Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Retrospective- Christian Paul Photography

2013 was another year of adventures. This was a work intensive year which I found hard at times, and also found myself digging in when the going got tough. From snowboarding and touring in the Wasatch, to backpacking Boulder Mountain and the Uintas, our fall trip to Moab, to lots of day hiking in the Wasatch. There was no shortage of being able to get out there and enjoy the mountains. 86 days snowboarding, 41 days of hiking and backpacking, and 15 days of camping. Tons of images to share of the places that I found solitude and peace in. This video expresses the highlights of my year in the mountains. I am grateful for the time I get to spend up there, for it brings happiness to my life. Especially that I got to spend some of that time with my very busy family. Enjoy the video! What will 2014 bring? Stay tuned................

2013 Retrospective from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Epic Powder Day- Solitude Mountain Resort- 12.19.2013

Well, after having one of the worst sinus infections I have had in ten years, we finally got a storm that pushed out the nasty inversion which has been a nightmare for health reasons. This storm was an early Xmas present for sure. It went a long way in burying the leftover features not yet previously covered. I started off my day sampling the goods on my first run. If this was any indicator that things were good everywhere, I do not know what is. I made my way around the whole mountain, finding copious amounts of snow in areas just a week ago I would not even imagined putting tracks in. This storm was not as cold as the previous cycle, and offered a 6-8% water content to cushion the ride. It seemed like a dream riding on this day, and every single run was fluffy slashing goodness! It snowed hard all day, so there was some refill action along with the flakes that had already accumulated. The best thing is that there was no crust, leaving just a few bumps, and bottomless goodness for one to get down with. I pushed it so hard, and wore myself thin getting after it all day. Friday the 20th brought the opening of Honeycomb Canyon, which was deep as you can imagine not being open during the entire storm. The photo above was taken on Friday after they opened it. This was a much needed paint job for the Wasatch, and we have are now over 100" of snowfall for the season. Enjoy the video! Pow Pow!

Epic December Storm 12.19.13 Solitude from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December Begins- Solitude- 12.3.13

An arctic storm of epic proportions slammed the Wasatch early Tuesday morning. It brought tonz of snow to the mountains, and wouldn't ya know, Solitude was reporting 10" at 7:00AM. I made haste and got to the mouth of the canyon, threw on the chains, and headed up the BCC. The road was pretty greasy. I saw 4x4's struggling to get up the mountain. I made it to Solitude just before the opening bell, only to find it a virtual ghost town. There were people there, but not a lot as you would come to expect of this name sake resort. The first run was just a taste of what I was in for. The snow was the ultralight stuff that this place is famous for. It was snowing the whole time up there, and it picked up intensity just after my first few runs, and began filling it all back in. Free refills! I love days like this, it never gets old, and is renewed every time you drop in. I found knee deep pockets of fluffy goodness to carve in, with the shallowest areas still holding shin deep magic. This storm opened up so much terrain that only a week ago I wouldn't have even considered dropping in on. For sure a great way to kick off December with some delicious powder to get all crazy in. Enjoy the edit, I know I enjoyed being the person wearing the cam. Looks like we have entered a cold, active pattern. Lets hope that this is the beginning of the great cycle we see here in the Wasatch every year. Pray 4 Snow!

December Begins- 12.3.13- Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday Stashes @ Brighton- 11.22.13

I am loving the Big Cottonwood Pass this season. This last week, I did a Wednesday at Brighton, Thursday at Solitude, and then got some fresh turns on Friday at Brighton. This was a three day, light storm, that just put a couple of inches down each day to give the riding conditions a fresh paint job. But Thursday night, lake effect kicked in and put down some nice fluff for us to ride on. I got out just after 9 am on Friday and headed up Crest for a warm up lap. The cords were so delicious, with a little wind buff action on the southwest facing angles. A virtual ghost town, which would not be the case a couple of hours later. I jammed over to Snake Creek, and pretty much rode the whole area, on trail and off piste. Found some stashes which were untouched, probably because Wednesday and Thursday had low visibility issues. I charged right through all of these areas and met no base assassins. I put together a little edit from riding Brighton up on here so you can see the conditions. It got busy up there after 11 AM, when the word got out that there was snow in dem der hills! Finished off the day with some high speed cruisers on Crest, which caps off a great day at Brighton for sure. Lots of snow making going on up there. With a few more storms, even more of Upper Big Cottonwood will be accessible. Enjoy the edit, and Pray 4 Snow!

Friday Freshies @ Brighton 11 22.13 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Storm Riding- Solitude 11.16.13

Finally, old man winter showed up in Big Cottonwood Canyon. After opening week in the sun and warm temps, a fast moving system hit the Wasatch with a much needed paint job. I made haste Saturday morning to get in line for first tracks at Solitude. It was just dumping up there when I got in line. A hair before 9 AM, they sent us up the hill. The first five runs were dreamy, and it was a very fun day up there. It snowed all day long, making things fun even after they got tracked. Alas, I eventually wore out and called it to beat the red dragon down the canyon. Winter is back folks! Enjoy the video, and Pray 4 Snow!

Storm Riding- Solitude 11.16.13 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Opening Day 13/14- Solitude Mountain Resort 11.8.13

The day has finally arrived! First lift served turns of the season! Solitude Mountain Resort kicked things off nicely with Moonbeam and Apex for your lapping enjoyment. I went with the Big Cottonwood Pass this season, after being treated poorly as a customer by Snowbird. I am glad I choose the BCP this season! I got there about 8:30 AM, then had to quickly pick up my pass. Boots on, gear ready, I headed up just after 9 AM and took my first runs. I really missed snowboarding. The freedom of movement, the feel of the board under my feet, and flying through the glades was just so awesome! I rallied runs all day, hot lapping Apex and Moonbeam. It is early season, so venturing off trail was just not something I was interested. I saw a few brave souls not fearing the core shot, but the snow off trail had a sun crust to it, so not ideal by my standards. I just soaked up the sun, and got my legs and muscle memory dialed back in as we wait for the big cycle to return. This was one of the better opening days in recent memory, and the snow was in great condition. This party has just started, and it is only going to get better as winter sets in here in the Wasatch. Pray 4 Snow!

