I hate this time of year, it cools off just a few degrees and all of the sudden I start thinking winter, but it’s still a long ways out and there’s not much to do with the pent up energy. So, I daydream and scheme, look at photos and plan trips and even blog a little. I keep a file of images and a tick list of things to ski. I’ve been going through it and prioritizing things getting ready for when it does eventually snow. The Wasatch is a very small area in comparison to other mountains, but thankfully this micro range has a lifetime of lines to ski. The longer I ski and tick, the smaller the list does grow, but more obscure and curious are the lines that remain. Last year I was able to tick a few that have been on there for a really long time, like the Firing Squad on the north side of Dromedary Peak.
I made an early season attempt last winter with Jason and Andy Dorais. We tried climbing up the route to make sure the crux would go, but ended up turning back because the choke was too thin and rocky. Jason went back in the next day or two and captured this great shot of the Firing Squad on an arial flight. Our tracks are still visible, though not pretty.
A few weeks later I went back with Billy Haas. The day started out blue, but weather was forecast to move in. Billy entering into upper Broads, one of the most scenic and rugged alpine drainages in these hills. One of my favorite shots from all of last season.
We didn’t climb the route, but hit the climbers left ridge and made it to the summit right as the clouds came in.
Despite the whiteout we thought was we could still figure our way onto the ramp so we dropped in and slowly leap frogged towards the traverse.
We cut in too early a few times, but found the entry and scooted out onto it. It was steep and exposed, but the snow was good. The line is a bit reminiscent of the Ribbon on Devil’s Castle, just in reverse and not as long.
It felt like we were in Chamonix for about 15 minutes, as we crept along. Storm side-stepping is the new storm skiing.
The snow was great, but vis was shit and once we were out of the rock we were skiing by feel all the way back down to the trees.
Short and sweet line if you’re in the neighborhood!