Brighton, UT March 7 and 11, 2019

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Brighton, UT March 7 and 11, 2019

Postby tseeb » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:32 am

I'd skied Brighton at least twice previously; once on 3/14/2011 when it stayed firm all day after freezing solid after a Spring warmup, and once on 3/7/2015 when I bought a combined Solbright ticket, but by the time I left friends skiing Solitude other friends had left Brighton. I was not that impressed then although both Great Western and Milly chairs seemed to have good terrain and vertical. I have a much more favorable opinion now due to getting a three lap tour into Hidden Canyon side-country by Mountain Manager and also being shown some powder stashes by friend from PA who lives part of the year in Holladay and whose daughter is married to Mountain Manager’s son.

Now sure how we started our powder skiing on Thursday 3/7, but I do remember dropping off Western Trail into untracked True Grit where there was 6” new on top of 6” of dense new snow the previous day. I cost us a Hidden Canyon lap by going to Snake Creek chair instead of Great Western, but we recovered by skiing steep and deep face near top (probably Doyle’s Dive) where friend said coverage was best he has ever seen.

Our first lap into Hidden Canyon sidecountry included a large open area that was very lightly tracked.
7120HiddenCanyonEntrance.JPG
We entered below some cliffs where others were skiing chutes that included one named Cheese Grater.
7119HiddenCanyonFace.JPG
The other two laps started with a few turns off the back of Brighton, then went into W-facing long treed slope with a couple of short faces below followed by a long run-out through trees and ABOVE (unless you want to slog) cabins back to chair. During a long lunch break, I shared salad and pizza with friend from PA and a friend of his and their wives and had a beer at Molly Greens. I’m not sure where we skied in PM although I do remember some laps on Milly. My watch counted 15 runs/20.7K for the day.

On Monday 3/11, I drove 25 miles from Iron Blosam to Brighton to save some of my Ikon Altabird days for storm predicted later in week and had six laps into easily accessible side-country. Some were nearly all gravity and some had a few minutes of suffering to get into or back to lift. Al/Wasatachman from pugski and I didn't start until about 10 and on first lift found there was an Ikon pass problem at Brighton that required, after being allowed to load one time, going into office where staff quickly handled short line. I heard it was Ikon's system was down.

Al led a couple of warmup laps on Crest and I think we also rode Snake Creek before we moved to Milly and skied a couple of excellent lines to lookers left of the chair. We tried to get to area of Mary's Chutes that we could see from Crest chair, but went right when we should have gone left and ended with too short of a drop for the effort.

Then I led a couple of laps into Hidden Canyon area off Great Western that I had been shown on Thursday. The first one was nearly all gravity and included big open area that had a couple of inches of new snow which had not been skied on top of a soft base. The second one had a very short hike and traverse to get to some nearly untracked snow that was starting to get baked by strong sun, but still skied well.
7195AlInHiddenCanyonPowder.JPG
We got too low on exit and hiked for a couple of minutes on roads through cabins where snow was deep. Pole is marking a fire hydrant.
7206TonyByFireHydrant.JPG
We didn't want to pole over to Brighton Center so we rode lift and skied steep run off Western Trail that had great coverage and snow. During late break, I talked to Mountain Manager about where else we should try and he recommended the powder field behind the top of Milly chair over the Mary Chute area. I lost Al on way from top of Crest to Milly when I went too deep into Wren Hollow and had a hike to get out. He left as he had an appt. to get to and he'd probably had enough of skiing with me.

The powder field behind the top of Milly chair was great, but too short unless you do a lot of hiking across snowfield where you should have avy gear and partner.
7213PowderByMilly.JPG
On the exit, when I was trying to keep up my speed, I tore my jacket sleeve on a branch sticking out of a tree when bumps on trail put me too close to it. It’s a 17 year-old North Face Gore-Tex that I bought at a great discount when niece was working at long since closed outlet and I had resumed using as it has very long pit-zips, useful for days when temps and activity level varies. On second lap, I took a higher exit which still sent me past the offending tree and then caught up to two skinners who were exiting area between Brighton and Solitude - I even passed one on an uphill.

I rode Milly one more time and from chair saw someone skiing Elevator Chute that starts at top of Mt. Millicent
7229ChuteAboveMillys.JPG
(center top of photo). I took picture after guy had skied chute and was trying to direct partner (who I saw come out but can't see in picture) around rock band in chute. I was on traverse to Mary's Chutes area where I found entrance to little bowl
7234LittleBowlInMarys.JPG
I had spotted, but getting into it was more difficult than expected.
7230Entrance2LittleBowl.JPG
I rewarded myself with a beer at Molly Green's. I went back out at about 5 PM and rode Crest lift twice, skiing to within 5 feet of my car at 5:30 PM. My watch counted 16 runs/20.5K. Night skiing at Brighton seems to be mostly locals who were streaming up BCC as I was going down.

Sorry for late post, but I've been busy catching up at home after being gone for a month. I think the only days that have not been reported are Altabird 3/8 and 3/9. The first day including some stumbling around on my own, then a great tour by Admin that included South Chute and Glen's (he went closer to Tower 3), which became my go to run the next couple of days. And we got into Jaws where both coverage and skiing was great.

Edited to add that I also have not written up skiing Canyons side of Park City on Tuesday 3/12. It was the only one of my 9 days skiing in UT where I did not have new snow. Al, who splits his time between UT and New Zealand, where his wife who joined us is from, gave me a ride between Park N Ride at bottom of LCC and Canyons. Even though he lives near bottom of LCC, he no longer has pass valid there as he finds it easier to use his Epic Pass to go to Park City, and also has a Brighton weekday pass. He gave me a good tour of Canyons side of Park City. We started (w/o his wife) with double-diamond Condor Woods and Canis Lupis, a deep gully that skied tough as it was firm, long, steep and in most place you could not go up the overhanging walls. We skied excellent groomed Apex Ridge before moving to good steep runs off Saddleback and Tombstone lifts. We were joined by Jim Kenney for a few laps on Ninety-nine 90 including Red Pine Glades, which had best snow of the day. Jim had to re-join his non-skiing wife and Al's wife was having foot issues so we did a couple of laps off slow Peak 5 chair, including The Abyss, before doing one more on Ninety-nine 90. For more complete report (with pictures if you have a pugski login), see https://www.pugski.com/threads/park-cit ... -19.14646/
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Re: Brighton, UT March 7 and 11, 2019

Postby Sbooker » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:13 pm

I had a day at Brighton with my son Tom a few years ago. My wife and daughter were catching up with my wife’s aunt who lives in SLC.
I was recovering from a severe stomach bug that I picked up after eating lunch at Alta the previous day so I can’t remember a lot about the mountain aside from it was exception cover for late December and we spent most of our time on the far lookers right side lift as there was far fewer punters skiing that area. Tom raves about the place though - mostly because his sister has never skied there I suspect.
I do remember giving an old guy a lift back down to the parking stations in Cottonwood Heights though. He was a volunteer at Brighton and had worked for many years at NASA. Tom was extremely impressed to share the car with an ‘astronaut’. (The guy was a weather guru who never went to space).
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Re: Brighton, UT March 7 and 11, 2019

Postby Backcountrylife » Wed May 15, 2019 9:45 am

Looks like you got some good turns in. Utah was stacked with snow this year.
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