Posted by: wasatchprotocol | March 10, 2010

2010.03.05-07 Bryce and Red Canyon, UT

I’ve been wanting to get down south for some skiing for a while now after hearing about dumpage earlier in the season.  Due to scheduling issues (trying to write a dissertation), it took a few weeks to make it happen so there wasn’t much blower pow to be had.  There was still snow all over the place, but it wasn’t necessarily good for skiing.  Also, despite Bryce Canyon having decent snow coverage, skiing is not allowed in the park, except for XC skiing on designated trails.  The park staff made that abundantly clear when I asked them about it.  Like, arrestingly clear.

So first we hiked around the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop trails.  This is a nice place.

Steph using her $$$ camera.

We could ski  this if it wasn’t inside a National Park.

I’d love to ski down this.  Unfortunately, it’s illegal.  Just like all the other awesome lines in the park.

Later Steph took some sunset photos.

Then it was up early the next morning for sunrise.

Despite getting some nice photos, we decided that it is difficult to photograph sunrises and sunsets at Bryce.  The park is relatively narrow and runs north to south, but the sun travels east to west.  To sort of paraphrase Steph:  It’s difficult to place interesting objects in the foreground of a photo while at the same time having all the rock formations in the background and capturing the sunset or sunrise.  Maybe summer trail accessability improves photo ops.

After sunrise we slept for another couple hours.  I wanted to try to ski something, so we drove out of the park and headed for Losee Canyon, which part of the Red Canyon area I think.  The Subaru was a trooper on the snow/dirt/mud road.  Steph took her cross country skis and I brought my  touring setup, in hopes of finding something to ski.

Losee Canyon is cool, for the most part we skinned on a snowcovered dried out river bed.  At a few spots I skinned up the sides of the canyon to get some turns in.

The first spot looked pretty good, but the snow had a nice crust on it despite being N-facing (guess it’s been getting warm down here during the day).  Turns were mediocre.  But mediocre turns are better than no turns.

We kept going a bit more.  Steph illustrates proper xc technique.

Didn’t see any wildlife, but they left signs.

Lot’s of potential lines to be had down here.  Unfortunately, everything over there was crusty.

Artsy fartsy ski shot.

I found some corn on a SW-facing slope.

Steph came across “The Red Rock Thinker”

More potential lines.  And great scenery.

We headed back to the car, made it out the dirt road which had become a lot more muddy by then, drove to another part of Red Canyon right off the main road, and hiked a short loop and snapped some photos.

Back in Bryce, the sunset was ok.  The rocks were nice as usual.

It gets cold quickly once the sun starts to go down.  Bundled up sunset camera antics:

Hey, a real picture!  With a tree even.

We woke up for sunrise the next morning  to about 8-10 inches of new snow.  We thought that the roads couldn’t be too bad, but the guy at the hotel very strongly recommended waiting until the roads had been plowed, even if you have AWD or 4WD.  Ok, back to bed for an hour.  We got up again and headed up to Red Canyon.  I decided that it looked skiable.

Here goes…  I got a few great turns and a few rocky turns.  But it was fun skiing through red rock hoodoos.  In this photo I’m just visible in the middle, kicking up some spray.

A little bit further down.

Back to the Subaru.  I would have loved to get up on the slopes in the background, but we had to get going since we had a visitor from Norway flying into SLC in 4-5 hours.

Looks like I’ll have to get back down south when the snow is right.



  1. i dig

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