Early Season Scrounging

What a hiatus it has been for the Mountain Lessons blog. There have been a lot of changes in the last 6 months… new house, new state, new job, new stressors and responsibilities. While I’ve not been out and about any less than usual, it’s been tough to find time to share. I don’t think that you want to hear fishing stories anyways.

Little Cottonwood Canyon, November Snowpack

For those not in the loop, we’ve moved to Salt Lake City, UT where I’m in training as an ER doc and where we’re going to have much better access to skiing, riding, and pretty much all of the things that we like to do.

Unknown skier, dropping into Main chute.

November started off with a bang here, with late October snow laying a base at upper elevations that made a few spots skiable. Main Chute came in early, and five laps later I was ready for this year’s next couloir. What an ingrate.

In search of more snow and finding only sunsets.

But the riches faded quickly, and we’ve had little new snow. Alta proved just as outdated as the other resorts around and closed to uphill traffic a solid two weeks before their opening date and in one fell swoop, reduced the skiable terrain here to around two acres.

November approaches. At the very least, not too cold.

So we went further afield this weekend, to Moab. The La Sal mountains above Moab got more snow than did the Wasatch in October, so we hoped to find more skiing there to keep the ski-belly full. While the coverage was better, the snow hadn’t weathered well. It was still worth the trip to check out the range, and I hope to return in the Spring when the scary Colorado-style snowpack turns to corn and makes the range skiable again.

Taylor, and a photo that makes the coverage look much better than it was.


Let’s take a closer look; getting pretty Euro these days.


If only this photo could be accompanied by the loud scratching sound associated with this turn.


Taylor skiing amid the South La Sal group.


The two soft turns of the day. Memorable enough to snap a picture.

Thankfully, this state provides, and when the white pow isn’t deep, the brown pow sure is. We gave up on skiing today to ride Moab’s world-class once more.

Brown pow, with the La Sal mountains far behind.


Smooth, buttery, ample coverage.



The drought is due to break shortly after thanksgiving, as is my 75-hour-per-week month in the ICU, so December, here we come. More soon.


Category: Mountain BikingSkiing


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