Guest blogger, Amy David, here! The Wild Women of the Wasatch find happiness in the moments of synergy between the earth, our bodies and minds, that face shot of powder floating light as a bird across the snow.
The deep belly laughs bubbling out when our girlfriend cracks a joke at the goofy outfit we put on, just because. It’s the chill that runs up our spine when the mountain breeze meets the sweat from hiking up the peak. It’s that sweet, sweet rush of pointing ‘em straight down the mountain, and when it comes to spring skiing, yeah, we get weird in onesies. Slather up the sunscreen, ‘cause it’s spring and the ski debauchery is on!
Spring skiing at its finest involves, neon color clad friends, slush slarving, corn-snow chute chasing, parking lot parties, and in the Wasatch spring skiing also means the occasional April snowstorm accumulating over a foot of fresh in 24 hours. For this episode, I met up with several ladies to take on the spring ski traditions and shred a few iconic zones of Little Cottonwood Canyon from Devil’s Castle Couloir to Wolverine Cirque, jumps up Grizzly Gulch, and a foot of fresh pow at Alta Ski Area. Hope you liked checking out the gals of the weekend spring fling and our April shred-ventures.
Watching the weather like a hawk has become quite routine for me as a skier obsessed with snow conditions. NOAA.gov reported a storm was on its way to deliver over 22” of new snow at high elevations and the die-hard skiers of the valley were given what was promised. The morning was filled with light, dry, champagne powder faceshots. By the afternoon the sun emerged with blue skis while the large snowflakes continued to fall from the sky. This phenomenon is what I call sarif (angelic) kisses. It was a day of giddy smiles and a deep appreciation for true Alta magic. If you’ve been there, you know.
When the sky is radiating sunshine and no clouds are in sight the day after a 22 inch powder storm, you celebrate. This was one of those days skiers dream of. I met up with Hannah Barkey who is a soul skier to the core. She works as a nurse from 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 a.m. then skis during the day. Mid-morning we sliced up some pineapple, slathered ourselves with sunscreen, and danced to beach music in the parking lot before skinning up the ridge to reach Wolverine Cirque.
Wolvy is a sampling pot of the finest, most accessible chute skiing in the Wasatch. We sought out the untracked and protected North facing lines. Turns out hot pink party pants and 70’s onesies catch a lot of stares at the top of spicey ski lines. . . even more so when the girls dressed in costume point ‘em straight down the chutes.
If you’ve ever skied at Alta, you’ve gawked at Devil’s Castle. It’s a dark and ominous castle shaped geological cliff feature outlining the perimeter of the ski resort. There’s a mysterious and magnetic pull resonating around the area, and my friends and I have always imagined skiing the couloir visible down the north face of the castle. In early April, I rallied two good friends to give ‘er a try. The line is 1,000 vertical feet including the apron with a 53 degree pitch as one of the steeper in-bound outings at Alta.
Sydney Rickets, Katie Hitchcock and myself rode to the top of the Sugar Loaf chair lift, traversed across to the base of Devil’s Castle, and began the tedious bootpack up the gut of the North couloir. With deep snow coverage, we were able to top out at the saddle. Katie opted for the well-earned open turns off East Castle while Sydney and I picked our way down the steep and dicey couloir.
About half way down, we caught glimpse of the famed Wasatch gal, Caroline Gleich, tied in to the Ciochetti’s Ribbon which would mark the final route of her project to complete all the lines the book “The Chuting Gallery.” Way to go Caroline!
This time of year is primo for booter building up Grizz. Katie, yet again, drew together a lady posse to shape a few mid-sized cheese wedge jumps to practice the airborne stunts and kick back in the sun. Travelers in the Wasatch, Brooke Potter and Maddie Jones sessioned the lil’ kicker with Katie who has made this mountain range her community and home. Babes and backflips? Count me in!
Who are these ladies? Meet the spring fling gals:
Katie Hitchcock: An Alta ski instructor, a passionate environmentalist, and social butterfly to the max.
Sierra Kurian: An animal loving vet tech who gets after it on the slopes as a weekend warrior.
Hannah Barkey: She works as a nurse from 6pm-8am through the night then rallies harder than anyone I know to ski during the day.
Sydney Rickets: A young ripper traveling to compete on the Freeride World Qualifier circuit between slaying laps at Alta and working at 2nd Track Sports.
Brooke Potter: A street skier based in Colorado who seems to always be smiling :)
Maddie Jones: All the way from Australia to ski the U.S. and top of her list is the Wasatch.
The best part about creating Wild Women of the Wasatch is uncovering how many talented, passionate, and competent women are crushing it in the mountains from weekend warriors to pro athlete and first timers. I’ve loved getting to spend time with a variety of ladies who all seek happiness through outdoor adventure in the mountains!
Keep an eye on Ski Utah until then and keep up with my personal travels on Instagram @AmyJaneDavid. Huge thank you to Ski Utah for sharing the stories of the Wild Women of the Wasatch and to @CroshaneMedia for the filming and editing prowess.
Watch Ep01 Adaptive Sports
Watch Ep02 Chicks Who Rip
Watch Ep03 Dawn Till Dark
Watch Ep04 Escape the Heat
Watch Ep05 Mountain Canine Companions
Watch Ep06 Steep Jobs
Watch Ep07 Local Pioneers
Watch Ep08 Boarder Babes
Watch Ep10 Who are the Wild Women of the Wasatch?
Watch Ep11 Gnarly Nurses
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