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Spiral_Out

Utah winter climbing

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I am headed down to the OR (shit) show in SLC at the end of January and then will be have at least a week to spend at my hearts content. I would rather spend that time climbing ice and winter alpine routes, or find some dry desert rock than getting utah freshiez (am i insane?). I have not spent any time down there during this time of year and was wondering if anyone had any good beta and/or guide book suggestions. I already have my eye on Little Cottonwood Canyon. There has to be some obscure gems in the area. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

 

P.S. If anyone happens to be down there the last week of Jan. - 1st week of Feb and wants to swing some tools let me know!

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I live in Little Cottonwood canyon.

It's been very warm and lots of shit is melting FAST. If it gets cold again, it should be sweet. Great White Icicle is 1/2 a mile from my home and it's usually pretty reliable. Utah ice is your best bet, but drytooling on the local crags is fun too. You can email me before you head out and I'll give you the beta on what's in.

-Mike

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Grab a copy of Utah Ice. A very good guide to the ice that is around here. As for alpine climbing there are a couple of descent routes. If conditions are firm the S. Ridge of Superior is good fun. This peak is across from Snowturd in LCC. The excellent climb is the N. Ridge of the Pfiefferhorn also in LCC along the Maybird/Hogun Fork. You can find some good info on:

 

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/utah/wasatch_range/wasatch_alpine_areas/105739328

 

I should also add that all over the Rockies we are having a very nice and deadly avalanche year.

 

For instance, I doubt that I will climbing anything but Stair to Heaven in Provo Canyon for a while. There are huge bowls above climbs like Bridal Veil that when they rip the will be killers.

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Depending on your willingness to drive, you should be able to find ice to climb. LCC stuff might still be in (Great White Icicle specifically). Provo Canyon is better and is usually still in condition that time of year....but you never know. Stairway to Heaven is the classic climb here, but White Nightmare, Miller's Thriller and some others are all great also depending on what grade you climb. Plenty of mixed stuff in PC also.

 

If that stuff is not in, a drive to Joe's Valley (about 3 hours) will yield some excellent ice that is reliable. All of this is in Dave Black's book mentioned by others.

 

Of course, if you're willing to drive 3 hours you could theoretically hit some desert rock, although January has always been too cold for me down there.

 

As for alpine stuff, the two most commonly done or sought-after routes have been named. More information on the Pfeifferhorn's N Ridge is here:

 

Trip Report for Pfeifferhorn

 

If snow conditions are not stable or we've had a lot of recent snow, a better bet might be something like Guert's Ridge on Mt Olympus. Not quite as high or as alpine, but its long and fun and goes to a summit. Solo-able for most, but you'll need a rope for one or two raps. A friend of mine put this page together, with a bunch of options:

 

Wasatch "Alpine" Climbs

 

It's got its limitations, but those are the standards, and some obscure ones that no one does. S Ridge of Superior, N Ridge of Pfeifferhorn, Guert's Ridge on Olympus are definitely your best bets there.

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indian creek is amazing, about 4 hrs from SLC, dirt cheap, and in Jan you can chase sun. all you need is 6 of each cam from .3 camalot to #4 camalot and you're ready to roll

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I live in Little Cottonwood canyon.

 

Rock on, Mike! Glad you're settled in and making a go of it. (First time I've logged on in months....)

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