Cardiff Ridge Chutelets

When life gives you lemons, and you’ve been starving for lemons, you squeeze the *$^% out of them.

I had a day off (scarce these days) and the weather report said that it had snowed. The avalanche forecast reported 6″ of new, so I headed up for a look with a sense of optimism. When I reached the snowbird parking lot and there still wasn’t new snow on the ground, I knew things were going to be a bit grim. Not sure where they keep the snow stake, but I think someone was throwing a few shovelfuls on it last night.

First lap of the day: “Atomic Fireball”.

Still, better some than none. I skinned up to Cardiff ridge to tick off a bevy of short shots outline in the Chuting Gallery as interesting mini-golf lines that make for training laps in preparation for bigger and better lines. With seven in all, I ticked them one after another in solitude, and documented them with crappy iPhone photos. Two lines, “the shield” and “tetris” were attention-getting. The rest made for some fun turns in wind-favored drifts.

A stiffer (foreshortened) second on “the shield”.

A quick and beautifully smooth shot out “shangri-la” for a third”.
Getting to the top of “Tetris” was a battle that required excavating a path along the rock wall.
Top of “Tetris” (red), with the top of “the shield” in the background. A better perspective on angles.
Five: “The Hangnail”
Post hoc on 6: “femme fatale”. The final shot on “little feat” didn’t deserve a photo.

In the afternoon, I picked up longtime partner and brief visitor to SLC, Ethan Linck, and we headed back up to the highest terrain with the shortest approach: Wolverine cirque. Visibility was bad, and the snow was variable, but I got him his taste of the Wasatch steeps before the day was out.

We started into Huge Chute, a good intro for it’s mellow width and easy entrance. From there we climbed back out Granny’s Chute and went to take a peek down the adjacent “Roman’s”, where the rope came out for a cornice check and stayed as a handline through a bony top. We finished with a lap down Granny’s which had the best snow of them all before cruising back to the car for fried chicken and beer. It’s recovery food.

Starting round two, as I ski “The Huge Chute”. (Photo by Ethan)
Ethan follows on The Huge Chute.
Throwing in a skinner up “Granny’s Chute”. (Photo by Ethan)
Hey, this looks like a good way into “Roman’s”. (Photo by Ethan)
Hand-lining a rock inspection. (Photo by Ethan)
Ethan follows through the steep rocks.
…and pushes the wind slabs out of “Roman’s”.
About to conclude the day on Granny’s. (Photo by Ethan)

All short shots in suboptimal conditions. Still, it was 10 lines for the day, 9 of which were new ticks in my Chuting Gallery list. I’ve got another day off coming in short order and with Peter in town, I’m sure we’ll get up to some kind of mischief. Stay tuned.

Category: Adventures, Travel, & WritingSkiing


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