If you live in Utah, you know that it can be a very long wait for spring. Even this year, when we’ve barely had winter. My solution: don’t wait until spring to get out in the mountains! The Wasatch Mountains are spectacular under snow. The air is crisp and fresh, and the trees smell amazing. When everything is under snow, you and your snowshoes have complete freedom. You can go anywhere you want! Okay, almost anywhere you want. Yes, please use common sense, and pay attention to the terrain, the weather, and be mindful of obstacles which may hide under the snow. Also be aware that it usually takes a lot longer to get where you’re going in the snow.
We started at the Cutler Trail Head. The gate is not open during the winter, so we parked along the main road and walked from there. We used micro spikes for extra traction. Even though the weather has been warm and dry, the trail was still mostly snow packed. We followed the trail for much of the way, and then cut up to one of the ridges. The snow was much deeper and softer, and we needed snowshoes. The view was wonderful! We could see Pineview sparkling in the sun. We climbed up to the ridge, and then slid down. (**Please see Ann’s waiver for downhill sliding on the left). The wind was strong and really cold. Anytime you’re out in the winter, the wind is a major player. Strong winds make it much more difficult to keep warm, and in extreme cases hard to see where you’re going. It is usually windy on the ridges and peaks.
**Ann’s Waiver for Downhill Sliding
Never slide if you can’t see where you’re going.
Never slide if it’s too steep to control your speed.
I strongly discourage hitting trees or other obstacles. (It’s hard on the trees.)
Keep your feet and gear up while sliding.