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Thread: Wasatch Backcountry - Mt. Superior - 03.10.2013

  1. #1

    Wasatch Backcountry - Mt. Superior - 03.10.2013

    After a pretty spectacular day at Snowbird on Saturday, friends and I decided it was safe enough to take a run at Mt. Superior from the top. Mt. Superior is the mountain directly across from Snowbird's Cliff Lodge and the mountain that is prominent from many views at Alta. I have done "Little Superior" (lower from the summit but off the same ridge) many times and have done Superior from the peak before but it has been about 7 years. I bootpacked the entire way my last time but this time I am years past my first splitboard. So much better.

    The tour begins at Our Lady of the Snows where many of the Alta accessed tours begin. The first 45 minutes was spent climbing to pole line pass and Cardiff Peak. From there you go downhill a bit, even for a bit and then uphill a lot more until it gets to a point just below Little Superior or the black knob where you switch to bootpacking. The rest of the trail is too knifedge, too steep or not grabby enough for the skins. You probably spend about half of the hike on skis or splitboard and half booting.

    There are many parts of the second half of the hike where you are not messing around and an iceaxe or whippet (self arrest ski pole) would be a good carry. I didn't bring my whippet for some reason so I just had to trust my hands and foot placements. A buddy of mine had forgotten his pack so had to improvise his shovel as his only backpack and therefore had to carry his skis by hand the entire way. I was glad I wasn't him.

    The wind was howling hard from the North the entire time on our hike so we knew there would be windloading. I got a text from the avalanche center saying to watch out for wind loaded south facing slopes about half the way up the hike as well. We saw 3 people descend about 30 minutes before us and there was sloughing but it was all on the new snow (about 6 inches). We dropped one by one and no signs of major trouble. At the bottom we opened it up waited for a ride back to Alta. Snow was great the entire way down. A little heavier at the bottom but still fantastic, especially on a snowboard.

    Took 3 hours to hike, 10 minutes to get down. 2900 feet elevation gain to 11,000 total.

    Most of my GoPro footage was spent on the way up, to the point that it died after the first pitch on the way down. I'll put together a vid and add to this post.

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    Nice sunrise view of Pfiefferhorn:
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    Climbing above Alta:
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    View of our target, Mt. Superior:
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    Check out the snow off the top:
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    Time to boot:
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    Sketchy part. Those horizontal lines are actually snow whizzing by fast:
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    Don't ask:
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    Monte Cristo gets skied sometimes, crazy:
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    Big Cottonwood Canyon:
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    The GoPro shots. The kifedge shots look a little crazier because of the fisheye effect but you still do not want to fall in those areas:
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  4. #2
    Bluegrass Junkie powderglut's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Steamboat Springs, Colorado
    Nice!! Terrain looks awesome. Great day!!

  5. #3

  6. #4
    Killer man. That's an intense ridge!

  7. #5
    You do realize this can be done with the heli help program right? JK
    This is the way to do it but it has some risk for sure.

    I remember getting tickets from the Forest guppies in like 81 up in White pine across the way. Peeps and shovels were the state of the art stuff back then.
    Oh the tickets were because they claimed we hit it from a local resort. THey even had the brass to ask us for our season passes back then.

    FS is For Sale not Forest Service. They whip out the ticket book before they ask anything.
    If you want to ride let's ride and if you want an attitude well we just need to do some more ridding.
    Life is good and life is fare.

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