Opening Day Solitude 11 8 13 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Moab Adventures- October 2013

My family loves visiting Moab. We always have fun when we go there, and this trip was not to be the exception. We left on Thursday and made our way south. Clear skies and great weather as we made our 3 1/2 hour journey south. The drive was just beautiful, fall colors and multicolored rock all the way there. As we got into Moab, we headed east on the 128 to Upper Big Bend. This has one of the best car camp sites in all of Moab. Complete with shaded tree, and a nice view of the Colorado River corridor. We set up shop and dusk was setting in. We made some food, then it was off to bed. Morning broke and breakfast was on! We decided to hike Negro Bill Canyon, as none of us had ever done this hike. This hike starts you off through a very beautiful gulch, full of trees and lots of things to see. You then come to the first of a series of water crossings, which meander up the canyon as you make your way. In summer this would be a dream, sandals and being able to stay cool in the hot weather. But this was fall, so we had to be careful not to get too wet, as the sunny areas were warm, but the shade was chilly. The sign said 2 1/4 to Morning Glory Arch, but my GPS counted it up as 3.5 to the base of the arch.

There is a lot, I mean a lot of Poison Ivy along the trail and at the arch, so beware if you head up there with pets and kids. We had a blast on this hike, and my family did great navigating all the obstacles. We returned to camp, and made dinner and settled in for the evening. the night was much warmer than the previous, and I stayed up to shoot some photos since it was not too cold. After a great sleep, and a nice breakfast and coffee, we packed it up and headed into our last camp spot for the weekend, Devils Garden in Arches National Park. We had a sweet site, with views and fins right near camp. We decided to go for a loop hike by Tapestry Arch, and Broken Arch and loop back through the fins to our camp. This was a great time, and very scenic. It think my favorite part was the traverse through the fins back to camp, which was an adventure for sure. Once we were back at camp, my wife and daughter headed over to the amphitheater for a program about all the creepy crawling insects and animals in Arches.

This was right on theme with Halloween being right around the corner. I stayed back at camp and got dinner ready and watched what was the best sunset of the whole weekend, followed by a great moonrise which was deep purple when it crested the horizon. The girls returned and the temps started dropping. We had dinner, and then the girls retired for the evening and I stay up for just a bit to coal out the fire. It was the coldest night of the trip, and we made it through. Sunday brought a cold morning, and some tired campers, but we rounded everything up and headed for Moab for some Jailhouse pancakes and coffee before we head back north. It was a great trip, full of everything I like about being with my family in the outdoors. This was the last camping trip of the season. Probably a couple of more walks in the woods before old man winter sets in and we will be sliding on the snow. Enjoy the slideshow, winter is coming!
djnebula's Moab 2013 album on Photobucket

Monday, September 23, 2013

Duck Lake, Uinta Mountains, Utah- September 2013

The seasons are changing! It was only a few weeks ago that we set the record for hottest summer ever in Salt Lake City. So the cold fronts that we have gotten have gone a long way in making things very nice these days here. I had one last weekend to get out in the Uintas this year, and I was joined by my friend Chris Fryer. We decided to hit Duck Lake, because the forecast was calling for the possibility of snow on Sunday, so we wanted to be set if we had to make a quick exit. We arrived at the Crystal Lake trail head, and could feel the mild fall temps in the air. Gone was the hustle and bustle of this place in summer, replaced with the quite that this mountain range can offer. We got the packs and dogs situated, and we headed in. The hike was nice, very pleasant and lots of beautiful views. We make a quick push for the pass, then headed into the basin. All the ground cover is changing, and there are a few Aspens that have turned red and yellow. We kept the pace moving past Weir Lake, then Pot Lake, and then finally down to Duck Lake. There was no one here- amazing! It is a rarity to get a lake out in this basin all to yourself, let alone Duck Lake.

We got camp pitched, had a snack to refuel, gathered some firewood, then hit the lake for some fishing. Some cotton ball clouds started drifting in from the south, and made it quite a site with the colors and changing light. I nailed a nice Cutthroat not to long after casting my line. Chris is a great fly fisherman, and I took a seat and studied some of his skills. Not long after traversing the south side, we set up on some rocks, and Chris lands a fat brookie! This was a very nice fish! We made our way around the west side of the lake, and in the scree field, we found a bunch of raspberry plants. I ate at least 20, and not sure how many Chris had. They were yummy! We continued on hiking around the lake, checking out the scenery, and enjoying the silence. We eventually made our way back to camp, and got changed up for the colder temps expected. We got a fire going, and then started to work on dinner. As the evening progressed, some thunder bumpers from the south were flashing lightning in the clouds, and some distant thunder that would rumble. We did have one bump that was pretty close, and a brief drizzle, but nothing other than a pretty cool light show while we watched the fire. We eventually finished our beverages, and headed for sleep. I can't remember when the last time I slept that deeply. I think I got over eight hours of sleep, and comfortable quiet sleep too.

I awoke, and got some breakfast going. I noticed the clouds on the horizon were building, and getting darker by the minute. Chris got up, and we assessed the situation. The temps were dropping, and the wind was from the north. We waited out these cells, then it lightened, and the thunder stopped in the distance, so we were wise that we packed it up right then. We said our goodbyes to Duck Lake and hit the trail. We had a pretty dry hike out, until we got above Weir Lake and hit the meadow, then it started to rain, then it turned to wet sleet/snow. I am glad I was in full rain gear, and had the pack cover on. It was coming down, and my rain gear was soaked. We made the pass in just under an hour, and the storm broke for a bit, peeping the light dusting of white on the ground, and the misty looking winter clouds hanging on the peaks. We sat on the pass taking it in for a moment, then I realized I was cold. My base layers under my rain gear were wet from sweating, and my core temp was dropping. I knew I had to get moving. The last bit to the car was just a very nice hike in the woods. Everything was fresh, the air smelled so good. Arriving at the car, the trail head was virtually empty, minus a few other backpackers who came walking out shortly after us. What a great way to end the season in the Uintas! A full on adventure, had a little bit of everything out there. I'll be hunting out some fall colors hiking over the next few weeks, with one more Southern Utah trip planned in October. We are expecting our first measurable snowfall this week in the Wasatch, so it is getting down to it. A few more weeks in the fall colors before this party changes up to snow dances. Enjoy the photos, more to come!
djnebula's Duck Lake Uintas 2013 album on Photobucket

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lake Solitude/Twin Lakes Loop, Big Cottowood Canyon- September 2013

