Memorial Couloirs

After a few days of work and only pre-dawn skinning up the piste at Park City, I engineered a partial morning off and wanted to go ski something steep and skinny. While out at dinner eating sushi, I texted under the table looking for a partner and came up empty handed. On the drive home, I texted Noah J, who is permastoked, and he wrote right back that he was down for a 7 am start in the dark.

Noah, in a bush, blurry, with the dawn light city below.

We headed up the brush tube that is Neff’s canyon to go check out the Memorial Couloirs, a collectors edition set of obscure couloirs that due to their proximity to SLC have become less obscure in recent years.

More bushes.

Vaguely knowledgeable about the approach, Noah led us up through the trees and combat skinning until we popped out at the bottom of the most obvious couloir (#5?), which while long had been thoroughly skied.

Headed up Memorial 3
Noah nearing the top of Memorial 3.

I traversed us out East across a couple of ridges and we found another couloir (#3?) with a single booter, a pair of tracks, and much better snow. I reinstated the booter and soon we were skiing down the aesthetic rock hallway. The right side had a weird wind skin but the left skied soft and lovely.

Noah in the pow down lower in Memorial 3

Short on time but long on motivation, I led us back around to the first couloir that we’d encountered and sweat my _____ off putting in a booter, trying to top out by 10 am.  I reached the top to great views of SLC and the valley, but Noah was dragging a bit. I transition and skied to him and he agreed that we could divide for the way out so that he could finish up and I’d make it to work in time.

Booting up Memorial 5.
Looking out over Salt Lake City from the top of the couloir. It’s cool to have terrain like this so close to home.

The ski out was fun though a bit chopped up. The bottom of the couloir was casual aside from an ice step that was about 8 feet tall and beyond my ability to huck on carbon skis in stiff conditions. A sketchy dryski traverse to skier’s right bypassed it across some rock slabs.

Mid-descent on Memorial 5, borderline late for work.
The foreshortened ice step on the descent, skirted on looker’s left.

Soon, I was skiing the tight trees of lower Neff’s, passed the morning dog walking crowds, and was back to the car and barely up to work in time. Success!


Category: Skiing



  1. Thanks for the great write up! I was hoping to go explore these tomorrow solo and am happy to have stumbled on this beta so late tonight.

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