Too Much Fun

I definitely feel like I have a very privileged life. I got lucky enough to connect with super good people from various walks of life who all share a similar passion for the raw energy associated with the mountain lifestyle. Skiers and snowboarders share this crazy bond with each other and with the environment that translates into an incredible amount of fun, no matter whether we're riding in the terrain park, or hiking to the top of an 11,000 ft summit, or camping out waiting for the clouds to burn off, or sessioning an urban feature, that fun tends to bleed through the canvas of our lives and leave its footprint in everything we do.
I've found that the more time I spend with different types of people, the more appreciative I am of the fact that everyone is so unique, and brings certain attributes to the table. I won't bore you by giving too many examples, but one that comes to mind specifically was the other day when we hiked up Cardiff Peak, a 10,277 ft peak in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The hike starts at the Central Alta Trailhead at 8,650 ft, and switches its way back to the summit nestled between the Little Superior Buttress and Flagstaff Mountain. We popped out on the southern tip of the Reed and Benson Ridge and my friend Uriel Ruvalcaba was nearly overcome by emotion. It was the first time he'd summited a peak of that nature, and all his prior freeriding experience was from riding at Snowbird (which is where you should be riding if you want to ride steep, technical terrain in Utah, but don't want to buy a splitboard or snowshoes), and when he looked over toward Monte Cristo and the Cardiac Ridge Bowl, he was completely moved by the absolute majesty of the surroundings. I can definitely relate with that. I remember the first time I hiked up Grizzly Gulch on a clear day, looking at toward Alta and Mt. Superior being absolutely taken aback because of how amazing it was, and wanting to spend as much time as possible in the mountains of my homeland.

I would wager that 80% of my experience with Utah backcountry touring is in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The ridge system that makes up Patsey Marley, Honeycomb Cliffs, Davenport Hill, Flagstaff Mountain, Cardiff Peak, and Mount Superior has enough terrain to keep a touring skier/rider busy for years. I honestly don't think you could ski every face in the zone in an entire season. There's just too much to do. Combine that with the easily accessed Cardiff, Mineral, and Mill B South forks, and you have yourself a lifetime of untouched powder skiing, with no more than a three hour ascent for the best turns of your whole life.

Riding with Andy Earl, Uri, Derek Olthuis, Stain Reichman, Sean Tucker, and Daryl Young over the last few days has been some of the best riding of my whole life. It was kind of sketchy at times. We had to bite our nails and watch while Uri made turns that sluffed to the rock, and then he pinned it out into the drainage, and then onto the safe zone. All in all, no avalanches other than riding sluff, and no injuries, so it was a good couple of days in the back country. Super stoked. Here's a few more pics from the adventures.