I have done this loop once in the past, back in 2003. It was a great hike, and the climb to complete the loop is a gut buster for sure. I was not sure how the weather was going to hold up, thunderstorms from this late monsoon flow we are getting were in the forecast. I set out from the Silver Lake lot and not far after I walked in I saw a Bull Moose with a full rack. This is the rut, so best to be cautious around them as they can be quite aggressive this time of year. My luck had it that he only took one look at me, and continued to graze on the foliage. I pressed on to the trail split for Twin Lakes and Lake Solitude. It was a very nice walk in the woods, rounding the ridge. Once you pass the Summit lift line you connect with another beautiful walk in the woods that takes you up to Lake Solitude. I made a brief stop at the lake, to take some pics and to check out the area. Saw a mine shaft that I was not aware of up there. I then began the climb that is the steepest part of this hike. I have been climbing mountains all season, and with a day pack, this was a lot easier than a full weekend bag. I did break a pretty good sweat on the way up, so I am sure I got my caloric burn for the day. I finally, after winding my way to the top stepped onto the pass between Solitude and Twin Lakes. I took an animal track down the steepest section and eventually connected with the shore line trail below. Did I mention how low this lake was this year? Since they have dammed the lake, it was always one solid body of water every time I have visited. Not this year, I was able to walk out on the land bridge to do some fly fishing. After a walk around the SW end of the lake, I found myself fishing the land bridge between both lakes. Not long after I threw on a new fly, I watched the most beautiful Cutthroat come out from the deep and nail my fly! This guy was huge! Once I hauled him in, I set him next to my rod, and he passed the 16" mark, so I marked his length on my rod. I stepped over to grab my camera for a picture, when he snapped my tippet and flopped back into the lake. I was so bummed, I for sure wanted to get a pic of that fish! The memory of that will linger for a while for sure. I was so stoked that I had finally, after years of visiting this lake, that I was able to land one of those big ones in there that I have seen so many times, but was never able to get no matter what I threw at them. After some more fishing, I packed it up and headed down to finish the loop. It was a nice hike out, with the meadows still holding some flowers, and other plants switching it into fall gear. The colors up there were amazing, and it will only get better. I finished up the hike to my car, when right as I got the door unlocked, the thunderstorm moved in. Talk about perfect timing! It was a great day up there, full of adventure just like I like it. Fall is upon us. Things will start to change in the coming weeks. This is a great time of year as the season transfer from summer to fall. I think we will have a colorful year! Enjoy the slideshow, more adventures to come.
djnebula's Lake Solitude Twin Lakes Loop 13 album on Photobucket

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shadow Lake, Uinta Mountains, Utah- September 2013

I have wanted to get my daughter out for her first backpacking trip for some time now. This summer has been tough for us with how busy we have been, but I was not gonna let it end without getting my buddy out in the wilderness with us. We set off from the Crystal Lake trail head on a very cloudy day, and started the walk in. We passed Washington Lake and made our way through a set of nice meadows with great views of the peaks in the area. We then found our way through the woods eventually coming to Tail Lake. We continued on, making our way through a swampy section of the trail that climbed for a bit before drying out and leveling off. After about two miles we found ourselves at camp for the night at Shadow Lake. This is a pretty lake, and had a very wilderness feel to it. We set up shop and gathered firewood, then got things ready for the evening. While my wife and daughter were playing in the woods, I slipped down to the lake for some fly fishing. I threw a renegade at them and after about four casts I had a nice 14" Tiger Trout on the line. Just as I got him out to remove the fly, he wiggled out of my hand and back into the lake.

So much for a picture, but my wife and daughter were impressed. Evening set in and we got a fire going and we made dinner. The light was so cool with all the clouds in the basin. After the main course, my daughter got to enjoy a nice campfire s'more, her very first one in the backcountry! I think she enjoyed it, as she had marshmallow all over her face. I think after the s'more she was beat, so she headed for our tent, and we tucked her in for the night. Me and my wife stayed up for a bit, enjoying some time together which is so rare these days. A light sprinkle began as we were turning in, and we crawled into our bags to get some much needed rest. I awoke to it raining hard outside, and the girls still sleeping. I just layed there, slipping in and out of sleep for a few more hours, as the rain went pitter patter on the fly, making that soothing sound I really love. Knowing that there was a low pressure coming in from the south that day, we got up, had a snack, then packed up camp and made for the car.

It was a bit soggy in sections, but my daughter and wife handled it like champs. We strolled through the forest, enjoying the sun peeping in and out as we walked through the woods. We eventually found ourselves back at the car, wishing we had a few more days out there. This was a great introduction to backpacking for my daughter, and I think this is the start of something great! I saw fall colors on Hwy 150 starting to pop, so only a few more weeks and winter will return to the high terrain. I have a few more adventures on tap before I pull out the winter gear. This party is not over yet, more adventures to come.
djnebula's Shadow Lake 2013 album on Photobucket

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Marshall Lake, Uinta Mountains- August 2013

I had originally planned a full weekend outing for the Uintas. But the forecast for heavy thunderstorms caused a couple of my friends to back out. The forecast for Friday was calling for clear skies and warm temps. Saturday and Sunday the forecast was calling for heavy thunderstorms. As to not loose out on a trip out to the Uintas, I decided to hit Marshall Lake via the Fehr Lake trail solo. I arrived at the trail head to some really warm temps. I got my boots on and headed in. The flowers are still going here, and the trail is very lush this season. I made my way into Fehr, then pressed on to get down to Shepard Lake. There seems to be some reconstruction that has been done on this section of the trail. It was a nice walk in, and then I arrived at Shepard Lake. I made my way over the log hurdles and debris blocking the trail. I got to a draw and made my way up to the top. Once my climb was done, I was staring at Marshall Lake. It is a big one, and a great view to be had. Off to the left Hayden streaks in the skyline.

I worked my way over the scree fields to the shoreline trail that rounds the east side of the lake. I made it to the south side and found a nice place to throw up a tent for the evening. Once I got shop built, I did a little fishing. Caught a few, nice ones, but nothing epic to write home about. Still fun to be fly fishing. The sun started to set, and I got my fire going, and watched the twilight move in. The moon was up on this trip, so no clear star trails this trip. Still managed to rattle one off. I watched my fire coal out and decided that I would get some sleep. Morning came and there were some clouds building, so I got my morning fishing in, made my coffee, and then packed it up and decided to make for the car, as to not get caught in a thunderstorm climbing out of the basin. The walk out of Marshall to Shepard was very nice. Kind of just followed the game trails, it was fun. Just as I started to climb back out of Shepard, I missed a switch back, as well did two other hikers in front of me.

I eventually found the main trail, it was a bit hidden from view. I made a good pace out to Fehr, then pushed on to the car. It was fun to be out solo again. I like the company, but I also like the solitude as well. Enjoy the slideshow. Still a few more adventures to be had before this season is over.
djnebula's Marshall Lake 2013 album on Photobucket

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Big Water/Little Water Loop, Millcreek Canyon, Utah- August 2013

I was taking a good look at the sky when I was heading into Millcreek Canyon on Friday. There were some dark clouds, and some really gusty winds. I decided to push on anyways. I got to the trail head, put on the pack and started the walk in. I made pretty good time up, only stopping for a few shots on the way. I wound my way up the switchbacks, hearing thunder crack off in the distance to the north, but the clouds seemed to be breaking up as I climbed my way up. I got to the junction and there was no one around. I did the last section up to the lake, and found myself with a rare treat- Dog Lake all to myself. I am guessing the thunderstorms were keeping most everyone away. I pulled up a seat and had a snack, and watched the swirling clouds roll on by. I finally decided it was time to hit the second leg of this journey, and that was to head down the Little Water Trail. This trail is shorter, but much steeper than the Big Water Trail. I like it because it is great for the quads to keep them fit for when snowboarding begins again. The views were awesome as I made my way down. The Monks Hood and Pink Indian Paintbrush were unreal! It was such a nice walk, a bit more flora than the Big Water Trail had. After a while of just wandering, I found myself back at the car. It was a nice way to spend a Friday, and nice to be hiking the Wasatch again. Enjoy the slideshow, more adventures to come!
djnebula's Big Water Little Water Loop - August 2013 album on Photobucket

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cutthroat Lake, Uinta Mountains- August 2013

My birthday trip is always an excellent one. Last year I solo'ed Ibantik Lake, and this year I thought, because of some scheduling problems and things happening, that I was going solo once more. I was packing the car to drive off when my friend, and fellow photographer Michael Klippert shot me a text asking if I wanted to go backpacking. I swung by and grabbed him and his rad K-9 companion Cruiser and we headed for the Uintas. After learning that Crystal Lake trail head was packed with cars, we decided to head to another spot that I love to visit- Cutthroat Lake. We arrived at the Ruth Lake trail head and got on the packs and headed in. I love this part of the Uintas, it is a photographers dream. So many great views on the way in. We made a pretty good push to Ruth Lake, then headed up to the ridge to drop down to Hayden Lake. We crossed the inlet and headed down to Jewel Lake. Once at Jewel, we wandered over a hill into a large meadow. As we entered the meadow, we saw a Bull and Cow Moose right in our path. We made our way through the trees around them and headed up to Cutthroat Lake.

We grabbed my favorite camp spot and we got shop pitched and things ready for the weekend. I fished until dusk, then got a nice fire going, and put out the camera for the night sky. I have been using cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly to get my fires going. It has worked every time! After unwinding with a nice meal and a beverage, I turned in. I awoke to the sounds of fish jumping and got up and headed down to the lake. I had a nice Tiger Trout on in just a couple of casts. I then not more than 10 casts later landed a nice Brookie. Great fishing in the AM. Mike was still sleeping, so I wrapped up the rod and crawled back in my tent for a nap. We got up about an hour later and made breakfast. We then packed it up and wandered towards Teal Lake. We arrived at Teal to the wind howling. We made a loop around the lake, but alas, no fishing, too windy. We just hung out, enjoying the time there. We eventually made our way back to Cutthroat Lake. I had just got up to where my fish was on the stringer when the fish got crazy, and took off with my stringer! I was so mad at myself for not securing it better. The one that got away, I know, but Mike can vouch for the nice Tiger, but alas no fish dinner on this trip. Dusk crawled in and the sunset was amazing!

The clouds were no where in sight, except a small patch just hung over Christmas Meadows, so it was long exposure time! 1 AM came quick, and it was time to get some sleep. Sunday was go home day, which makes you want to stay a few more days. The hike out was fun, shooting random things on the way out, and a pit stop at Ruth Lake for some fishing on the south side. A great time once again which the Uintas always offers. Enjoy the slideshow below, more adventures to come!
djnebula's Cutthroat Lake 2013 album on Photobucket

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cuberant Basin, Uinta Mountains- July 2013

After four years, I finally got to get out on the trail with my best friend Jared. We decided that Cuberant would be a good choice for Jared since it has been a while since he has been out on the trail. We headed in from Pass Lake Trail Head which leads to Reids Meadow. The temps were extra warm, so we were feeling the heat. We made a quick push for the junction, and then headed for the pass. It was not long after the pass that we found ourselves at Cuberant #3. We set up shop and got our fishing on. I landed a Cutty in Cuberant #3. This was odd, because this lake holds Brook Trout. I have never seen a Cutthroat in this lake. After hours of fishing, dusk started to set in and we settled in for some dinner and a nice fire. There was a full moon this weekend, so star trails were just not going to be an option. But I did still manage to get some fun night shots. The temps were unusually warm for the Uintas.

I had to shed layers in my sleeping bag because I was broiling with how warm it was over night. We awoke to the sounds of a Wood Pecker tapping out a tree. We made coffee, then made plans to tour the basin that day. We got it together and headed up to Cuberant #2. I landed a couple of small, but very fun Cutty's. After a bit, it was up to Cuberant #1. We fished there for a while, but it is a hard lake to use a fly rod at, as there is not a lot of back casting room at this lake. When we got tired of being at #1, we headed up to Cuberant #4. It was fairly windy up there, and it made casting rather difficult for me, but Jared was in good with his spinner rod. We decided to make the loop through Moose Tracks pond and Spooky pond to get back to our lake. This was an awesome adventure, lots of bushwhacking, and we ended up on top of the cliffs that were above Cuberant #3. The view was fantastic up there. We settled in to Cuberant #3 for the rest of the evening, and I landed us a nice Brookie for dinner.

