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At 11,326 feet, the Pfeifferhorn is probably the most beautiful Peak in the Wasatch Range and commands an impressive view from the top: the Wasatch Range, the Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake Valley, the Oquirrs to the West. The North Ridge of the Pfeifferhorn is considered one of the best mountaineering routes in Utah and can be ascended any time of year, but many prefer to treat it as a stout winter mountaineering challenge. This mixed granite and snow ridge rises directly to the striking symmetrical summit in the heart of the rugged Lone Peak Wilderness. In winter, the approach is on skis or snowshoes, and we usually do the trip in two days.
The first day we establish our base camp just under the North Ridge and get ready for the next day. The impressive North Ridge has some moderate technical rock climbing, but most likely the ascent will be done on crampons, because we will probably find ice and plenty of snow on the route. To provide safety during the ascent, we will build anchors in the rock using caming devices and a variety of other techniques to provide safety in the current conditions. We will use an ice axe but also climb with our hands, so the challenge is to be able to efficiently move from one technique to another. The views from the top are a well deserved reward after a challenging and very entertaining ascent.
Day 1 begins at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon with a gear and weather check and discussion about the adventure to come. We then drive up to Little Pine Parking Lot and start hiking up to Maybird Gulch on skis, split-board or snowshoes. Our approach takes 3-6 hours. Setting up camp for the night at 10,000 feet under the North Ridge, we have dinner and prepare for the the next day.
The next day we have breakfast before sunrise and start hiking up the the ridge (skis, snowshoes or crampons depending on conditions), where cache our skis or snowshoes to begin our alpine route. Once on the ridge, we set up anchors and your guide will lead the climbing, protecting the route. After enjoying spectacular views from the summit, we descend back to camp via the head wall, pack the tents and hike or ski back to the car.
We generally return to Salt Lake City at the end of Day 2.
Travel Insurance and Rescue Insurance:
We require the purchase of insurance plans to protect you from the unexpected. Please consult with your insurance company with any specific questions, regarding coverage, and policy details, and if you have any questions contact our offices.
We recommend that you bring snacks to supplement the mountain lunches for 3 days. Take snacks that you genuinely enjoy. Eating well is the key to maintaining your strength while in the mountains. And in order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude, it is best to have a variety of foods from which to choose, from sweet to sour to salty.
Wasatch Range, Utah, USA
Winter 2015-16, TBD
Excellent physical condition, a knowledge of mountaineering techniques and previous alpine and rock climbing experience ideal. Climbers should be comfortable on 45 degree snow and ice slopes and climbing on exposed ridges.
Two days: $700 for one person, $300 for an additional person
One day speed: $350 for one person, $100 for an additional person
Does not include: