The White Pine Backcountry

Yessir, I finally got the goods that I needed.  A  Salt Lake resident and friend, Scott, who is a friend of my dad’s, graciously led me on a tour of the White Pine canyon (gully? drainage? watershed?).  It begins as a small gully in south side of Little Cottonwood Canyon, but it quickly opens to a really large, high opening surrounded by rounded peaks.  The amount of terrain in this one high cirque, by my estimate, roughly equals the accessible terrain that we have available in the Mt. Hood backcountry.  But in Oregon, we don’t have this rediculous access, variety of terrain, or quality of snow.

Scott hauled ass up to 9250′ from 7500′ in just over an hour, a pace which seems common to Utah skiers and one that hurt my lazy Oregonian legs.  The snow was great, and relatively stable, with about a foot or recrystallized powder on top of variable quality snow.  The coverage was thin in generall (damn you El Nino), but it was deep enough where it needed to be.  An added bonus was the great view of Tanner’s slide path and Little Pine couloir across the valley.  Some day…

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