Iron Man of Snowbird

By SkiMum Valerie

I had the pleasure this morning of riding up the Little Cloud lift with an
enthusiastic young man named Joe Wale.  His first words to me were, “Do you mind if I put the bar down?  My legs are killing me.”  Turns out I had actually seen Joe earlier that morning on my drive up little cottonwood canyon.  I had passed him near the Red Pine Trailhead as he was riding his bike up the road with his skis strapped to his back.  “That is one ambitious guy”, I thought to myself as I passed by.  Little did I know, that wasn’t half the story.  Joe explained that it had always been a dream of his to bike up the canyon and ski Snowbird.  In the early, early hours of  Friday morning  Joe decided to make his dream a reality.


It all started Thursday night when he and his friend decided to ski the backside of High Traverse at Alta.  They took off at 11:00 PM and got back home at 3:00 AM.  Joe slept for 30 minutes during the car ride home.  After collecting his ski gear, 3 liters of water and a pile of Cliff Bars, he took off on his 20-year old Cannondale mountain bike in search of snow.  It was now 4:30 AM under a full moon.  Joe reached the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon at 6:00 AM and arrived at the Snowbird Center at 8:15 AM.  After skiing for 2 hours, he loaded up his gear and headed back  down the canyon.  The roundtrip was 40 miles with a 4,600 vertical gain.  Impressive!

End of the story?…not quite.  I emailed Joe the photos I had taken of him at Snowbird.  He replied and gave me an update on his day.  After returning home from skiing he slept for 2 hours and then got a call from some friends asking him to go mountain biking with them.  Naturally, he accepted the offer and biked from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

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