SAFETY FIRST More important, though, are the backcountry runs available both within and without the resort, collectively known as the Park City Ridgeline. Not bad. Touring potential is massive among these peaks, which can easily be … As one of the largest backcountry resorts in the world and only 60 minutes from Salt Lake, Whisper Ridge … When looking west from Snowbird it’s hard to miss the mass of peaks, ridges and chutes choking the skyline. Who would have thought the Great Salt Lake could make such great light powder? Backcountry Skiing Park City Utah for the Wasatch Mountains in and around Park City Utah. Think of backcountry skiing as analog skiing, tackling the mountain in its natural, uncontrolled state. 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. Superior 11,050’ (base); 3000’ vertical from the South Face, Drive your car. There’s little margin for error out there. 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. He’s led over 20 Himalayan expeditions, including thirteen Everest summits, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, Ama Dablam, an attempt on the North face of Jannu, and the “The Crystal Snake” first ascent on Nuptse. Or, consider Backcountry Skiing Utah: A Guide to the State’s Best Ski Tours by Tyson Bradley. 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. Designed for participants with little or no experience in the … 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 Chuting Gallery by Andrew McLean. There are tons of objectives for every level of skier, from mellow tree skiing to steep couloirs and low angle meadows. Cardiac Bowl and Chutes can be gained after some demanding skinning along the ridgeline, which requires concentration and experience. 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. On the other side, the lines off of Mt. 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. 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. It’s also a world-famous destination for snowboarders, too, so if you’ve got one in your group (or your family), there’ll be something for everyone. They’re also huge. Classic. WHO BACKCOUNTRY SKIS? No resort pass required. So go nuts (cautiously). When in doubt, hire a guide to show you the best the area has to offer. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Ski Utah is dedicated to promoting the ski and snowboard industry in the great state of Utah. WHERE TO BACKCOUNTRY SKI Also accessible from Big Cottonwood is the Park City Ridgeline, which is arguably one of the best backcountry skiing zones in Utah. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding have exploded into the mainstream this year. The adventure stories you want in your inbox. Alpine touring skis are the most popular style, wider and lighter than traditional downhill skis, made of carbon fiber or lighter woods. The ski season in Utah usually kicks off mid-November and lasts through April. 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. 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. The side-by-side resorts offer connected terrain, (with a new combined pass). 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. Please try again or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll resolve the problem. Backcountry Skiing in Utah and Beyond ... Backcountry Skiing Terrain Parks Gear Store Ski Utah Magazine eNewsletter & Snowmail Compare All Resorts Ski Swaps Real Estate Ski … Take an avalanche safety course and always check local avalanche conditions before you head out. The skiing is really good here. Hiking up hills and finding your own first tracks. The resort offers sidecountry access to challenging terrain in Honeycomb Canyon, where skiers can discover chutes and wide-open powderfields in Wolverine Cirque. What else should we know before connecting you with the guide? Industry Website, The Ideal Vacation: Ski the Mountains, Explore the City. The best month to ski in Utah is February. Next-door neighbors, they both have their own unique vibes . A more stable snowpack and warm, sunny weather are … The region typically gets 500” of snow, and in a good year, conditions can be favorable through late spring. If you want to take full advantage of the area and head off-resort, Snowbird and Alta backcountry guides that offer day, weekend and week-long packages for all objectives. For the backcountry skier looking for something more challenging, be sure to check out Mount Mellenthin. Download our free app and discover your next adventure today! 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. Here’s a primer for skiers ready to earn their turns, put some skin(s) in the game, etc. The Ideal Vacation: Ski the Mountains, Explore the City, Copyright © 2020 Utah.com. 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. 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! What dreams are made of. And if you feel like springing for it, there’s heli-skiing if you want that hard-to-reach pow. Backcountry Skiing The Central Wasatch. Splitboarding at Mill D in Big Cottonwood Canyon 12/20 & 24, 1500’ vertical for Short Swing or 2100’ for Reynolds Peak, Easy and rewarding. As ski resorts are limiting access because of the coronavirus pandemic, skiers are looking for alternative … Because we just made up the word ‘frontcountry’? 5000’ all told) and Sliver Couloir. About the Backcountry. Get in-depth reviews and expert advice to help you start planning your next big outdoor adventure. If there were a poster child for skiing in Utah, Mount Superior would be it. 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. Utah may be known for its world-famous powder, but spring is the best time to backcountry ski big lines in remote ranges. 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. The groomed trails pass by several meadows, some steep enough for telemarking. This past January, we had the pleasure of visiting Utah once again. The mildly masochistic segment of the ski bum set. Yes, you can ski between Alta and Snowbird. Dramatic peaks, inspiring lines and untouched fields of The Greatest Snow on Earth® beckon from beyond the resort boundaries. Learn where to go, how to get there, and much more from experts. No matter your experience level, we are here to help you become the backcountry skier you want to be. Lastly, and most essential is the safety gear…. On the northside of the Ridgeline consider Dutchess Draw and McDonald’s Draw each with big, each skiable and mega on powder days. The Bear River Range, located near Logan in Northern Utah, holds some of the best backcountry skiing in the state. 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. 