photos by zach coury / 📍 Tooele County, Utah
words by megan dingman ✍️
Early Mornings: There is a fine line that you dance when waking up early. In the dark hours
before 5:00 am I consider them technically “free.” While it is still dark outside I swear your body
doesn’t register that it is the next day, therefore you leave feeling in sort of a trance. You know
what I mean?
4:30 AM: My alarm goes off, startling me awake. For one second I forget why I’m waking up so
early. Then I remember. We are going to bike to ski a line in the Deseret Peak Wilderness in Utah.
Shooting straight out of bed I fight my heavy eyelids and the siren call of my warm and too
5:00 AM: While my partner Thorn brews a gallon of coffee my best friend and videographer
Zach walks in the door. With too much energy for 5:00 am, it almost makes me angry. However,
his energy is contagious and with the aid of coffee my mood lifts as we load our bikes and skis
into the truck.
6:00 AM: One of the coolest parts of skiing Deseret Peak is you can see the line from the
highway as you drive over. There is a mix of emotions that overcomes me when I see the line,
first, ‘Wow, that looks so cool!’ Then, ‘actually it looks so far away, and maybe I should have
stayed in bed.’ Finally, ‘Wait no once I’m up there it’ll be all worth it.’
7:00 AM: As we pack our bags I become more aware of my surroundings. The morning light
burns through low-hanging clouds and green overwhelms my senses, reminding me that it’s spring.
I make sure we have the essentials, water, layers, food, Skida Brim Hat and Sun Tour and ignore the
uncomfortable weight hanging on my shoulders from my skis as I mount my bike. Then we’re
7:30 AM: Reaching the snow line after 2 slow miles of biking, we are ecstatic to move some of
the weight to our feet. Stashing the bikes we continue upwards on our skis. (🚲 →🎿 )
9:30 AM: Looking at the line from the bottom, its sheer size overwhelms me. The couloir tops
out around 10,500. It's a long steep narrow run encompassed by high rock walls. Our energy is
rejuvenated by the sight, as well as the talk of all the ice cream we're going to consume when we
return. While talking the line it slowly begins to become engulfed by fog. Hoping it will pass, we
carry on. 🤞
10:30 AM: As we put on our crampons, the visibility worsens, yet Thorn and Zach keep
the mood high with banter only close friends can have. We start to boot up the couloir moving
quickly under rock faces and cornices in an attempt to avoid falling objects.
12:00 PM: As we summit the line, waves of relief and excitement wash over me. The fun part (which
is still completely covered by the fog) awaits us. While we wait for it to clear up, we take a
mini lap near the summit of Deseret Peak to kill some time. We bask in the sun like lizards while waiting for the fog to lift.
1:00 PM: About to drop into the couloir we go over our game plan, safe spots to stop, where
Zach will shoot from, and who will go first. Finally, it’s time to ski! Everything goes silent as I am
about to drop.
1:01 PM: Weeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!
1:30 PM: After skiing some amazing corn (corn happens when the temp cycles through warm
during the daytime and cold at night creating clumpy, surfy, fun snow 🏄♂️ ) we retrieve our bikes.
Biking back to the car takes no time at all and suddenly our adventure comes to an end.
Early Afternoons: After you dance with the early hours of the morning and exert yourself for an
extended period of time to only take one and a half runs, your body may register that this is in
fact not right. The shock wears off and I hear the bed sirens call. After finding all the ice cream
and chicken sandwiches you can consume, you can finally listen to those sirens calling and slip
into bed. You know what I mean? 💤