The Seagull

As an ER resident, I get to do a lot of cool things like fly in helicopters with Airmed and go riding around in firetrucks. I don’t know why anyone would do any other kind of medicine. I’d be ok if I never work another day in a clinic in my life. One cool thing that we get to do is work at the ski clinics at the base of Alta and Park City ski resorts, seeing all the skier accidents and medical problems. That’s the rest of my month in a nutshell

Oddly, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for skiing itself. I’ve had to squeeze it in wherever I can get it. Monday night after closing the Alta clinic at 5 pm I threw on a headlamp and headed to Wolverine Cirque to squeeze in a steep ski line– I took pictures, but they looked terrible. Skiing steep couloirs in the dark is fun though.

I returned to the same area the next day with a crew and a plan to ski another couloir. I forgot my boots at home, let them get started, retrieved my boots, and caught them by the top of the line.

Gavin looking into Huge Chute, my nighttime line.

I wanted to ski a couloir called the seagull, named for how it appears from Brighton. It’s a stretch. Why it wasn’t called The Three or something more logical is beyond me.

The Seagull – photo taken without permission from Powder Project.

The line is steep at the top, and at this time of year, was far from fat. Some careful dryski stemming on snow blobs and rocks effectively detuned our edges and got us into the couloir proper. I gave Nico a hip belay while he checked it out and then carefully followed unroped.

The entrance, from below.


Uglying it up.


Nico, mid-couloir.


A narrow choke, but reasonable snow.


Me, skiing out near the bottom third.

I had planned to tick a third named line and keep the Chuting Gallery list growing shorter by taking a jaunt up a couloir close to town after conference this afternoon, but warm temps along the front of the approaching storm created unexpected wet avalanche activity that had me turning tail and back at my car in just 40 minutes.

That ain’t cool.

There’s a 30-40″ storm in the forecast for this weekend. Hopefully it delivers, we could use the refresh. Until next time!

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Category: Skiing


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