First Backcountry Tour in American Fork Canyon

I usually tell people that when it comes to backcountry skiing, my limited experience is that it is harder going up than it is going down.  That may not have been the case a couple of days ago in American Fork Canyon though.  After attempting and failing to go downhill skiing at Alta Ski Area, my ski buddy and I decided to do American Fork Canyon. It is close to where he lives.

The canyon isn’t super high in elevation.  I’m guessing 6-7K. As such there wasn’t a 100 inch base, but there was quite a bit of snow in many areas, especially at the peak of our tour at Silver Lake Flat reservoir. That section of snow was deep and we were cutting our own skin track. My calves and knee have been quite unhappy about that since. Vitamin I (ibuprofen) and CBD oil are in play.

Overall the skin up was fun and challenging. The ski down was not worth the effort though. Not enough snow on any slopes worth skiing. So it was mostly skiing back on an access road which was flat in many areas.  Navigating flat road without skins on and skis in downhill mode is probably harder than skinning up.

6+ miles, mostly work. There were THREE nice pow turns I made though, right off the cornice on the reservoir’s dam (video below).  All in all a fun day, but the reward was small for the amount of effort.