Coalpit #4

Getting to work by 2 pm is a cinch. Getting to work by noon, after a ski mission, well, that get’s a little tighter.

After working until 2 am the night before, I met Noah at the Big Cottonwood park and ride at 0645 with a plan to ski the Powerhouse Couloir. Problem was, Paul had skied it the day before and said conditions were blah. Plus, he’d skied it up.

We called an audible and headed for Little Cottonwood. The Dorais had skied a low-hanging Northerly Line there while I was skiing on Olympus, and conditions looked good. I suggested Coalpit #4, since neither of us had done it before, and the game was on.

Noah skinning in the lower couloir as the sun starts to hit Lisa Falls.

This is the best reason to get up early before work.

I had dreams of an untracked couloir. Stupid me. By the time we hit the apron, it was clear that at least two parties, if not more, had skied the line. But with the clock ticking, I had to get to work and and we were committed.

The upside was that there was a skinner and booter almost entirely to the top, so the 3000 feet of climbing disappeared quickly. As we climbed higher and passed the choke in the middle of the couloir, the snow changed dramatically from soft but tracked piles to oddly untracked. Inexplicable, but a fine surprise anyways.

Noah booting the middle of Coalpit #4
A great morning to be aloft in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
As we neared the top, the snow turned downright fantastic.
Lone Peak was looking good in the morning light.

The descent was uneventful, if snow flying in your face doesn’t count as an event. The skiing was fantastic up top and just fine below, still skiing soft among the others’ tracks. Finishing out on the apron we crossed LCC stream and were back to the car in 2 hours even. I even had time to go home, shower, and nap for an hour before work. It was a win.

Morning light, powder, steepness… the whole picture.
And out the chewed-up entrance.


Category: Skiing



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