts. WHERE TO BACKCOUNTRY SKI There you go: five go-to spots even when the danger looks dicey. Dramatic peaks, inspiring lines and untouched fields of The Greatest Snow on Earth® beckon from beyond the resort boundaries. Utah native and Rad-Older-Brother archetype Layne Caldwell, who contributed anything useful you’ve read above, offers these observations: “The resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons already own the prime north-facing ski terrain, but there are many side canyons that still offer great skiing in the Central Wasatch. On the northside of the Ridgeline consider Dutchess Draw and McDonald’s Draw each with big, each skiable and mega on powder days. Those leaving the ski area boundaries or entering the backcountry from a trailhead need standard avalanche rescue gear, avalanche training and should regularly consult the Utah … The Bear River Range, located near Logan in Northern Utah, holds some of the best backcountry skiing in the state. 1100’ at 50° for The Hypodermic Needle (approx. SAFETY FIRST About the Author. Sign up for the 57hours newsletter and join our growing community of outdoor adventurers. By the time any of the 40 annual Pacific snowstorms make their way to Utah, they become proverbial ‘perfect storms’ and dump 500” of amazing, blower powder annually around Salt Lake City and the rest of Utah. The defining part of a backcountry setup is the skins — flexible strips you slap on the bottom of your skis with hairs or fibers that grip the snow while you climb, then peel off when you’re ready to do what resort skiers pay all that money for. For those who’ve skied at Alta or Snowbird, it’s impossible not to draw an eye on Superior with its steep, white encased mass towering 3000’ above the Little Cottonwood Highway. Willie is a fully certified IFMGA mountain guide and AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide, based out of Sandy, his home in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah with wife Liz. On snow days, when the resort skiers are doing their thing it’s the perfect time to check out backcountry options. The Backcountry Skiing Blog Site for Utah and Beyond by Ski Guide John Mletschnig Utah Backcountry Skiing Professional Information for Backcountry Skiers and Tales from the Great Beyond. Snowbird routinely ranks as a top resort and its surrounding area ranks as a backcountry skiing paradise because there’s ample, varied and steep terrain everywhere you look. Development of this platform was partially funded by EU. All rights reserved. This is a place best suited for experienced backcountry travelers in good shape. The ridgeline is accessible if you want to skip the lines, Moderate amounts of dry Utah snow during the entire season, Ski area boundaries and routes are available here. Designed for participants with little or no experience in the … Backcountry skiing is like rock climbing and falling in love: The same thing that makes it fun makes it dangerous. Industry Website, The Ideal Vacation: Ski the Mountains, Explore the City. Carry food, a shovel, extra warm clothes, a probe and a beacon at a minimum. There’s a lot of family options and the resort itself has done much to bolster its standing amongst its other more frequented neighbors. There’s no doubt that the Wasatch Mountains hold the goods in Utah — Little Cottonwood Canyon around Alta and Snowbird, Big Cottonwood Canyon near Brighton and Solitude, the Back Wasatch — all areas that are renowned for their conditions and proximity to one another. No resort pass required. Be sure not to park there if not staying at the resort, look for legal parking on the road instead. If you’re looking for an abundance of dry powder, thousands of acres of terrain AND backcountry access, the Alta and Snowbird ski areas are the place for you. Long considered a local’s locale, Solitude is far less crowded than its neighbors and offers plenty of Utah’s famous powder. Simply put, it’s a gem of a ski vacation destination where there’s plenty of skiable lines available after it’s more famous neighbors get tracked out. beware! It’s also a location where the right snow and avalanche conditions are essential for safe travel. REQUIRED GEAR An excellent starting point is Grizzly Gulch, which only requires a short skin and delivers quickly on skiable pow – great for beginners. Utah Travel It's available as a paper map, on your desktop, and for your mobile device. Touring bindings allow a free heel for climbing that can clip in for descents. All profits from the paper map are donated to organizations that promote avalanche safety or the preservation of the Wasatch … The resort offers sidecountry access to challenging terrain in Honeycomb Canyon, where skiers can discover chutes and wide-open powderfields in Wolverine Cirque. And just beyond Millicent is the Wolverine Cirque, with insanely steep chutes. Ample slackcountry and backcountry access; use Alta lifts or use the Alta parking lot and skin up! There’s solid slackcountry access at the resort, and in the resort’s parking lot. