Willow Fork

Page Type
Route
Location:
Utah, United States, North America
Route Type:
Skiing
Season:
Spring, Winter
Time Required:
Less than two hours

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Willow Fork
Created On: Apr 26, 2009
Last Edited On: Jan 16, 2011

Willow Fork Overview

Directly across the highway from Solitude Ski Resort resides Willow Fork. Located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, this fork is a "refuge"(meaning it can resemble a ski resort) in times of high avalanche danger. Avalanches still occur here, even on the 30 degree sections. However there are several safe routes and hills that do not avalanche. Willow Fork is one of the greatest alternatives when the steeper lines and forks of the Wasatch Range are a No No.
Another scenic moment....A scenic moment in Willow Fork
Troy skiing down Wills Hill in Willow ForkTroy skiing Wills Hill

Skiing near Silver PeakTroy skiing Wills Hill
A Dark and Spooky Morning in Willow ForkA dark and spooky sight in Willow Fork




Getting Up There

There are two ways up Willow Fork. Both take about the same amount of time to complete.

1. The most common way is to start at the Upper Solitude parking lot and cross the Big Cottonwood Canyon highway. You should see a somewhat plowed cabin road. Follow the road till it makes a sharp bend. At the sharp bend start heading across (down canyon) along the trees. You will have a choice to keep following the trail or head up a ridge. Take either trail till you reach the top of Willow Fork.
Skinning Willow ForkSkinning up Willow Fork
Troy and Ron skinning up Willow ForkTroy and Ron skinning up Willow Fork's main ridge










































2. "The harder to find your way up" way is to start near or just above the Kickers Backcountry Market and start heading up the through woods. Keep going till you hit the beaver ponds. From here you want to keep on the right side of the ponds and start skinning up through a series of treed flats and slight uphills. Keep bearing slightly right till you see the all too obvious main middle ridge of Willow Fork.
A scenic moment in Willlow ForkA beautiful moment in the trees
Troy and Ron skinning up North WillowTroy and Ron skinning up North Willow
Troy skinning up Willow ForkTroy skinning up Willow Fork
Troy and Ron skinning up Willow ForkTroy and Ron skinning near the beaver ponds








Decent Route Descriptions

Willow Fork has many ski runs to offer........................

1. Will's Hill- Not the safest of lines that Willow Fork has to offer but if you can catch it first it can make your day. This line does slide time to time so be ready for anything. To find this line you must 1st find Willow's Middle (and only) ridge and drop in skiers right. A video of me skiing Wills Hill can be found by clicking on this link Tyedyetwins Headcam (Wills Hill)





Skiing Willow ForkTroy skiing Wills Hill
Skiing near Silver PeakTroy skiing Wills Hill
Troy skiing down Wills Hill in Willow ForkTroy skiing Wills Hill
Ron splitboarding down Wills HillRon splitboarding down Wills Hill
Willow ForkWills Hill
























2. The Hourglass The Hourglass is shorter than Wills Hill and usually the safer option. This run is very wide and easy to find so good luck with first tracks but there is always a fresh line somewhere.
Me skiing Willow ForkMe skiing The Hourglass
Skiing Willow ForkTroy skiing The Hourglass



3. The Powder Purse- The Powder Purse, The Sneek, are just 2 of the too many names for this hill. To find this run skin up either Willow Fork or Mill F (USA Bowl) and to the tiny summit that divides the two forks. Drop into the Willow side of the ridge and enjoy.
The Powder PurseThe Powder Purse, The Sneek..............


4. The L Woods-
Located at the bottom of Willow Fork these woods are perfect when the avalanche danger is high. Even when the 30 degree slopes are sliding out the L Woods are the safest retreat that the Wasatch has to offer. To find these just park just above the Kickers Backcountry Market and head into the trees. These trees are the run.
Skiing Willow ForkSkiing the L Woods


5. North Willow- North Willow definatly takes 1st place for the most frequent avalancher in the fork. Even when it does avalanche it wind loads quickly and repeats again and again. If and when you can catch this area in stable conditions it can be worth your while. Some would even go as far to say that this area has the best snow and skiing that Willow Fork has to offer.
Troy skinning up Willow ForkTroy skinning up North Willow

Avalanche on North Willow areaAvalanche in the North Willow Area
Ron splitboarding down North WillowRon splitboarding down a chute in North Willow
Me skiing down North WillowMe skiing down a chute in North Willow
Troy at the summit of North WillowTroy at the summit of North Willow
Troy skinning up Willow ForkTroy skinning up North Willow
The steep ridge up to North WillowThe steep ridge that is usually used to reach North Willow

Essential Gear

Avalanche skills, beacon, probe, shovel, partner and common sense. Skis are highly recommended.
A Natural Avalanche on Wills Hill (Willow Fork)Avalanche on Wills Hill
Avalanche on North Willow areaA large (1/4 of a mile wide) avalanche on North Willow
Avalanche in North Willow (Willow Fork)Some ski tracks next to an avalanche in North Willow
Large surface hoar feathers in Willow ForkSome large surface hoar feathers







Willow Fork

Route
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Geography

Routes in Utah

Parents

Silver Peak, UT.Routes
 
Central Wasatch Backcountry SkiingRoutes