Twilight set in for our final night, and this night was a bit colder than the previous. We had a nice fire and just enjoyed the wilderness at night. After some much needed rest, we woke up to some coffee and breakfast, and then we broke camp. We then headed out, making a swift push for the pass. Once over the pass, we made haste for the cold ones we had waiting for us at the car. It was a nice hike out, great day to be in the Uintas. This was a great weekend, being out with my best friend, and just enjoying the wilderness. Enjoy the slide show, we have now passed the half way mark of summer. More adventures to come!
djnebula's Cuberant Basin July 2013 album on Photobucket

Monday, July 15, 2013

Catherine Pass, Little Cottonwood Canyon- July 2013

After getting skunked out last Saturday by a huge thunderstorm, I headed back to Catherine Pass. This is one of my all time favorite hikes, so I make it a point to visit this one a few times a year. As it would be we have the monsoon flow going, so after noon thunderstorms are a reality. I hit this up early and pushed pretty hard to the pass. I did stop for a few photos, but it was a steady drizzle till I got to the meadow. Then it just kind of let up and broke up. Still cloudy, but not raining anymore. With bits and pieces of blue popping here and there. I made my way up to the pass and realized, I am alone up here. This rarely happens, this is a pretty popular and busy trail. I watched as the clouds grew darker and started to build, so after some camera fun and a bit to take in the view, I decided to make my way down and take some flower photos along the way. What an awesome hike both up and down. I even got to see the elusive "White Paintbrush." I have seen them before, but they are very rare, as Indian Paintbrush typically is orange, red, purple or in rare cases bright green. I took a quick stop at a rock field, and saw a Marmot. I love seeing those, it gives you a sense of how the ecosystem is doing. Good signs! I made it to the car, and the storms just started breaking up. Great way to spend a Friday! Enjoy the slideshow from this hike, and more to come!
djnebula's Catherine Pass July 2013 album on Photobucket

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Camp @ Ibantik in the August 2013 Backpacker Magazine

This is a huge honor having one of my images in Backpacker Magazine. I have been reading this magazine for years, and when they chose my Camp @ Ibantik shot for the article on Ibantik Lake for the August issue, I have to say I was pretty stoked! This was from a solo adventure up there for my birthday last year. I would have never imagined my image would get published. I am grateful that I get to shoot such beautiful places, and share my images with everyone. Pick up the new issue of Backpacker, it has some great articles this month.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Brighton Lakes Trail, Big Cottonwood Canyon- July 2013

It has been a few years since I have done a hike to Lake Catherine from the Big Cottonwood side of the range. I had a unusual Wednesday off, so I figured with the valley a boiling pot of hot stagnant air, what a better day than to head up to the mountains. I started at Brighton, and began the climb. This is not a hard trail, it is just a lot of wandering. I made my way past the ski lifts and up through the meadow, and then to the junction that takes you up to Dog Lake and Lake Mary. The foliage has grown so thick in here, I almost did not recognize Dog Lake with how thick the flowers were up there. After a quick visit to Dog Lake, I made my way up to Lake Mary. I only stayed a few minutes to snap a few shots and take in the view. Then it was up to Lake Martha. There was a Bull Moose eating the new plants on the shore, and I only stopped for a minute to check him out and snap a shot. Up the switchbacks I climbed, until I got to a nice overlook of Clayton Peak. After a bit, I found myself strolling up to Lake Catherine. I got there and the fish were jumping, so out came the fly rod. In minutes I had one on, and the party began. I fished for a few hours, all around the lake. My luck was good, and I feel pretty strong now with the fly rod. After catching my fill, I soaked in the view for a bit, then it was time to take an evening stroll back down the way I came. The temperatures were perfect, and the evening light was making all the flowers just pop! I miss just wandering the Wasatch. This reminded me of how great a place we live. We are lucky to have these mountains, and the treasures they always share when you visit them. Enjoy the slide show, more adventures to come.
djnebula's Brighton Lakes Trail 2013 album on Photobucket

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fire Lake, Uinta Mountains- June 2013

I have wanted to visit Fire Lake for quite some time now. What a better weekend to do so than for the Summer Solstice. I packed it up Friday morning and headed out to the Uintas. The drive in was pleasant and the weather just perfect. I arrived at the Crystal Lake trail head, put on the boots, and headed in. The was sort of a repeat hike for the first leg as I stayed at Long Lake last weekend. I made a push to get to Long Lake, then headed for Island Lake. Just past Long Lake the trail heads off into the woods, and descends into a basin overlooking Duck Lake. I then climbed a set of moderate switch backs that wrap through the forest with shade and flora to enjoy. The last switchback had Aspens growing in it, not something I see to often in the Uintas. Couple of short switchbacks and I found myself standing at Island Lake. The plan was to camp @ Fire Lake, so I made my stay short.

I kind of had to figure out how to get to Fire Lake, there is not a well marked trail. I just looked at the map and kind of drew a line and hiked for it. After passing a few ponds, I found myself standing on the north end of Fire Lake. This is a really glaciated basin, with excellent views. After taking a stroll around the lake, I settled on a spot that had epic views. I fished for a bit, but just could not land one. So I figured it best if I set up shop. As I was finishing my tent, my friend Jason showed up. As we were finishing unpacking, a line of clouds off to the east crept in over the heart of the Uintas. The view from camp was like having a porch to watch the sunset. The clouds were amazing! The moon climbed out of the clouds on fire, and it was breath taking to say the least. Darkness fell, and after a few shots, it was time to turn in. The overnight temps were upper 30's, so I was glad to have my down bag with me. Morning brought out the coffee and breakfast, as the sun climbed out of some slight overcast which kept the temps chilly. The clouds moved out and we decided to hike to Island Lake. It was very windy, and nearly impossible to fish with a fly rod. So I just took a stroll around the lake to check the place out. There were a ton of campers at Island, so we knew our choice at Fire was a good one.

After just getting pounded by the wind, we headed back up to Fire to fish and relax. Evening came and dinner was on the agenda. I fished some more, got a few bites, but skunked again on the fly rod. The moon came up and the night set in. After enjoying the sound of silence, I was off to bed. I was up early because I had 5 miles up and down to get to the car. The hike out was mild, sunny, and beautiful. This was a great trip, and it was nice to be in the mountains again. Enjoy the slideshow below.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Long Lake, Uintas- June 2013

I finally made it out to the Uintas for the first time this year. I was on sort of a scouting mission to see how the snow melt was progressing, and to scope out some areas for trips I have coming up this season. I had originally planned on an over nighter here in the Wasatch, but I just could not resist the appeal of getting out in the Uintas again, and being in the place I love. I hit the Lakes Country trail and decided I had not been to Long Lake, so why not an over nighter there. The walk in was pleasant, and very little snow left, just some piles in the shady areas in the trees. The trail overall was pretty much dry, and was easy going. I made the pass in 30 minutes, and took a break to soak in the view of Mt Watson. Then I was off, and arrived at the junction to head to Long Lake. This was a much shorter hike than I anticipated, so I arrived at Long Lake, and did a loop around it to check for sites and location for some photography. After settling on a great place, I built shop and got some firewood gathered.

