On a whim we decided it was finally time to go and ski the face of Mount Timpanogos. This is the queen of the Wasatch, and a face I’ve been looking at my entire life. I remember my brothers used to talk about wanting to ski it one day. I did too, but I was always nervous looking at it. It didn’t seem like there was a reasonable way down without passing through treacherous terrain and maybe even having to go over cliffs. But my confidence on my skis has increased a lot as I’ve skied 80+ days this winter, and it was an absolutely epic ski day.
I didn’t even know I was going to go ski it until around 8:30 am when John confirmed that he was down. My roommate Kyle was also wanting to ski with us and so we left at around 9:15 and dropped a car off at Dry Canyon in Lindon and then drove to the mouth of Provo Canyon where John picked us up. We drove up to the Aspen Grove Trail head and began the ascent.
From Aspen Grove to the summit isn’t a crazy amount of vert, I ended up with a little bit over 5,000 today, but it is fairly technical. Going up through primrose cirque is steep and the kick turns can be intimidating. Kyle really struggled from the beginning and he wasn’t feeling well, so he ended up just skiing back to the car at the top of Primrose cirque while John and I submitted.
We went for the South Summit and arrived in just under three hours at around 1:30. We were shocked to see two other people on the summit who were transitioning and skiing down. They had approached from Dry Canyon and had set a nice booter up to the summit from the shoulder. Well, we didn’t get to it after around 100 feet of super sketchy booting.
As I was putting only centimeters in the snow and quickly ascending the ridge, knowing that if I fell I wouldn’t stop for thousands of feet, I thought about being 10 years old and skiing with my older brothers who were 4 and 6 years older than me, and how I would cry almost every time out of fear. If they would’ve taken me here I wouldn’t probably died from fear. And even though I was scared for those hundred or so feet, it was also thrilling and enjoyable. I thought of the Alpinist, and how he and his girlfriend said that one of the joys of free-soloing is that you have to be completely and 100% in the moment. That’s how those hundred feet were. It’s a good feeling. Scary, but good.
At the top we opted to hike back down 50 or so feet to get below the initial rock band before transitioning for the incredibly long descent. It’s majestic no matter which direction you look. Being so high above the valley and skiing wild, and steep terrain all the way is majestic.
We were amazed at the consistency of amazing snow all the way to the dirt. We got lucky today. We thought we were late to the party, but we ended up arriving right for the peak. It couldn’t have been any better.
Once we hit around 6500 feet or so, it was time to take off the skis and boot the final 1500 feet to the trailhead.
Today was one of those days I won’t forget. I’m also already excited to go back up to this area and ski more. There are so many lines, and so much good skiing on both the front and backside of Timpanogos.