Some tours are more mind expanding than others, and sometimes prove that more is possible than what came before. This was one of those.
A 4:30am start of a several mile walk up a dirt road past the winter gate got us to the start of the trail, then more miles of skinning to get to the base of Deseret Peak. It was more hiking, skinning, skiing, and then hiking out than I would have signed on for last year. Glad to know that things can change.
From the end of the slogging in, we were able to skin up the couloir, no booting required. And the skiing down was surprisingly better than we expected given the snowpack and the temperatures.
See http://www.summitpost.org/twin-couloirs/627220 for how to get there.
The good light only lasts for a few minutes (6:43am).
We were sheltered from the wind on our way up but it was howling on top. A quick change over later and we dropped in. Second breakfast would have to wait till we were back down.
The ski out back to our shoes involved getting over, under and around many logs… followed by the 4 mile walk down the road back to the car. This tour is definitely worth doing (again). The rest of the photos are in the Skiing 2012 set on Flickr.
Ski crampons. They may not be that useful most years in Utah, but in the right conditions they’re like an extra 4-LOW gear, very helpful.