I fished for a bit, then grabbed the camera and hit the sunset. This was incredible, as the colors really shined. As it got dark, I made a bite to eat, and then set up the camera for a night shot. I jammed some tunes by the fire as I monitored my camera as it did its job. After some incredible star gazing, and some really nice quite time by the fire, I turned in. Morning woke me as I heard fish jumping. I got up, made coffee, and then headed lake side to get in a few hours of fishing. After a few near misses, I got one on, and it was small, and as I went to land it, it wiggled off, and so that was that. Still fun to be out practicing roll casting, and just being in the mountains without a care in the world. After a while I decided my stay was finished, and I packed it up to head out. The hike out was beautiful, and the weather was perfect. It was nice to be out in the Uintas once more, and now that my favorite playground is open season, you bet there are more adventures to come. Enjoy the pics, and remember to respect the wilderness when you visit. Cheers!
djnebula's Long Lake Uintas June 2013 album on Photobucket

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Deer Creek/Green Lake, Dixie National Forest, Utah- May 2013

Finally, it was time to hit the trail. This was my first backpacking trip of the season, and a good one at that. The Uintas are still snow bound, and a few weeks out, but Boulder Mountain has melted all the way off, and the area is in the early stages of spring. This is an awesome area, and unique in the wilderness systems here in Utah. After catching my last turns until next winter on Friday, me and my friend Dave headed for Torrey to access HWY 12. We arrived in the evening, and had a beautiful walk in. After taking in a great sunset on the march to the Great Western Trail, we arrived at the junction to watch the moon come up over the tree tops. This was really neat as the moon was huge, and lit up everything. We continued on, and were just really loving the temps and the moon light. We got to the Deer Creek junction and it was starting to get dark. So we made haste to get to the camp spot. We found a great spot, sheltered and has everything you would need. We settled in for a fire and some dinner, then it was lights out.

I had a great nights sleep, and awoke to sunshine and mild temps. We got it together after breakfast and decided to give fishing a whirl. We made our way up to Green Lake, and gave it a shot at catching a fish. This is a picturesque lake tucked in on a scree shelf that is really isolated from the rest of the area. I was trying out my new fly rod on this trip, and only had a couple of bites, but I did not land one. We could see big fish swimming in there, but I tried everything I had with me fly wise, and to no avail. Still nice to be out there in the sunshine fishing the day away. As evening gave way, we headed back to camp after giving Deer Creek Lake a shot, which also only produced a bite or two, but nothing landed. We made our way back to camp, and got a good fire going. Temps were a bit colder this night, so the fire was for sure a great thing to have. I stayed up and shot some photography, getting some great images. A really nice star trail too which the full moon light painted my foreground for me. Sunday was time to head home, which always leaves me torn on wanting to stay or go. I could have used a few more days out there.

On our way out, there had been three dad/son combo's sleeping just on the other side of the ridge we were camped next to. They packed up and just left their fire still hot with smoldering logs and hot coals in very windy conditions. We put the fire pit all the way out, saving what could have been a potential danger to the area. All in all it was a great weekend, and very nice to be out in the woods backpacking again. Enjoy the slide show below of pics from the trip, and this party has just started, more to come this summer for sure.
djnebula's Deer Creek Lake Dixie National Forest Utah album on Photobucket

Friday, May 24, 2013

Last Sunday Funday- Snowbird- 5.19.2013

This was the last Sunday of the season for me. Sunday is an awesome day in Utah to be snowboarding. Most of the residents are in church, and the tourists are usually late risers or leaving, so it is like locals only day on the mountain. We got a quick skiff of late snow on Saturday that was a foot deep in places. It was spring snow, so grabby and not fluid like the cold smoke we love. I rode everything that was open, and took Peruvian Gulch, which is now considered backcountry, all the way to the base. It is melting out fast now. But the last minute storm preserved it for one more weekend. A fun day, no land speed record with how sticky things were, but still fun to be getting some fresh turns this late in the season. I may take a lap or two this Friday to kick off the holiday weekend. I am doing my first backpacking trip this season this weekend, so timing will determine everything. Here is a video of last Sundays sliding up Little Cottonwood. Snowbird will run this Fri-Mon for Memorial Day Weekend. Then that is it for lift served turns this season in Utah. Get em' while you can. Enjoy the video, and have a safe, fun holiday weekend. Let the backpacking season begin!

Last Sunday Funday 12/13 Season 5.19.2013 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring Snowboarding/Bells Canyon 4.26-28.2013

The warmth has arrived. Our mountain was in full thaw on Friday. Mashed potatoes everywhere. I did manage to get some cold smoke out on Mark Malu, and Peruvian Gulch was really fun and fast. Even Regulator was good in the AM. Saturday had me hitting the trail to do some wandering and some photography. After a nice loop through Bells Canyon, I settled in lake side and did some fishing. It was nice to be up in the mountains, not a care in the world, and just casting out there. I did land a nice 15" fish before it was time to call it and head down. Sunday was even warmer, and even found some corn on some really smooth areas. The bottom of the mountain was glue by 12:30 pm. It was 56 degrees on the Tram deck when I got done. A great weekend to say the least. Snowbird is the only show in town now. And they have one more week to go then it is weekends only. I sense backpacking season is not far away. Enjoy the slideshow.
djnebula's Spring Conditions_Bells Canyon- 4_26_27_28_2013 album on Photobucket

Star Trails Shot Of Skyline Arch the Winner of the Antzl Projects "Sunday Challenge"

I have been following the Antzl Project on Facebook for quite some time. It is a great place to put up new work and see what kind of feed back you get. Plus Kevin at the Antzl Project prints top quality canvas for photography at incredible prices for the quality of workmanship you get. I was honored when they picked my shot for the Staff Pick Winner for the Sunday Challenge. The layout is amazing, and I am really happy with how this turned out. Make sure you stop by and see all the great photography on Facebook: If you are interested in one of these canvases for your wall, shoot me an email at

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Delivers- 4.20.2013

As the majority of the resorts are closed or in their last week of operations, the Bird is still going strong. Looks like winter was saving some of the best for last this season. April has been incredible with how much snow we have received. I got to hit the mountain Friday, and for one epic powder day on Saturday. Friday the snow was still in great condition, with some wind transport, and some smooth lines, riding was so much fun. A cold and fast storm came in Friday night, dumping some 10% water content goods up Little Cottonwood Canyon. I made an early jaunt up to Snowbird, and caught first Tram up. It was Regulator only, but I still found some very nice snow on the way back to the frontside. Since Peruvian Gulch and Mineral Basin were delayed, I lapped it up in Gad Valley since this will be the last time we ride Gadzoom this season. After a couple of laps on Zoom, I headed over to Wilbere for some really fun fluffy laps. Then I got some inside info that Peruvian was about 20 minutes from opening, so off to the Tram I raced. I did not have to wait long, and as soon as I reached the peak, they pulled the rope to P-Gulch. From top to bottom was great snow and just incredible! Some of the deepest snow of the day. I decided that a Gad Chutes was in order, and what a great choice it was! Face shots and smooth snow were the reward for taking a chance. I headed back to the Tram to continue my assault on Peruvian Gulch. As we docked at the top, Mineral Basin opened. I headed straight for Chamonix, and enjoyed the untracked creaminess all the way to the lift. It was so good, I went three times for the same line, and it was just as good as the first. After a few more, the crowd got the hint that Mineral was open, so I headed back to Peruvian Gulch to take advantage of the low traffic and easy on Trams. Black Jack opened, and it was good! It was epic day on all accounts, and a nice way to wind down April with some powder. Enjoy the video I put together from my day today, and pray old man winter might have one or two more of these for us before we are done.

