Last weekend we met with Andreas and Kasi at a Trax station to head down to Provo for some skiing. The season thus far is quantitatively and qualitatively the best in 30 years. Utah is at the top of the pile for amount of snow this year with little variation. To top that, the persistent weak layer in the snowpack has finally been buried far enough that human triggers of avalanches on this layer has become unlikely. To take advantage of the fat snowpack and the stability we headed to Mt. Timpanogos. This 11,749′ peak is more alike to the Canadian Rockies than those in the Wasatch. It has huge limestone cliffs and massive relief.
The morning was cold but not windy. We started in the sun but quickly got thrust into shade by the low angle sun and towering cliffs and ridges. We meandered up the gut of the drainage, navigating over and around avalanche debris from the last storm cycle. As we worked our way up the first headwall to the upper Primrose Cirque basin we had some tough skinning. The old avy debris was firm and we didn’t have ski crampons. After 100 or so kick turns to stay in the narrow swath of softest snow, and a short booter we arrived at the flat area of the upper basin. Up here the terrain felt like we’d been dropped into Canada.
We headed south towards the back of the cirque. We opted out of going to the saddle to get a look out west into Provo and beyond. It would have been a nice view, but we could see it was windy on the corniced ridge. Finally transitioning over to skiing was a nice change of the 3.5 hours of skinning to that point.
The snow was overall really good, but with some areas of avy debris. In the lower basin we had some awesome turns in a slight undercast. The lighting was ethereal with the sun coming through the thin low clouds and creating rays of sun above our heads. Utah has so much amazing stuff to offer!