Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grandview Peak via City Creek Canyon, Bike and Ski, April 12, 2013

Six and half miles on the bike up City Creek Canyon. My timing wasn't too bad as only the last 200 yards of pavement was still snow covered.

Bridge number one (of three) about a quarter mile from the end of the pavement, near where I hid the bike in the trees.

Skis on, skis off. Near the entrance to Cottonwood Gulch (C.G.), which is the south side approach to Grandview Peak, about a mile up-canyon from the end of the road (and the bike). The snow was maddeningly intermittent. I initially by-passed the entrance to Cottonwood Gulch, and went to the next drainage because it looked too small compared to the view of the upper basin as seen from SLC. On the map C.G. appears to be the main drainage of upper City Creek so I expected to find a major stream flowing out of C.G., but no water was flowing from the drainage. And there was no trail heading up the gulch. With the mining activity in the late 1800's and early 1900's, I expected at least a resemblance of an old road, but nothing was found. Maybe covered in snow?  

Most of the gully's off the south side (north aspects) of City Creek Canyon were choked with avalanche debris.

A good sign, finally on the right track. After and added a mile and an hour looking, I back-tracked and headed up the first drainage, the one I by-passed as too insignificant for Cottonwood Gulch.  This is the old bull-wheel from the Hidden Treasure Box Mine located near the entrance to C.G. For scale, it's about four  feet in diameter. 

A bit further and Grandview Peak finally comes into view. I followed the gully for over a mile, all the way to upper Cottonwood Gulch. This is the longest natural half-pipe I've ever seen and it provides a clean route through the brush in lower approach. 

View SW. Lots of steep lines falling off the east side of the Burro Mine area east of Bountiful. Wish I had the time and energy to explore all those lines, but I keep taking the easy (er) access stuff on the western (Bountiful) side of the ridge. 

I'm not one to manufacture religious experiences, but if you look real hard you'll see the patron saint of  back country skiing. Shortly after snapping this photo I clearly heard a female voice, "Ski more, work less". Maybe there is something to all this religion stuff after all?

Getting to the upper basin. The tracks are mine, from leapfrogging while getting video of  myself while skinning. 

Last year's Chickadee nursery?

I should charge BD for advertising.

I didn't realize how much and how high I lift my ski with each step.  Lets see, 15 miles, 27,000 steps at 7 pounds per foot (carry the one), 189,000 pounds!  

East side of Cottonwood Gulch.

Upper Cottonwood basin, view south towards the central Wasatch.

Upper basin, view SW.

On the Cottonwood/Millcreek (Mueller Canyon) divide. View north with smoker tracks coming from Bountiful's Skyline Drive. A snowmobiler died in an avalanche on this slope about 5 years ago. On that day I was skiing the Burro Mine area when Lifeflight flew right over head, followed by the KSL-TV chopper, then, 20 minutes later, Lifeflight flew back out. When I topped the ridge I looked down and saw about 30 snowmobilers milling about in that open meadow. Sad day.

Final ridge to Grandview Peak.

View SW. That ridge with all the skiable lines is the east side of the Burro Mine area above Bountiful. I ski the west side all the time (too much?), which I call Bountiful Ridge in previous posts. So much great skiing to be had, with endless lines, few people, but long, brushy approaches. 

Grandview Peak.

East bowl off Granview. Another great line. The snow was wet in south aspect of Cottonwood Gulch, but the east and North aspects were dry and creamy today. 

I'm such a nerd. The Suunto is for skiing, the Garmin for biking. I'm just lucky I'm not flying an F-16 over Afghanistan with these things, the actual elevation of Grandview is 9,416 feet.  If I had to choose, I'd take the Suunto over the Garmin. A barometer calculates vertical gain/loss with greater accuracy than a GPS.  At the end of the day the Sunnto registered 5,700 feet gain while the Garmin showed over 8,700 feet. A quick look at a USGS map shows the Suunto was quite accurate - there is NO way the incidental ups and downs added 3,000 vertical feet.  That said, my biking friends love their Garmins, with the over-measured gains everyone is a hero on Strava. 

View north.

Just when you think it's safe to ski Grandview (a known snowmobiler hangout), these three smokers show up. 

My skin track in upper Cottonwood Gulch from the summit.

Antelope Island from Grandview.

Turns, upper basin. 

Tired after a long day (and 189,000 lbs. lifted), but not done yet, still a 6 mile coast down the canyon to the truck. And what's with my hat? In every picture my hat, any hat, is always crooked. Or is it just my sloper head? That might explain my weird hobbies.

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