I had kind of an interesting dream last night that I was in a short track National Championships that randomly switched to XC skiing partway through the race, with super sketchy descents. I was floating around the top 3 for most of the race and finished 5th. I was satisfied with the result, but a little bummed I couldn’t have pulled it together in the end. At this point in the dream I was prompted by something to check the time. This pulled me out of my sleep and I saw it was 7:52.
I jumped out of bed as I frantically got ready to leave and texted Ashton. I was supposed to meet him in American Fork (30 minutes away) at 8 am.
I left as quickly as I could and arrived on my moped at around 8:40. We then drove up to Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon to begin our approach to the Three Temptations, our line choice for the day. With a 40-50 inch storm in the area, we new we were in for some good skiing, and also some potentially really hard trail braking.
Thankfully they had groomed the road going up to Silver Lake in the morning and so we were able to have an easy warm up on the groomed road for a little over a mile before we turned off on the hiking trail that short cuts the road.
Someone had already been on the trail in the past 24 hours it looked like so braking trail was fairly easy here as well. Once we got up the dam at Silver Lake we cut up the face on the west to the ridge, which would take us to the far East side of the three temptations. The wind had blown so much over this ridge that it was super firm, which made for easy trail breaking as well. But it was freezing. The wind was blowing hard across the ridge, like it normally does, and with temps in the 20’s and snow blowing it was quite cold.
Once we made it across this section we found protection in the trees and began the real ascent where the good skiing would be. The snow got deeper and deeper the higher we got, at around 9,000 feet we were breaking trail knee deep. The snow was heavier than I was hoping, but still super deep which was awesome.
We wanted to go all the way to the top of the 3 temptations, but the avalanche danger was pretty high today, and we were getting a good bit of cracking on the way up, so we decided to stick to the lower angle ridge. We’ll save the top for some spring corn, that is, if spring ever comes.
Where it flattens out before the final pitch to the top we transitioned and skied our first lap. It was fun, but not as good as I was hoping. Then we hiked back up and the second lap was way better! We skied down a different ridge that we call the 4th temptation almost all the way to silver lake. It was a little bit steeper which made all the difference! From there we broke trail again back to our skin track for a final lap.
The third lap was the best of the day! I think that the snow falling was low density and the inch or so that fell while we were out made the skiing a lot more fun!
When we got to the bottom we put our skins back on and skinned past silver lake to the south west corner and then we popped up and over and skied a super fun west facing slope down almost to the bottom of the silver lake road! Most seasons this probably wouldn’t be a reasonable slope to ski, but with our current snow pack it was a lot of fun with good rollers and natural jumps.
From there it’s just a relaxing slide back to the cars where you can make a couple final turns on the sledding hill.
If you’re looking to do this one, plan on a fairly big day. The approach is doable, but fairly long. We ended up with a little over 6,000 feet and 10 miles today. You can check it out on my strava here