4/8/12 to 4/9/12 – Another weekend and another couple classics in the Wasatch needed to be slayed. On Sunday, I opted for a quick morning tour and ski of the Argenta Slide Path in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This 3,250′ slide path was quick and easy to ascend, and offered quite the variety of snow conditions on the way down (no pictures posted of Argenta).
The next day, having similarly safe avalanche conditions and that couloir-season drive kicking in, I headed for Little Cottonwood’s classic 3,400′ Y-Couloir. This is a gorgeous ski line that demands you earn every turn on the way up. The slope hits 40 degrees a couple hundred feet up from the apron and holds that continuously until right near the top! I was fortunate to meet a friendly couple of ripping tele out-of-towners – Andrei and Peter – at the trailhead and hooked in with them. We booted strait up the couloir, through a couple of low-snow-only rock outcroppings, and worked our way to the top. Skiing down the line just after noon (when the temperature at the trailhead was around 65 degrees F) meant we had a whole mess of variability to deal with. The conditions can be broken into ~1,000 ‘ sections: the upper skied light and soft, the middle skied creamy and fast, and the botttom was thick and sticky. Warm spring days have been a definite staple of the 2011/2012 season in the Wasatch and this day was no exception. At the bottom of the run, our feet were swollen with heat and throbbing in our boots, and wading back across Little Cottonwood Creek with my boots off was the icing on the cake of an excellent ski day. This line has quality written all over it, and I do hope to return to the Y-Couloir to ski it in better condition in the future.