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Backcountry Skiing in the Cottonwood Canyons

Guide(s)
Willie Benegas, Todd Passey, Wasatch Mountain Guides, The Mountain Guides, Red River Adventures
Trip options
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People
1 Person
Date(s)
--
Duration
1 day
Guide(s)
Willie Benegas, Todd Passey, Wasatch Mountain Guides, The Mountain Guides, Red River Adventures
  • Take a day to focus on your needs and wishes. Explore the exciting runs or the popular White Pine Fork and Red Pine Fork canyons or simply enjoy the scenic views. Whether you wish to work on your skills or enjoy a peaceful day of gliding through the fresh powder stashes, your guide will show you the best locations and make sure you make the most out of it.

    Depending on your objectives, full days may start earlier and end later, but in general, your day will look like this:

    • 8:00 am: Meet your guide at the guide’s recommended location for introductions and going over the day’s plan
    • 8:30 am: Head to the location of your backcountry ski tour
    • 9:00 am – 4:00 pm: Gear up, go over safety considerations, and spend the day backcountry skiing on routes selected to best suit your group, stopping for lunch and breaks as needed
    • 4:30 pm: Back to the cars for debriefing and high fives
    • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

      We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Cottonwood Canyons, please refer to the State of Utah official website.

      Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

    • What you get in this adventure:

        • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
        • A full day of backcountry ski touring

      What’s not included:

        • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
        • Trip insurance
        • Lift tickets (if needed)
        • Food and snacks
        • Transportation
    • In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels in Cottonwood Canyons, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on blue level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

      For the enjoyment and safety of everyone involved, participants must be approved to participate in advanced backcountry skiing tours either through a previous trip with the guiding service or through recommendations.

    • Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.

    • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent: 

      • Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe may be rented from your guide if needed
      • Alpine touring or telemark skis and poles may be rented from Voile Retail Store 
      • Splitboards can be rented from Voile Retail Store
      • Touring boots and helmets can be rented from REI

      Ski rental locations are in Salt Lake City and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

      For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

      • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
      • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
      • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented from the guide if needed):
        • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
        • Lightweight snow shovel
        • Avalanche probe
        • Harness for glacier travel (for advanced tours)

      For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Helmet
      • Sunglasses or ski goggles
      • Gloves and hat
      • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-tex recommended)
      • Ski pants (Gore-tex recommended)
      • Down jacket or vest
      • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
      • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
      • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
      • Water bottle and 1L of water
      • Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
      • Food you can eat on-the-go
      • First-aid kit
      • Sunscreen
      • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-45L backpack)
      • Camera — optional
    • Groups and pricing:

      • For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1. For advanced ski touring, the client to guide ratio is 2:1.
      • The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to backcountry ski with friends and family.
      • Ski touring in Cottonwood Canyons can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

      Min. age requirements:

      • Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this backcountry skiing adventure.
      • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to ski with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
    • To get to Cottonwood Canyons, most people fly into Salt Lake City International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle to the Canyons. SLC is less than 30 minutes away from the Big and Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lots. Utah Transit Authority (UTA) offers Ski Bus with trips going up and down Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon each day.

      Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet. The usual meeting points are Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton depending on objective. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ
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