Summertime Skiing on Superior

By:  Ben
July 22, 2011 12:00 pm | Category: Quick Update, Skiing

Summer has finally taken hold in the Wasatch, and many of the snowfields that were still holding strong for Snowbird’s 4th of July closing date (and longest season ever) are rapidly disappearing. Fortunately, there are still plenty of options for the devoted skier. Porter did some recon over the weekend and determined Suicide Chute on Mt. Superior was still good to go. When a fun line still looks that juicy and that close to the road in late July, it’s hard to say no!

John looking up toward the remnants of the Superior snowfield

Of course, on a beautiful summer sunny morning, there’s no reason to drive a car up the canyon, so we opted for two-wheeled transportation instead. Neither of us had ridden motorcycles with skis on before, but after consulting Allen and Sam’s previous motorcycle experience we decided that it would be cake to ride when there was no snow, ice, or wandering domestic animals on the road.

Time to start walking

After only a few hundred feet of hiking we reached the Superior snowfield. It was already hot, so we wasted no time booting up toward the bottom of the chute.

Little Cottonwood in its summertime glory

Last time we were here it was thigh deep powder...

We went through a narrow choke to gain access to the chute itself. As of Thursday morning it still went from the top without any rock crossings, but the choke is melting fast!

After an uneventful bootpack we found ourselves standing below a large melted-back cornice remnant looking down at a glorious summer schuss.

John dropped in first

John braving the Suicidally moderate pitch of the chute!

Summer skiing at its best

All too soon we were at the bottom of the chute. We made a few quick turns through the choke, then had 500 more vert of easy cruising down the lower snowfield.

We were able to ski within a few hundred feet of the road. After a short bootpack down we found ourselves reluctantly packing up and preparing to head back down.

John is all ready to head down canyon

Fortunately, we’re almost past the hottest day of the year. It’ll be winter again in a few more months… but until then I’m planning on continuing toward my 12 month season with some more summertime schuss!

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  1. Greg
    wrote on July 22nd, 2011 at 12:12 pm  

    so awesome! Thanks BEN!

  2. Peter
    wrote on July 22nd, 2011 at 2:27 pm  
  3. bushman
    wrote on July 23rd, 2011 at 8:55 am  

    Thanks to the FIS diehards for your great shots and efforts to find, climb, and ski this stuff. FYI was over at Mt.Ranier in WA and then up to Whistler last 5 days. Both have huge snowfields this year. Snow is soft corn, not crust, at Ranier. All hikeing trails were still covered with FEET of the stuff. Whistler also had deep coverage above 7000. Harstman Glacier skiing and riding going on with chairlifts and t-bars running. Cost is pretty steep at $55 CA. Temps about 34F. Lifts serving runs operated 12-3 only. But have to figure there are backcountry spots all around. Saw 4 bears coming down, one very close, didn’t bother us–just eating berries and termites. So when Utah dries up head north.

  4. Greg
    wrote on July 23rd, 2011 at 9:23 am  

    PS: where’s the exclamation point?(!) ;)

  5. Sam
    wrote on July 25th, 2011 at 5:21 pm  

    awesome Ben. Have you been doing any desert riding?

  6. Skimohr
    wrote on July 27th, 2011 at 9:35 pm  

    Great shots. Way to get after it. Extra points for access via moto!

  7. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on August 1st, 2011 at 11:40 am  

    SUPER SHOTS! Especially like the one in the choke portion. Pretty kewl.
    You guys never give up! That’s great. Like the aspect angles of all of the shots as well. LCW looks a little deserted, which is good for those who dare to go where others fear to tread. All it takes is effort… shall be rewarded inkind. KEEP IT UP, DON’T STOP THERE. :)
    Have fun getting 12.

  8. Anonymous
    wrote on September 14th, 2011 at 1:03 pm  

    more importantly, what are the specs on that yamaha your riding?

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