Orange Sherbert

Two skiers prepare for an early morning ski tour in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.

A pink and blue sky hangs over Mount Superior in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.

Skier Adam Riser makes a deep powder turn in Grizzly Gulch near Alta, Utah.

|| 5 A.M. rolls around and I give the alarm a slap. Botch the coffee (too early), don’t forget the boots, load the truck, and… dang, did I forget my headlamp? Nope, it’s on my head. Meet up with Adam, Erme arrives, load Adam’s truck, and start driving. Hit the trailhead parking lot, slap the skis on the ground, shoot a headlamp photo that might work out, and start skinning. My lungs hurt, bad. Skin, skin, and skin more until morning breaks. Pause on the skin track and take in the view. Meet the guys at the top, shoot another photo, pack the camera, drop into my line, and enjoy. I blew right by that perfect patch of shooting light. Screw it, this is too much fun. Hollar, high five, and head for home. ||

Into the Morning

|| Early mornings in the Wasatch Mountains can either be crowded or they can be solitary. Before the light breaks it’s not uncommon to see a parade of headlamps headed up the forks of Big Cottonwood and into Grizzly Gulch in Little Cottonwood. On this particular morning Dave Kelly and I had started from the parking lot at the mouth of Grizzly and begun our climb in the dark. As we gained the ridge I stopped for a few photos of Alta and turned around just before Dave disappeared over the peak of the skin track. Touring with Dave isn’t really touring WITH Dave, it’s more like chasing the Energizer bunny. He just goes, and goes, and goes … and goes. ||