While most people were hitting the snooze bar this morning my roommate Kira and I were hiking the Y Couloir in Little Cottonwood Canyon. You know the Y, it’s that sweet looking mega chute on the North facing side of LCC about half way up. It is the one you always say you are going to do, but never actually do.
The hike is pretty brutal, but not the hardest thing ever. We made it from the truck to the summit in 3 hours flat. The guidebook says it takes 2-4 hours to hike, so I guess we are pretty average when it comes to hiking. The Y is 3400 vert straight up and 3400 vert straight back down, so you know what you are going to be skiing long before you ski it. While hiking we noticed how harsh the snow was looking, so we were fully prepared to have a nasty decent.
About half way up the hike we ran into a couple guys that were skiing down. They must have gotten up a lot earlier than we did. Anyway, one of the guys had his sweet Dynafit binding rip right out of his ski in a turn. The poor sucker had to side slip the next 1700 vert of ice chunder on one ski. That is why I am a firm believer in buying heavy duty equipment. Light stuff is great if you are cross country skiing or want to impress your loser friends on TGR with how light your setup is, but when it comes to skiing big lines with real risk I believe that heavy and reliable is the way to go.
Our decent was not actually as bad as we had thought it would be. We even found a little strange pow on the skiers right side of the trees at the very top of the run. The rest of the snow was a mix of chalky goodness and icy badness. There were still a few rocks to navigate at certain points throughout the Y, but overall the trip was totally worth it. I think we will go again later this year when things are a little more filled in.