April Delivers- 4.20.2013 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April Bonus- 4.9.2013

Just when everyone thought this season was done, mother nature had other plans. A surprise storm ripped through the Wasatch on Monday dropping some really dense 10% water content snow. It was a treat to get this since I have been off for over a week because of the worst cold I have had in over ten years. Being back in the saddle meant some shredding was in order. It was so good everywhere you went, and the traffic was minimal compared to just a few weeks back. I made the best of it, as these storms this late in the season are a bonus. Thursday was a repeat, with even less traffic on the hill, and some afternoon bluebird action to boot. I busted out 20,000 ft of vert on Thursday, riding most of the day that the resort was open. They pulled the rope to Road To Provo about 1 PM, and just when you thought it could not get better, my first run was untracked all the way from top to the Little Cloud lift. What an amazing day, the kind that you live for snowboarding. Friday was a leftovers day with the high north holding the cold smoke, and the west and south facing exposures lower on the mountain took quite a bit of time to soften up. This weekend is closing day for most of the resorts in Utah. Snowbird will run till late May, and Brighton has one more week and will be closing next weekend. Enjoy the video, as we get down to it. Won't be long now before we are putting away the winter gear and heading out to the wilderness.

April Bonus- 4.9.2013 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Crash/First Day Hike For 2013

This was a crazy month for me. A lot of things happening and changing, which is definitely in line with Spring arriving here. This last Tuesday I was riding Snowbird and having a great day, when heading to the base I was hit by a skier. I was probably going 40 MPH when she clipped the back end of my snowboard and sent me head first onto my back and shoulders and head. I really don't remember much after the impact, until I got my senses back. Kind of a white blur. As I laid there in a half daze trying to regain myself, the lady says "You should apologize to me, it was your fault." I just looked up at her and said, "Who is the one on the ground and who is standing up Ma'am?" She skied off not even asking if I was ok. Half groggy, I made my way to the base, and home to lick my wounds. I must say, if you ever wanted to know why to wear a helmet, this was a prime example of why you would do so. Needless to say, after my reflection on what happened, I have come to conclude that she violated the skier's code on several accounts. I won't hold a grudge, and I wish her the best. Could have been a lot worse. In short, I rang the bell pretty good, but I live to ride another day.

The last Saturday of March brought 70 degree temperatures, and blue skies. The crew had decided to hike up to one of my regular stops- Bells Canyon. It was a nice walk up there, and around the lake. Finally settled in for some fishing. I had no luck, but a couple of people in our group landed some nice cutty's! The scenery is right out of winter, but still fulfilling. It was nice to be up relaxing in the mountains, dreaming about backpacking once more. These are the days you realize that it won't be long before you are packing it off into the wilderness. Enjoy the pics, April is upon us, more adventures to come!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March In! 3.10.13

Its been a couple of weeks since I have posted. We really have had nothing but clear, warm weather since March began. But we did get a storm, and Sunday was the first blue bird day as the storm finally cleared out. The grooms were smooth like velvet, and there were some powder stashes here and there leftover from the storm. I love days like this were it is that perfectly smooth and you are blowing cold smoke with every turn. I made my way from the backside to the front side throughout the day. The snow in Peruvian was holding up nicely, and I made the best of it for sure. Things are gonna get warm this week, with no snow in the forecast lets hope our snow holds up. Pray for snow! The video below is a little edit from Sunday Funday this past week.

March In! 3.10.13 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Last Sunday Funday February- 2.24.2013

Sundays have been money this season. And this one did not disappoint. I connected with my good friend Jeremy, one of my favorite people to snowboard with. After waiting like an hour to get up Little Cottonwood Canyon because of the road closure overnight, it was game on. Patience was gonna pay off on this day because things were obviously going to be delayed. We started off on Wilbere waiting for P-Dog to open, and as soon as we saw bodies loading, we made haste to get over there. All I can say to you is this is the snow that legendary days are made of. It was deep, fluffy, and ultralight! We rode miles of powder. I learned kind of by accident learned how to do frontside 180's, and was taking advantage of trying those with the soft landings that this snow provided us. So many slashers! This was by far the best pow day of the season, and we strategically kept away from the crowds and got ours. Good times for sure, and a great way to put a wrap on Sundays for the month of February. More season to go, and our mountain is primed! Much needed paint job, and this will for sure extend our season. Enjoy the video!

Last Sunday Funday February 13' 2.24.2013 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

For The Love-

There is nothing more that I love than being in the mountains. It seems that the magical moments in life for me happen in the mountains. Never a dull moment on the trail or on the snow. Snowboarding is something special to me. I have been a skater all my life, and learned to snowboard a long time ago. Went away from it, and came back to it when I returned to Utah in 2005. I used to just hike spring to fall, then busy with the monotony of life, I just did not spend time on it in the winter like I should have. I am glad I came back to it. For nothing other than just to be able to be in the mountains year round. Snowboarding has given me that. Since February has a holiday based around love, seemed fitting that we would get a couple of storms to get me out to do what I love. February 10th brought some Sunday Funday ultralight snow at Snowbird, and it did not disappoint. Floaty runs in the snow that makes Utah famous. Got part of the day to ride with my friend Jeremy, so bonus all around. February 14th was Valentines Day, and Little Cottonwood Canyon served up a much under reported 2" (Try like 5-6" on certain aspects) of fluffy love for us. The day started out sopped in which felt like you were in a milk bottle. But the snow was so good, it did not matter. The backside was delayed, so I rode Peruvian until the backside got the open signal. Then it was bluebird pick your smooth line and ride some really fast snow. Highlights of the day were the Knucklehead and Tower III on the Cirque. Getting out on the Cirque is a rocky road, so caution was needed to get out unscathed. The turns were very nice and it made all that effort worth it. The magic of Little Cottonwood Canyon is a special thing to have in my life, and I do love being up there. Enjoy the video- do what you love!