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in our emails. Cirques, chutes, bowls, and plenty of powder and steep runs, and yes, cliff drops, 10,026’ at Alta; Snowbird’s slightly higher at 11,000’. Please try again or contact us at email@example.com and we’ll resolve the problem. This area is also accessible via the White Pine Trailhead if you’re not based out of the resort. The side-by-side resorts offer connected terrain, (with a new combined pass). People who love powder enough to climb up a hill for it. The summit ascent requires a lot of care and preparation (cliffs! A little inbounds to get out of bounds isn’t a problem. While there’s plenty for families to do here while on vacation, the advanced and expert skiers here will have plenty of terrain to carve and shred, both on and off-piste. Depending on which objective you take, the terrain is diverse: trees, glades, high angle, chutes and couloirs, The access here is good and relatively straightforward, depending on your objective. They also lead to high terrain where experienced backcountry explorers and mountaineers can find long descents equal to any in Utah! The groomed trails pass by several meadows, some steep enough for telemarking. You’re out in it, away from the crowds, away from the ski patrol and avalanche control. One last word to the tech-savvy: if you’re sticking around Wasatch, and let’s face it, most of us are, there’s an amazing app called Wasatch Backcountry Skiing Map available on both iOS and Android, it’s not free, but it has ALL the route beta you need to know. Stories. Great … So, while the 3.5hr drive from SLC may not be on the top of everyone’s weekend ski list, those who decide to make the journey will find themselves soon planning out their next trip back. Compared to other areas, access here requires a good deal of effort and a big day but the reward of solitude and plethora of five-star terrain is unbeatable. Or at least trying to. There are some dangerous sections, so know your route! Download our free app and discover your next adventure today! We send bi-weekly updates on new stories and trip discounts, 57hours mobile app is the easiest way to book a guide. Within Park City, the Park City Mountain Resort is the largest ski area in the United States which means there’s tons of paths and activities to choose from, whether you’re an adventure seeker, luxury traveler or going on a family vacation. If you’re looking for slackcountry access, the Supreme lift will deliver you to the goods. There’s paths everywhere and lots of trailhead options. In fact, it’s skiable on all sides, which are comprised of steep, expert terrain where conditions need to be optimal before approaching anywhere near it. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security due to all the other skiers in the backcountry, more people means greater attention must be paid to snowpack and weather conditions. Where else in the world can you ski six resorts in one day? Hiking up hills and finding your own first tracks. The drainage there also acts as a relatively safe harbor when avalanche hazard is elevated. One good thing to know about Alta: the resort doesn’t mind backcountry skiers using its snowcat route for backcountry access. Now, we’re debuting the skis, boards, boots, … Touring potential is massive among these peaks, which can easily be … I’ve also skied in the Bear River Range, the Deep Creek Range, and the Uintas.”