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Summer Stashes: Mt. Timpanogos provides August turns

Summer is fading, and there is a slight chill in the air. With it comes the anticipation of colder pursuits, however impending snows still seem distant. But there are those whose appetite for snow knows no season. They travel far for just a few turns and bide their time before the first flakes fly.

All summer long, we’ve added to the growing list of places where you can find snowy terrain to beat the heat. For this installment of “Summer Stashes,” we talked with Logan Tuura about his annual pilgrimage to Utah’s Mt. Timpanogos.

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Jimmy Moore makes his way down the glacier on “Timp.” [Photo] Logan Tuura

Location:  Mt. Timpanogos, Utah County, Utah
Team: Logan Tuura, Jimmy Moore
Summit Elevation: 11,752 ft
Prime Time: April-June
Descent Date: August 6th, 2016

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Jimmy Moore rides the lower glacier to Emerald Lake. [Photo] Logan Tuura

The snowpack in Utah does not always linger through the summer, but despite this fact, Logan Tuura and ski partner Jimmy Moore went in search of turns. On August 6, they skied 800 vertical feet from the top of the Wasatch’s second tallest peak, Mt. Timpanogos. The trip marks Tuura’s third consecutive season finding turns on “Timp,” and, he concludes, “Well, [the snow] was better than the other years that I’ve done it.”

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Logan Tuura picks his way down the upper section of the glacier. [Photo] Jimmy Moore

“Overall, it’s a good experience, it gets me out into the mountains,” Tuura says. “Most people don’t understand skiing on patches of snow,” recalling the multiple parties of day-hikers gently informing him that there is no snow to be found. Patches or not, Tuura maintains that the skiing was a lot of fun. “[We were] jumping over a few sun cups here and there, and could actually carve some turns on the lower angle portion. It was pretty fun to rip turns in between the rocks on either side of you.”

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Logan Tuura makes his way toward Emerald Lake. [Photo] Jimmy Moore

From the Aspen Grove trailhead, a well-worn hiking path leads to the summit. “I’d say the approach, aside from the length, is fairly easy,” Tuura says. “It’s about 5 miles and 3500 vertical feet to get up there.” Despite the long walk, at this time of year the route doesn’t require any technical mountaineering gear to reach the top of the ski line.

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A view to the east near the summit of Mount Timpanogos. [Photo] Logan Tuura

His turns at Timpanogos marks 22 consecutive months of skiing, and Tuura recently made it 23 during a Labor Day trip to Colorado’s Skyscraper Glacier. Getting the opportunity for skiing at least once every month, he has no plans to stop. “I’m just going to keep going until it happens,” Tuura says, “I imagine later in life some complications will come up, but it might be hard to stop if I’m at 200 months or something.”

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Jimmy Moore bootpacks the upper reaches of the Timpanogos Glacier. [Photo] Logan Tuura

The Utah climate may not always lend itself to year round skiing, but that doesn’t phase Tuura.  “It’s really easy in the Pacific Northwest,” he admits. “In Utah, it’s actually not. You can make it happen in August, but I don’t know if September can really happen. In October, you’re at the whims of the weather. And last year, I skied on just a couple inches of snow on October 30th.”

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