Skied Alta’s Main Chute, one of the Baldy Chutes

Baldy Chutes - Main Chute
Entering the portal in 3, 2, 1…

What a thrilling day it was for me to record my third time “down” the Main Chute in the Baldy Chutes at Alta Ski Area a couple of weeks ago. I say “down” because I’ve only technically skied it twice as the first time I attempted it I fell 1,100 feet from the top to the bottom.

This time around was a nice spring day with mostly soft snow conditions, though some parts of the chute were icy. This was certainly my best run at it. I was in the most control, most relaxed (if that’s possible) and best turns. The first time I hit it after my fall I was terrified and was simply trying to get down it without getting hurt.

I was happy to take my buddy Mike there for his first time. As can be expected, he was psyched out at first. It is visually intimidating at the first. But after watching a couple of other skiers do it, he got up the will and did it without incident. Nice job Mike!

East Baldy Rope Drop

East Baldy at Alta Ski Area is a short side step and/or boot back hike to a big open face on Mount Baldy. Often times snow conditions aren’t great on that face, but when conditions are right it can be a pow fest. Check out the video and photos below.

A YouTube follower asked about the photos from Peak Photo Alta, so I took the opportunity to post them here:

Skiing Stone Crusher at Alta Ski Area

Skied Stone Crusher last weekend with a couple of friends from out of town. Stone Crusher is a less-known run at Alta compared to High Boy (Alf’s High Rustler) or Main Chute on Mount Baldy.  Stone Crusher is right next to High Boy though, and is just as steep but not quite as long. The entrance to the run was quite difficult to navigate due to a less than optimal base and lack of new snow over the last month or so.  Enjoy the video.

The entrance:

East Castle – Alta Ski Area

What a great day. The seldom open East Castle at Alta Ski Area was open today. I can’t say no to an opportunity like that. To get to the top, one must left side-step for about 45 minutes. It’s a hell of a workout.

The main face was full of avalanche debris and was a thick breakable crust. Not optimal skiing.  But the face you arrive at prior to the main face had some decent snow which was much more skiable.

Skied Little Apron for the First Time

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.

Little Apron
Bootpacking Little Apron

Skied Brighton Ski Resort – Had a Great Time

My season pass includes one Brighton Ski Area, one Deer Valley, and one day at Snowbird. With Little Cottonwood Canyon experiencing a closure and avalanche danger, I decided to use my Brighton day.

I expected there to be powder with the huge amount of snow we’ve gotten in the last few days, but there was literally none.  All skied out. Still, I had a terrific day, mostly tree skiing.

Brighton Ski Resort
Brighton Ski Resort

Review: Atomic Bent Chetler 100 Skis

I picked up these Atomic Bent Chetler 100’s last spring when we thought the COVID lockdown would be two weeks.  TWO WEEKS.

Specs

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.

My Experience

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:

Final Thoughts

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).