Each year, Alta Ski Resort averages over 500 inches of snowfall. That equals almost 42 feet of snow each ski season. Also, the snow is not wet and heavy, it's light and deep. This year, 2017, has been an amazing year for storm cycles and snow. It has dumped a lot of light snow. There weren't many breaks in the weather patterns. Just yesterday, April 29, Alta received over 5 feet of snow in just under 4 days. It's been an amazing year.
This year, 2017, has been an epic snow year in Utah. We have had week after week and many times days after days of light deep powder. During the 2nd week of March, there was a break in the storm cycles with warmer weather and spring skiing conditions. So we decided to summit the Primrose Cirque just to the left of Roberts Horn peak.
A few Saturdays ago, I headed up American Fork Canyon in Utah to do a ski tour with my little guy. It was a blue bird day and the sun was out. We started our approach from the Tibble Fork Reservoir parking lot. In the winter, Tibble Fork Reservoir is a popular destination for snowmobilers, snowshoers, and sledders. The parking lot was full. I knew once we found a parking spot, it was going to be a good day. The Tibble Fork parking lot tends to be crowded on the weekends. The earlier you can get there the better. The warmth of the sun on the face is one of the great joys of skiing on a blue bird day.
One of my favorite things about flying is when the airplane climbs through the clouds to the blue skies. Just before you reach the cruising altitude, you pass through large puffy cumulus clouds that look like pieces of floating cotton. My ski mind instantly converts those clouds into large pillows of powder. Skiing powder is like skiing through clouds. On a powder day, you ride up a ski lift or hike up a mountain to a top of a ridge. You look down on the snow and it looks like white clouds are covering the entire surface.
On Labor Day my friends and family headed to San Onofre State Beach in California to do a little sunset surfing and have a bonfire on the beach. San Onofre Beach is 3 miles south of San Clemente, California. We set up on Old Man's beach and headed out to surf at Sunset. We paddled out to the waves. It was the golden hour so the light on the water was amazing. Surfing also teaches you some basics principles about life. Principles that can give you courage to do hard things and succeed.
One of my favorite places to hang out during the early ski preseason is at Alta Ski Resort up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The minute the first snow falls you'll find enthusiastic skiers and snowboarder exploring the different areas of the mountain. Seeing snowboarders is a little unusual but cool, because they are not allowed on the mountain once the resort openings. Alta is one of three resorts left who only allow skiers.
Utah is home to the best snow on earth and the best backcountry skiing runs in the world. Since winter is knocking at the door and I can't wait to be back on the skis—this week's adventure post highlights a fun backcountry tour I did last winter with my friend Spencer Posey. Our tour was to the Toledo Chute. The Toledo chute is located across the street from Alta Ski Resort. This is a quick tour as long is you don't take the long loop like we did. More exercise right?
About a month ago, my friend Alec was in a bad mountain bike accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Everyday I read updates on Facebook from his wife Emily and brother Eric. Their messages are of love, hope, faith, and courage. They inspire me to stay focused on the important things of life and to never take a day for granted. Each day prayers are answered and little miracles occur for Alec. It strengthens my resolve to do better in life and look for ways to be strong like Alec.
I have spent my whole life exploring the trails, chutes, and peaks of the Snowbird Ski Resort. Snowbird is located up Little Cottonwood Canyon in the heart of the Wasatch mountains. Just off Snowbird's beaten path is one of my favorite gems—the summit hike to Mount Baldy. There is power in seeing life from a different perspective. Many times you have to position your life from a new angle, a different perspective.