Old Growth / Benson & Hedges

Park City and Deer Valley

Salt Lake City

Wasatch Backcountry

Old Growth chute is a mini classic that provides great rock wall lined ambience and easy access.

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
580 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
364 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
2.6 km
High Point
3 km
Gradient
54˚
Old Growth / Benson & Hedges Map

This chute has two names that locals use to reference it, either Old Growth, or Benson and Hedges (because it's off Reed and Benson Ridge) The Old Growth chute gets it's name from a large Bristlecone pine that's planted right in the middle of this rock-lined chute.

Description

To approach Old Growth/Benson Hedges, park at the Cardiff Fork trailhead halfway up Big Cottownwood Canyon on the S side of the road. Follow the trail and road grade up the canyon. There is a popular trail to Doughnut Falls that branches left, but stay to the right and continue up the valley. You'll cross some open avalanche paths and then duck back into the trees. After this you'll come to a large mine tailing with a creek running past it. Cross the creek and follow the trail for a short bit, then break off to your left (E) into the trees. You may have to do a little zigging and zagging to get a visual on the chute, but head up towards the cliff wall and it will reveal itself. Boot up the chute and then enjoy the turns right back down.

The upper part can be a little rocky and scratchy getting off the ridge, but once you are in the gut it's a great run with enough room for larger turns, or a few friends. The slope is the perfect pitch at around 40 degrees. It's short, and ends sooner than you'll want it to, but the apron and tree skiing below are a nice finish to a mini classic.

Difficulty

Difficult

Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May

Features

  • Trees
  • Walk Required

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area