For The Love 2 10 14 13 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Begins- 2.1.2013

After being off my snowboard for a week due to a heel and arch injury, this was my first day back on the hill. I honestly did not know what to expect, and how things were gonna go. I headed out on the front side for some laps as Mineral Basin had not been open in two days. And it had been snowing all week. I made my way in Peruvian and on the Gad side of things, then headed to the peak on some inside info that the Basin was about to open. Just as I dropped from the peak they pulled the rope and it was on! Some really smooth and creamy supportable snow, great for slashing surf style turns, and going really fast with the grauple that was in it. I has some great runs, and was for sure grateful that I was back snowboarding again. I spent the majority of my day back in Mineral, but did hit the Cirque, and hiked a Baldy to come home. All in all a great day, really stoked I got to ride some of the goods that I was for sure figuring that I was going to miss because of downtime for my foot. Enjoy the video, more adventures to come!

February Begins- 2.1.2013 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Splitboarding Mill D North Fork, Big Cottonwood Canyon- 1.26.2013

Things finally stabilized after the last storm, and the wind event we had. So with the south facing aspects getting the green light, I headed out to skin Mill D North with my very good friend Chris Fryer. We began climbing the road to the gate accessing the gulch. A quick jaunt up and we were on our way up. We soon found ourselves making it to the stream crossing, and then up to the Dog Lake/Desolation split. We decided to make the minor summit just east of Reynolds Peak, and up we went. I am still learning to skin properly on steep slopes, but I finally got it down. The skin track was pretty greasy, so we decided to make our own track. The snow down in the lower gulch was pretty spring like, almost corn, but on this section is was all soft snow. I fell a couple of times skinning up to the top, hence why I don't ski. But after a grueling climb to the top we finally made it. We took a minute to collect ourselves, break out of touring mode to snowboard mode, and to get a few pics while up top. I was feeling it for sure. My energy level was low, but stoked that I had made it. It was lightly snowing when we got to the top, but it increased its intensity as we made the drop. Chris went first popping and slashing his way to the safe zone. I dropped and carving in the deep and soft snow felt great. We rallied out of the woods, and made it to the Dog/Deso split. Then it was the luge run with traffic on hard spring snow with some really narrow shots. Being on a set back taper pow split, I had to be careful, one tree could really ruin your day. We made the final decent and made it to the road. Unbeknownst to me, after I got my boot off, my left arch was in a lot of pain. I am not sure when it got hurt, it did not bother me till the boot came off. I am on R&R resting it up and getting it back to full strength. Had to skip Sunday Funday this week because I wanted to get my foot checked out by the Doc. Turns out I have acute Plantar Fasciitis. Week off the board, and then I'll be back at it. All in all it was a great day up there. Final tally: 4.28 miles to the top, 2022 FT of vertical gain, and a great backcountry run all the way to the road. Not bad for an amateur splitboarder. Touring was surely the hardest thing I have ever done on the snow. And the most rewarding at that. It was a full adventure, with everything you could imagine. I learned how to skin a track and break trail, how to plant and kick turn properly, as well to stomp the skin to climb on steeps. Also learned that you don't quit, and you push for the top. I never gave up, and I stuck with it. I guess after an experience some time to process it is always good. It was also a nice break from the resort, as soon as I am on the mend, I'll be back at it. I know I loved touring, to be the only one taking a line on a mountain, that you earned it. Like backpacking, splitboarding is that chance to just disconnect, get some great exercise, and have a great ride home. Disclaimer: Always check the local avalanche forecast, know how to use a beacon, shovel and a probe, and never go alone. Take an avalanche class. No one is more "extreme than the mountain." I don't care how awesome you are, if you don't respect the mountain, it will show you how extreme they are. Enjoy the slideshow and video below from our adventure!
Mill D Tour 1 26 13 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Snowshoeing Jordan Pines to Cardiff Fork, Big Cottonwood Canyon 1.19.2013

With the air quality just nasty in the valley, and my wife and daughter never having tried out snowshoeing, getting in the mountains was a must. We headed up on a very smoggy day in the valley, but very sunny day in the mountains. It was noticeably warmer at the trail head than it was at my house. We got on our snowshoes and headed in. A nice walk until we passed Jordan Pines, and we wandered off trail so my daughter could stomp the deep stuff to her hearts content. It was nice to be out hiking again, and the deep snow was a great workout. We continued up through the woods to find some more snow to for my daughter to play in. After a fun time, the sun dipped behind the ridge and the temps started to drop. It was time to go, and so off we went. A nice, but brisk walk to the car, and we were on our way. This is a great area to introduce snowshoeing for free to anyone interested in getting out and hiking in the snow. Make sure if you venture higher in this gulch than Doughnut Falls, you bring avalanche rescue gear and a willing partner. But to Doughnut Falls is pretty safe and well out of dangerous avalanche terrain. The meadows full of snow with huge flake formations on the surface sparkling in the sunlight were amazing! It was like winter fairy land for my daughter. I will for sure get out more on the snowshoes, forgot how much fun it is. Enjoy the slideshow below.
djnebula's Jordan Pines to Cardiff Fork 1-19-2013 album on Photobucket

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First Snow Of 2013-

Well, after a couple of weeks of nasty inversion in the valley, and warm days riding in the sun we finally got a snow storm. The storm got named "Gandolf" which was funny to me, as that is my favorite Lord Of The Rings character. Apparently Gandolf was serious as he told the snow "you shall not pass" 7,000 ft in elevation in great accumulation. There was 22" in my front yard, and barely 12" at Snowbird. I made my way up on Friday, and pretty much stuck it out on Peruvian and Gad II for most of the day. I found some really nice snow, especially lower on the mountain, and a few rough spots as the layer underneath had solidified. It is always fun riding in a storm, and I made the best of it. No powder panic for me, I have been more into just riding and having fun these days. Sunday was a chilly -5 on the peak, with windchill expected to be -23. On any angle, sliding was perfection, on the flats your base was squeaking away. You sure were not going to be breaking any land speed records because the snow was so cold your base just could not feed the wax you needed in spots. But the sun was out, and the energy was good, so I made the best of it riding in the sun with some nice finds in the stash category on the front side to finish out the day. I only lasted a few hours on Sunday as the cold was bitter, and it really does take it out of you after a while. A pretty fun, but blustery cold time up at the Bird. Looking forward to some warmer days coming later this week. Enjoy the short video!

First Storm Of 2013 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.