Watch Utah locals log summer turns down Little Cottonwood Canyon’s Suicide Chute

On July 10, photographer Steve Lloyd and snowboarder Justin Morgan decided to take advantage of the unseasonably thick snowpack in the Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and tag one of the more aesthetic lines Little Cottonwood Canyon has to offer, Mt. Superior’s alluring Suicide Chute. To document the mid-summer turns, Lloyd brought his camera gear and a drone along for the ride and recorded the adventure in a short film titled Suicide In July. We caught up with Lloyd to learn more about the project.

In Little Cottonwood, if you’re looking at Mt. Superior, the south ridge is a pretty obvious dramatic ridgeline, and Suicide Chute has become popular over the last few years for people to ski. Around the first of July, I went up and was biking in Albion Basin. As I was driving down, I was thinking about how cool Suicide Chute looked because it was still full of snow, but the snow had melted off all of the rocks around it—it was very pronounced. I’ve been looking for cool projects to do with flying a drone and this came to mind: to climb up the south ridge and film someone on the knife-edge with a drone.

I’ve skied Suicide Chute tons of times, but I’ve never gone up the south ridge. I’ve rock climbed a bunch, but it’s still very exposed and I was a little nervous to take my camera gear up there, because that knife-edge ridge is pretty thin. All the handholds and footholds are there for you to hold onto, but if you were to fall or make a mistake you could die. Having camera gear and the board made it a bit more difficult to scramble along the rocks and there are a bunch of trees you have to navigate as well, so that made it more difficult than just traveling with a backpack—it was spicy.

One of the really cool parts of this project is that a lot of snow gets sun cups in Utah by the middle of the summer, but because people have been skiing Suicide Chute quite a bit—probably not from the south ridge, but from the bottom—its was super smooth the whole way down. It’s steep but it was a giant groomer—super buff. It made it a nice descent, epically for filming; on a scale from one to 10, it was a 10 for summer descents. Most everything else that’s sitting there without traffic develops pretty large sun cups.

This winter, the Wasatch got over 700 inches of snow, which was a huge snow year for us. So that’s one cool thing about this year. In the middle of July, the lines were still poking out. Typically by mid June, that stuff is melted to a point where you can’t ski it. This record-breaking season made it all possible. Everyone looks at Superior and wants to ski that line. It’s iconic and it was fun to do this time of year.

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  1. Helmets are rad

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