Trip Reports Rookie skinning day in LCC, 2APR20

Jim Kenney

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My son the veteran took me the rookie for a bit of skinning action today in Little Cottonwood Canyon at Alta, UT.
I've done downhill skiing for over 50 years and dabbled in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing for almost as long. But this was my first day of skinning in alpine touring equipment. I used my own downhill boots and an extra pair of downhill skis (Völkl Ones, 186cms length, 116mm width) with AT bindings that my son loaned me. He set me up with a pretty heavy rig, but we only did two climbs at Alta; 1) to the top of the Albion Double Chair liftline, and 2) a shorter, but steeper climb from the Wildcat Base to Lower Rustler.
It was a beautiful day on the mountain with blue skies and about 4-5" of new snow. There might have been a hundred cars in the Albion lot, but people were very dispersed and trail traffic was light. For our climb up the Albion liftline I saw about three skiers, two snowshoers, one hiker, and two tobogganers.
The veteran and the rookie.
skinning vet.jpg
skinning rookie.jpg

This is what it's all about! And good motivation during our first climb.
skinning our goal.jpg

The veteran displays his climbing technique.
skinning climb.jpg

Devil's Castle is still there. What a beautiful day!
skinning devil's castle.jpg

Albion liftline skiing.
skinning albion liftline descent.jpg

View from Wildcat Base. We climbed up the intermediate run to right a short way and then caught lower Rustler to left.
skinning wildcat base.jpg

This photo gives a sense of the number of cars in the parking lot beside the Goldminer's Daughter Lodge at about 1PM.
skinning our goal2.jpg

Traversing over to Lower Rustler.
skinning low rustler.jpg

Mission accomplished.
skinning goal accomplished.jpg

It was sad driving by a very lonely looking Snowbird resort.
skinning snowbird.jpg

My conclusion about skinning is that it's a whole lot of shuffling for relatively little schussing. But skiing is skiing and it felt good to get out there 20 days after my last lift served day:yahoo:
 

Slim

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@Jim Kenney , really fun! And such a nice day! You put it well, shulllfing vs schussing, I’ll have to remember that one!

I think being in a resort ind of reenforces that idea.
If you are out in the regular backcoutry you plan a route, and just like a hike or bike ride, it has ups and downs, but your not really counting them as much.
 
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AmyPJ

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That is awesome, Jim! And wow, Alta is grooming some tracks--what a concept. Wish Snowbasin would do that!
 
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Jim Kenney

Jim Kenney

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That is awesome, Jim! And wow, Alta is grooming some tracks--what a concept. Wish Snowbasin would do that!
Yes, this was very definitely Beginner Skinning 101. The Albion lift line run involved hiking up ~867 vertical feet on a packed green circle trail and we skied under the lift line in some terrain that would be classed as ungroomed blue square. Very safe and tame skiing. My son wore his avi pack, but that was only a precaution because we knew there was some new overnight snow and weren't sure exactly what to expect. He wears it all the time when he goes into the backcountry.

Our second climb was only about 400 vertical feet, but it was up a packed dark blue slope. We traversed over to High Rustler, which is a black diamond run for sure, but the lower part we skied was more like ungroomed dark blue. This day was a good and safe introduction to skinning for a rookie.
 

Popeye Cahn

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Yes, this was very definitely Beginner Skinning 101. The Albion lift line run involved hiking up ~867 vertical feet on a packed green circle trail and we skied under the lift line in some terrain that would be classed as ungroomed blue square. Very safe and tame skiing. My son wore his avi pack, but that was only a precaution because we knew there was some new overnight snow and weren't sure exactly what to expect. He wears it all the time when he goes into the backcountry.

Our second climb was only about 400 vertical feet, but it was up a packed dark blue slope. We traversed over to High Rustler, which is a black diamond run for sure, but the lower part we skied was more like ungroomed dark blue. This day was a good and safe introduction to skinning for a rookie.
Well, as someone who has never tried this before your efforts give me encouragement, thanks for sharing!
 