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. If you’re looking for slackcountry access, the Supreme lift will deliver you to the goods. Splitboards are snowboards you can separate into skinnable skis for climbing. And obviously, check … Development of this platform was partially funded by EU. 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. REQUIRED GEAR 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. 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’. 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. Millicent provides runs that will take you all the way to Alta and Snowbird. 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. Does it help if we define frontcountry as any controlled ski area with lifts, signs, groomed runs, etc.? Willie has also set speed records in Africa on Mt. 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. 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. 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. Backcountry Skiing Utah: A Guide to the State’s Best Ski Tours. In upper White Pine, there’s the spectacular Glacier Bowl and the West Pass. Each day, hard-working ski patrols make the terrain inside of ski area boundaries extremely safe from avalanches. Easy access to backcountry skiing with the Ninety-Nine 90 Express within the park. 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 … Great … 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…). This area is also accessible via the White Pine Trailhead if you’re not based out of the resort. The two mountains share a two-mile-long ridgeline that stretches from the top of Sugarloaf Pass, through to Baldy Shoulder, and then down to the bypass road. 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. Utah’s licence plates say “The Greatest Snow On Earth,” and anyone who’s gotten in a few backcountry runs can attest to this. This is a place best suited for experienced backcountry travelers in good shape. 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). Skin and bootpack. 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 … One of the easier runs is Haystack Mountain, which, with its south and east-facing aspects, serves up plenty of corn come spring. Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Beyond Wasatch, the La Sal Mountains have some solid places to ski right around Moab. Truth is, anyone can do it. 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. Where else in the world can you ski six resorts in one day? Stay up-to-date with the latest outdoor adventure stories and get exclusive offers delivered straight to your inbox. “I haven’t seen it this bad in the 11 years I’ve been out here,” said a Utahan in January. Much of this terrain comprises the Lone Peak Wilderness Area, more specifically Hogum Fork. 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. Not really the kind of beta you want to hear before embarking on a trip—but we, the ever-optimistic Backcountry Skiing … 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. 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. They also lead to high terrain where experienced backcountry explorers and mountaineers can find long descents equal to any in Utah! About the Author. avalanches! 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. THE BEST LOCATION FOR GLADE SKIING. This accomplishment made with his brother Damian in 2003 won them Climbing magazine’s Golden Piton Award. The LaSal Mountains offer miles of trails and unlimited backcountry skiing terrain. 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. I’ve also skied in the Bear River Range, the Deep Creek Range, and the Uintas.”. Utah Travel 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. I like skiing in Davis County as well. Tyson Bradley is a nationally recognized extreme and backcountry skier. 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. Heli-skiing and side country/lift-accessed backcountry skiing count, but backcountry in its purest form is human-powered. We send bi-weekly updates on new stories and trip discounts, 57hours mobile app is the easiest way to book a guide. There you go: five go-to spots even when the danger looks dicey. Park your car. Backcountry skiing is like rock climbing and falling in love: The same thing that makes it fun makes it dangerous. View backcountry skiing locations in Utah's Wasatch mountains on your desktop computer. If you’re looking for something a little crazier, you can mountaineer up the South Face, but do so with a guide. 10 talking about this. Backcountry Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, Climbing and Skiing Solitude's Fantasy Ridge. Backcountry Skiing Utah 2014. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in our emails. It’s not on everybody’s bucket list only because of its name. Read more... WHAT IS BACKCOUNTRY SKIING? Sign up for the 57hours newsletter and join our growing community of outdoor adventurers. 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. 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. 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. 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 … Please try again, or contact us at email@example.com and we’ll resolve the problem. Touring bindings allow a free heel for climbing that can clip in for descents. From the Alta trailhead, follow the Cardiff Pass route. East Asia. Welcome to Backcountry Snowmobiling View the beautiful backcountry mountains while experiencing the best snowmobiling Park City, Utah has to offer. Diverse terrain. There are a whopping 551 inches of quality powder per season! 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). 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. Believe the hype! It's available as a paper map, on your desktop, and for your mobile device. All of these options and more are attainable with skins. It should be noted that there are plenty of approaches to diverse terrain regardless of hazard conditions. Brighton has some of the coldest and driest snow in the world, and there’s plenty of it throughout the season. Bluebird+ includes: Three Bluebird Backcountry lessons ($227+ value) Free access to daily clinics / ski … HERE’S THE SECRET about Utah, and the Wasatch Mountains in particular: it’s the best backcountry skiing in the world. Into skinnable skis for climbing skis and snowboards and safe route-finding taste of the resort, and having! … backcountry touring Clinic Instruction in skinning, downhill technique on skis and snowboards and safe.., with conditions generally staying prime until mid-March a location where the right snow avalanche! Have exploded into the mainstream this year … about the backcountry runs available both within without... Bluebird+ includes: Three Bluebird backcountry lessons ( $ 227+ value ) free to. 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