Posted by: wasatchprotocol | April 12, 2011

Return to Utah, April Pow and Lots of It – Part 1: Mt. Raymond

It’s been 8 months since my skis last touched Utah snow.  Quick calculation…  Yup, it was August.  I squeezed in an on snow (albeit crappy snow) test of my 2nd pair of homebuilt skis up at the Devil’s Castle Apron last August with Kristian before driving out to North Carolina.  That day also completed a 12 month Turns All Year cycle.  Suffice it to say, I’ve been missing the snow and the real mountains this winter.

The plan was to combine some spring house duties with an early April backcountry skiing trip.  I got the chores finished on Thursday and then it started snowing nonstop until I left.  We had at least a foot or so of fresh snow each day.  I couldn’t have timed it better.

Up first was Raymond, a tour that has been on my list for some time, with Steve and Thérèse.  Photos from today were taken by Steve.

Mt. Raymond:

Day 1: Mt. Raymond. We skied the line 1 or 2 over from the center line.

It felt really good to be back in the mountains.  Especially with a foot of new snow and plenty more forecasted for the weekend.

This guy is happy to be back on a skin track on a snowy day.

It's still winter up here!

Up through the trees, down to the flats, and up again to the Raymond-Gobblers saddle.  It started getting windy up here.  Really windy.  We were almost knocked over by a particularly strong gust.

Thérèse on the Mt. Raymond shoulder

Higher up on Raymond we had to traverse across a few of the lower chutes to get where we wanted to drop in from.

Another happy camper.

Almost there.  The anticipation was strong.

Me almost at our launching point on Raymond.

We ate our sandwiches, ripped skins, and were ready for the skiing portion of the day.  Not much else to say other than it was good.  Really good.  Fast and deep snow.

Shred alert! My first turn back in the Wasatch.

T-Rex.

After skiing down from Raymond, the plan was originally to head back up to the saddle and ski something out Millcreek Canyon where we’d meet a friend and get a ride back to our car in Big Cottonwood Canyon from him.  However, I had some altitude induced sickness come on strong at that point.  That’s the problem with living almost at sea level and immediately jumping into human powered ski touring at 9-10,000 feet.  No lifts to make it easy up here.  We ended up heading back the way we came, climbing up to Circle Awl peak and skiing down a familiar Butler exit run to the car.  The snow was a bit heavy here, but I can’t complain, it was deep, and my headache/nausea started to go away on the descent down.  By the time we were down in the valley eating Buffalo wings I was just about back to normal and ready for Part 2 on Saturday.

Edited to add: I’ve got some POV footage from Raymond that may get posted later.

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  1. […] Pow and Lots of It – Part 2: Mineral Fork and a Tiger After skiing Mt. Raymond on Friday, devouring wings at the Wingcoop, and repairing tired muscles in our buddy Paul’s hot tub, we […]


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