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Jim Kenney

Jim Kenney

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1 May 2020: My son and I went up to Alta this afternoon to do some skinning. Saw about five people on the mountain, although there were 100 cars near Albion Lodge. Folks must have dispersed quite widely. We only climbed about 1000 vertical feet from the Albion Base, past Alf's Restaurant, and partially up the lower part of the Supreme lift. Good exercise going up. Coming down was pretty much green circle terrain. We only made one climb and run. Cloudy day, about 48 degs. Still plenty of snow. Pretty much the whole inbounds area would be skiable if lifts were still running.


alta may 1 start.jpg


My son is pointing out the Sugarloaf lift in the far center.


alta may 1 pointing to sugarloaf.jpg


Approaching Alf's Restaurant, mid-mountain.


alta may 1 alf's.jpg


We stopped climbing at the small cluster of private homes about one-quarter way up the Supreme lift line.


alta may 1 jim and imp.jpg


alta may 1 inside imp.jpg


Heading back down we passed an area of downed trees near the base of the Supreme Lift.


alta may 1 stumps.jpg


This is my son on one of the few steeper pitches we skied. This might be my last ski day of the season (day 28), not sure. The snow should remain skiable for another month or more at Alta for those who want to earn some turns.


alta may 1 action.jpg
 
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Jim Kenney

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9 June 2020, I went skinning up at Alta today. I hadn't been up there for a month. SLC has been warm and dry for weeks, but the last 2 days were cooler and wet. Up at Alta there was perhaps 4-5 new inches of snow this morning at the base and maybe twice that higher up.
Driving by the Snowbird base it was quite a sight to see green trees juxtaposed against new snow.
9 june snowbird green.jpg

Since this was the first sunny day after several wet ones there was a good, but not enormous crowd at the base of the Collins lift at Alta at 10AM.
9 june alta collins base lot.jpg

I am new at skinning and always overdress. The air temp was about 45 degs at the base and felt much warmer in the sun on the climb up beside the Collins lift. Girl boarder is sleeveless and there's a guy to the right with no shirt on.
9 june girl.jpg

I wasn't the only old timer on the hill.
9 june old guy.jpg

It's always motivating to see someone skiing down nicely while you're doing your climb. Is that West Rustler in the background?
9 june blue guy.jpg


I only did one lap today. I climbed 1,226 vertical feet to the top the Wildcat chair. It took me over an hour and I sat up there for about 20 minutes having a snack before heading down. Here's a Wildcat pano shot. Maybe 8-10" of new, heavy snow at this spot. Click to enlarge photo.
9 june wildcat pano.jpg

I got a few powder/cement turns in Punch Bowl beside the Wildcat liftline. I made a sloppy figure 8 with someone's line in the middle of this photo.
9 june punch bowl.jpg

Then I caught Bear Paw (I think that's the name?) under the lift. The snow was pretty good in spots, but also thin and you had to be careful not to uncover rocks..
9 june bear paw.jpg


Bear Paw selfie.
9 june bear paw selfie.jpg

It was over all too soon.
9 june orange guy.jpg

Packing it up, possibly for the last time this season.
9 june alta skis.jpg

Down by the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon there's little sign of winter and later this week temps will return to 90 degs in the valley.
9 june bikers.jpg
 
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tch

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^^^^ :golfclap::golfclap::golfclap:
 

Tony

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I wasn't the only old timer on the hill.
Great to see you getting some Spring skiing. The man in plaid is Bobby Danger who used to post on www.firsttracksonline.com and is often mentioned or pictured skiing with Admin/Editor there, Marc Guido. I think he is about 5 years younger than me and I'm probably younger than you and he could ski or skin both of us into the dirt. He led some unforgettable laps into Snowbasin's side-country in 2014. I will try to add a link when site becomes available again. https://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11317 but note that site has been unreachable a bit lately.
 
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Jim Kenney

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Great to see you getting some Spring skiing. The man in plaid is Bobby Danger who used to post on www.firsttracksonline.com and is often mentioned or pictured skiing with Admin/Editor there, Marc Guido. I think he is about 5 years younger than me and I'm probably younger than you and he could ski or skin both of us into the dirt. He led some unforgettable laps into Snowbasin's side-country in 2014. I will try to add a link when site becomes available again. https://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11317 but note that site has been unreachable a bit lately.
Awesome! I hope he doesn't find out I called him an old timer or it might get me in trouble. He was trucking up the hill very smartly and left me in the dust. Unfortunately, I did not see where he climbed to.
 
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