Beginner terrain that is good as you develop your backcountry skills and when the avalanche danger is higher. Click for details.
Intermediate terrain that requires more experience in skinning and skiing. Click for details.
Advanced terrain that requires strong skiing and skinning skills. Click for details.
Expert terrain that is challenging and a small mistake can have serious consequences. Click for details.
Extreme terrain that includes insanely difficult chute skiing and beyond. Click for details.
The difficulty of this terrain varies widely. Click for details.
This terrain hasn't been rated. Click for details.
Although this slope was measured, slopes are not homogeneous—this should be considered approximate. Click for details.
This slope angle was not measured. If you get an accurate slope measurement, please send it to me at info@vRigger.com.
The slope angle varies widely. Click for details.
This is the general direction the slope faces. Click for details.
The Utah Avalanche Center says that dangerous avalanches are not expected in this terrain except during extreme or very unusual conditions. Click for details.
The Utah Avalanche Center says that this is generally low-angle terrain although the route may cross under steep avalanche runout zones. Click for details.
The Utah Avalanche Center says that this terrain has significant exposure to numerous commonly-occurring avalanche paths. Click for details.
The Utah Avalanche Center says that this terrain is exposed to significant avalanche hazards often with multiple terrain traps. Click for details.
This terrain can be accessed by resort skiers without skins. Click for details.
This terrain can be accessed by resort skiers without skins. Snowmobiles are allowed. Click for details.
This terrain is commonly skied by helicopter skiers. Click for details.
This terrain is commonly skied by helicopter skiers and by resort skiers without skins. Click for details.
This terrain is commonly skied by helicopter skiers, by resort skiers without skins, and by snowmobilers. Click for details.
This terrain is commonly skied by helicopter skiers. Snowmobiles are allowed. Click for details.
Snowmobiles are allowed in this terrain. Click for details.
|Patsey Marley (summit)|
|Summit Location||40.5885° / -111.6089°|
|Patsey Marley (run)|
|Location||40.5896° / -111.6093°|
|Online Map||View on wbskiing.com|
Patsey Marley is a run and a summit on the south side of Grizzly Gulch in Little Cottonwood Canyon. It has good skiing, is easy to access, and is popular. This north-facing run averages 30° degrees, but the top is a much steeper 38°. If you ski Patsey from the summit, consider it an advanced, rather than an intermediate, run.
The ridgelines and summit of Patsey Marley usually have cornices. The upper portion of Patsey frequently contains avalanche debris.
When descending, you can hang skier's left to lengthen the run or hang right and come down through the Patsey Trees.
As mentioned in this sign, Alta does perform some avalanche control work on Patsey (or Patsy) Marley. I think this is mostly done on the Microwave side.
There are two popular routes to Patsey Marley. The first is to follow the route to Twin Lakes Pass from the Grizzly Gulch trailhead and then, from the pass, follow the ridge toward the summit (this is the north ridge of Patsey). When the skin track nears the summit, it departs from the ridge, crosses the Patsey Marley run, and joins the up-track on the west ridge.
When taking this route, be very wary of the cornice that can extend into the Twin Lakes area. The guy in this photo probably doesn't know he is spacewalking. And speaking of cornices, don't forget that they can break further back than the ground underneath them.
The second route again starts as if you are going to Twin Lakes Pass from the Grizzly Gulch trailhead, but when the snowcat road flattens and Grizzly Gulch widens, ascend the ridge on your right. This is the "west ridge" of Patsey which separates Grizzly Gulch from Alta's Albion Basin. (There is a wooden power pole on the left side of the snowcat road when you should turn right and ascend the ridge. The pole is numbered "333002," but I hope that name-tag is buried when you are there.)
The "west ridge" route stays on the ridge and doesn't require any route-finding, although it is steep in a few, brief sections. If you're mindful, you can ascend the west ridge route with minimal avalanche exposure. This approach is more direct (and a little faster) than the Twin Lakes Pass approach.
Both of these routes take about one and a half hours to ascend the 1,800 vertical feet.
About the Name
Patsy or Patsey? Marly or Marley? Only a cartographer could care. Although frequently spelled Patsy Marley, the Alta ski area has a ski run named Patsey Marley and the Alta Town Council has held numerous meetings about the proposed Patsey Marley subdivision. So it shall be written.
The Wasatch Powderbird Guides (who named many backcountry locations way-back-when) calls this slope North Facing Grizzly, many Alta skiers call this Grizzly Bowl, and most non-Alta backcountry skiers call it Patsey Marley. And the slope that most backcountry skiers call Microwave, many if not most Alta skiers call Patsey Marley. Go figure. The Wasatch Backcountry Ski Map uses the names that are more common with backcountry skiers. And remember, there's no right-or-wrong to these names.