. avalanches! When you combine the epic Wasatch terrain with 500” of annual snowfall and easy backcountry access, you get the best off-piste ski locations in not just Utah, but the whole country. See also: Red Baldy (west of Snowbird), Greens Basin (near Solitude), Mill D (south face of Big Cottonwood), Bountiful Peak (via Farmington Canyon), Ben Lomond and Willard Peaks (Ogden), Logan Peak, La Sal Pass (near Moab), Delano Peak (near Beaver). Here’s a primer for skiers ready to earn their turns, put some skin(s) in the game, etc. This ridgeline extends fo roughly 8 miles, offering numerous … While the majority of people may consider Moab primarily as a hiking and mountain biking locale, locals who know the area are taking advantage of its 12+ 12,000’ mountains for backcountry skiing objectives. East Asia. While you can get to the ridgeline directly from the resort, the terrain and its bowls and treelines are attainable from outside the resort, mostly on the Solitude and Brighton side of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Beyond Wasatch, the La Sal Mountains have some solid places to ski right around Moab. From the bowl, you can ski to the south side and finish the ascent up the to the summit. Tyson Bradley is a nationally recognized extreme and backcountry skier. As ski resorts are limiting access because of the coronavirus pandemic, skiers are looking for alternative … Backcountry Skiing Utah 2014. Superior 11,050’ (base); 3000’ vertical from the South Face, Drive your car. All that snow, and tons of backcountry locations only 35 minutes from a major American airport make it easy to have the time of your life skiing the backcountry in the best snow around. As the first ski resort in Utah, Brighton has something for everybody: there’s family-friendly trails, lots of night skiing and amazing slackcountry and backcountry terrain. They’re also huge. The region typically gets 500” of snow, and in a good year, conditions can be favorable through late spring. Heli-skiing and side country/lift-accessed backcountry skiing count, but backcountry in its purest form is human-powered. Slackcountry access to White Pine Fork happens via a Snowbird backcountry gate, from where you can take a short hike to the west to Temptation Ridge and shred the Temptation Chutes, or traverse up the ridgeline and head for Birthday Chutes and Tri Chutes. Canada. Backcountry skiing is the opposite of frontcountry skiing. No matter your experience level, we are here to help you become the backcountry skier you want to be. If you’re looking for an Alta and Snowbird backcountry trail map, you won’t find a better one than the Wasatch backcountry ski map mentioned above. Salt Lake City is home to the annual, massive Outdoor Retailer Show. Backcountry Skiing Park City Utah for the Wasatch Mountains in and around Park City Utah. Or, consider Backcountry Skiing Utah: A Guide to the State’s Best Ski Tours by Tyson Bradley. So whether you’re a newcomer looking to earn you turns in the backcountry, crave some expert-level steep skiing, or want to tackle a multi-day adventure with friends, Utah has it all. Park your car. The LaSal Mountains offer miles of trails and unlimited backcountry skiing terrain. Utah may be known for its world-famous powder, but spring is the best time to backcountry ski big lines in remote ranges. Lots of choices for skis and bindings depending on your focus, ranging from ultra-light rigs that let you race uphill to more substantial models for more fun on the descents. Whisper Ridge is a premier luxury adventure backcountry resort, offering guided heli and cat-skiing, as well as the only heli-MTB provider in the Continental US. The terrain here is generally big, steep and above treeline with plenty of diverse options to choose, but you have to earn it. Out of the hundreds of canyons and ridges that make up Utah, it is the Park City Ridge, American Fork Canyon, Millcreek Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little … His star began to rise when he obtained the first ascent of the 3,000-foot North Face of Pakistan’s Nameless Tower (“Book of Shadows” VII, 5.10+ A4 W14). You can also skip the resort, too, and find access to Silver Fork Canyon and Honeycomb by parking at the lower Solitude lot and skinning/bootpacking up to Silver Fork for runs like Silver Spoon, Meadow Chutes and Brad’s Line. From beginner backcountry touring clinics for the whole family to expert-only choose your own adventure trips, there’s no shortage of fun to be had here. There’s little margin for error out there. We define frontcountry as any controlled ski area boundaries extremely safe from.. Had the pleasure of visiting Utah once again mobile device for you on its north...., Mount Superior would be it skiing, tackling the mountain in its purest is! The Alta trailhead, Expect the same stellar conditions as the rest of Utah equal to any Utah..., so know your route an avalanche safety course and always check local avalanche conditions are essential safe... Should we know before connecting you with the latest outdoor adventure to earn their turns put. 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