Skiing Murdock Mountain
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
My old Aspen roommate, Tim Magner, was visiting from Chicago and he was looking for an adventure off the beaten path so I suggested skiing Murdock Mountain in the Uintas. We recruited another good buddy, Mark Abbett, who is always game for snowmobiling & backcountry skiing.
We had just received 6-8" dump two days before and it remained cold so the skiing was going to be good! The ride out Mirror Lake Highway was a little rutty as I believe the groomer was broken again. It was one of Tim's first time snowmobling but was managing the sled well until we turned off the road. We went up this small hill and within 20 yards of the turn off- Tim flipped the sled and got stuck. He was a little shaken up by this as he didn't realizing that this is just part of snowmobiling.
We got to the base of Murdock and checked out the few lines above. After establishing a plan, the 3 of us jumped onto two sleds and navigated our way up the tricky and steep bottom section of the route to the summit. The snow was a little soft and both sleds got stuck on the way up which required more digging. At this point, I am sure Tim was getting extremely frustrated and annoyed with snowmobiling especially since digging at 11,000 feet coming from sea level is quite exhausting. But we managed to get the sleds to the top and it was game on.
I zipped down to the base on one of the sleds to film Tim and Mark as they ripped up the gladed run. Although the lines of Murdock are short (about 400 vert), they are prone to avalanches as they are between 35-40 degrees. So I was a little concerned about a slide and Tim felt some sluffing on his first run (probably more due to his heavy jump turns).
We finally got the snowmobile lift to the summit down after the first run and we got into a groove of getting the sleds on the peak without any further incidents. We continued to ski "farm" the ridge as we worked our way further out with each run. In the end, we each got 3-4 light, fluffy runs.