As winter is drawing to a close with even more new snow in the forecast, I wanted to take you on a whirlwind tour of some of the Daly Chutes we didn’t explore this season. Today, we’ll ski Chutes #7, #8 and #10. The first two are located in the “Cataract” area of Daly Chutes, while the later is also the farthest of all, tucked in the corner of the section called “Niagra.”
We’ll begin our tour at Cataract, with Chute #7, the most challenging of the three. Most of its difficulty comes from an impressive cornice, followed by a rather steep initial section, so the question is always, “should I jump it?” and the alternative is to look for some more inviting and less intimidating entryway. If in doubt, I suggest you opt for the later, but no matter what your choice is, you’ll be guaranteed a smooth, consistent and almost always powdery descent, wide enough to allow creativity in your turns and long enough to bring a huge smile to your face. While sharing the same intimidating cornice, Chute #8 is not as steep and not as direct, but its snow is every bit as good as #7’s. Further, both share a nice, flat and treed bottom section that offers a much needed relief to the hard work and unflinching courage required at the top.
After sampling these two Cataract narrow lines, it’s now time for Niagra and Chute #10 with its half-moon shaped cornice that never fails to impress first time visitors; this one however, is in fact quite tame and forgiving. It stands just before the entrance to the “X-Files.” Simply make sure you stop before jumping off the cornice as it might hide skiers moving slowly or stopped inside its wide, top section. You’ll enjoy its funnel-shaped upper that evolves into a natural half pipe ending at the same spot where Chutes #7 and #8 meet! In spite of its peculiar shape, this chute is by far the easiest of all, and even less technical than the main Daly Bowl. A good reason perhaps for starting your exploration with Chute #10, especially if this is your first foray into that part of Empire Canyon.
So, if there are still some Daly Chutes in your near-term future, don’t delay; you only have until this weekend to sample them!