I’ve been eyeballing Little Apron at Alta Ski Area for many years. Little Apron is a small coulior in the Devil’s Castle area. It is located next to Castle Apron which is much larger.
The hike up would usually be about 10 minutes, but it was easily 20+ because the snow was not cooperating. The top layer was a breakable crust and underneath was powder. Once my foot would break through too far, I would sink. Each step took three steps to complete. By the time I got to the top I was drenched in sweat.
I picked up these Atomic Bent Chetler 100’s last spring when we thought the COVID lockdown would be two weeks. TWO WEEKS.
Designed by legendary skier Chris Benchettler, the Bent Chetler 100 is a versatile, all-around ski suitable for a wide variety of ski conditions.
Length tested: 172. Other lengths available are 164, 180, 188.
The dual rocker technology is distributed as follows: Front rocker 20%, camber 70%, and tail rocker 10%.
The ski features HRZN Tech in the tip and tail for increased surface area and float. The Light Woodcore, directional shape, and Powder Rocker make carving, slashing, and even sliding (when necessary) a breeze.
The turning radius of the 172’s is 18, while the 164’s are at 16.4. The 180’s 19.5 and the 188’s 21.
I only had a couple of chances to ski the 100’s last spring before the resorts shut down due to COVID. The resorts are back open now for the 2020-2021 season and I’ve been riding the Bent Chetler 100’s exclusively.
When I first tried the 100’s, I was not used to them at all. I was coming from the perspective of much wider and much longer skis. Now I’ve got the feel for the 100’s and I’m really digging them. I’ve managed to experience quite a variance of conditions from light powder to groomers to ice. The skis are playful and easy to ski, but strong enough to take on more aggressive skiing and terrain.
In powder they float well for being relatively narrow. I’m typically on 108’s and 116’s underfoot. Here’s a little pow video.
While they don’t necessarily ride on top of super light pow, they have enough float to get the job done.
Some of the most fun I’ve had skiing the Bent’s is making quick, short turns in tight places:
The Bent Chetler 100’s are a great one-ski-fits-all solution, or a great all-mountain addition to a skier’s quiver. The ski is reasonably priced at around $600 (without bindings).
When Alta shut down because of covid last season, I still skinned up to the top of many runs like Devil’s Castle, to get powder runs. I made a few friends and many runs with snowboarders, who jumped at the chance to board Alta. It was interesting. It takes a worldwide pandemic for snowboarders to be allowed to board at Alta. May never happen again. Someone made an actual short film about snowboarders at Alta, and you can see many of the runs I skied last year in my quest for 116, skiing every run there in one season. Fun to watch. That chute they hit above East Greeley looks awesome.
My buddy Michael and I did our first substantial skinning session of the 2020-2021 season today. We started up the Summer Road at Alta and went up near Catherine Pass to Point Supreme. We went nearly to the very top but it was very thin and dangerous up there so we didn’t go the last couple hundred yards. Here’s a little body cam video from Point Supreme.
I’m thrilled to say that all the mountain biking this summer has really made a huge difference in my fitness and ability to take on vertical like this at over 10,000 feet. Unfortunately I had the wrong socks, and my touring boots are not fitted well and I ended up with nasty blisters on both feet. That needs to be resolved.
Did my 2nd backcountry tour of the season after work today. These after work sessions are fun, but I don’t have a lot of time. Between getting there and getting the gear on and such, I have about an hour or so of climbing I can do before I have to transition to downhill skiing before dark. Still good to get out. I got up to the top of Albion and by then it was getting dark and very cold.
On the way up I saw my friend Snuggles, the porcupine!
I jealously watched all the pow videos from this past weekend. I was going to go up, but had no snow tires and the road restriction was in place. So today after work I drove up to the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon as fast as I could and did my first skinning of the season. I got about a mile up Grizzly Gulch before it started getting too dark to feel comfortable about safely skiing down. It was a good warm up. Lots of snow for this time of year. Hopefully that means we are in for a great season.
On the way back down I was treated to a fantastic sunset. At that point I thought to myself, “I need to do more evening tours!”