2008 Trip Reports
2008 Trip Index
King's Peak - 08Mar08
Pfeifferhorn/Hogum/Thunder Bowl/Coalpit Gulch - 12Jan08
Pfeifferhorn/Hogum/Thunder Bowl/Coalpit Gulch
|Location||Wasatch Range, Utah|
|Date||12 January 08|
|Time||5:40AM-5:55PM - 12.25 hours|
|Group||Chad, Chip, Andy, Eric|
|Route||White Pine Trail Head to Red Pine Lake to Pfeifferhorn via the SE Ridge. Ski the south summit of Pfiefferhorn, ascend to the ridge of Hogum, ski down and traverse Hogum, Ascend to Thunder Ridge, ascend Thunder Ridge, descent Thunder Bowl, Ascent to top of Coalpit, Descent Coalpit to the road.|
|Gear||Skis, Skins, Ice Ax/Whippet|
- Cloudy and very windy with low visibility
- Clear skies and wind
|Ski Conditions||Good to great. Mostly powder with a few areas of inconsistent thin crusts|
We had to break trail everywhere we went. This ended up being about 10 hours of trail breaking.
There were large cornices on the ridge line above Upper Red Pine Lake. We did not test the stability of them. The grapple layer from last weekend was very present in hand pits.
The summit climb for Pfiefferhorn was all unsupportable snow. It was a chest deep wallow up to the summit which took close to 3 hours instead of the normal 45-60 minute boot.
We were able to get a 6” fracture
on the decent on the south aspect of the summit.
This was new snow that slide on a very soft bed surface.
The slide did not step down at all and was only about 100’
wide. We skied the bed
surface and it was soft and pretty good skiing. The
powder on the lower angle slope skiers right of the slide was
The powder on the lower angle slope skiers right of the slide was fantastic.
We skinned up to the ridge line above Hogum and skied a steep NNW shot into Hogum that was very stable
We traversed the top of Hogum, then ascended to Thunder Ridge
Skied Thunder Bowl (NW-ish) which was fantastic
We observed some grapple on the surface of both Hogum and Thunder Bowl
Traversed Thunder Bowl, then ascended to just below North Thunder Peak. There were some areas of fairly technical rock scrambles (at least technical at hour 10 of a tour) to get to the ridge and to cross the ridge to the top of Coalpit.
There was thick rime layers on all rocks and trees everywhere above upper red pine lake. This rim ranged from 1-2”.
The hike up to thunder ride and in thunder bowl had a layer of surface hoar
We skied one of the shots into Coalpit that was just skier's left of the middle. This was 4,900' of skiing to the road.
The entire gulch was in good shape.
We slope cut the top section 'on belay' due to lack of a safe escape zone. The snow was stable.
The waterfall was skiable until we broke the snow
bridge over it.
until we broke the snow bridge over it..
Distance: ~10 miles
King's Peak (in a day)
|Elevation||King's Peak: 13,528'|
|Location||Unita Mountains, Utah|
|Date||08 March 07|
|Time||3:45AM - 10:15PM - 18.5 hours|
|Group||Chad, Chip, Audrey, Andrea|
|Route||Henry's Fork Road -> Henry's Fork Campground -> Dollar Lake -> Gunsight Pass -> Anderson Pass -> King's Peak (return on same route)|
|Gear||Nordic Skis, Skins, Crampons, Ice Ax/Whippet|
- Cloudy with low visibility:
- Cold: temperatures were in the teens
- Gusts 45-50mph
We had a grand plan to ski King's Peak in a day. We had planned for this to be a long day of ~14 hours. We slept for a few hours, then left Summit Park at 1:00 AM on Saturday morning. We were at the end of the plowed road to Henry's Fork Campground at 3:30AM and were skiing by 3:45AM. We had hoped for the standard snowmobile trail all the way to Henry's Fork, but there was no trail into the campground. Instead, in the dark of the night we got off the main road and onto a short cross country ski trail. By 5AM, we were back on the road, less than 1 mile from the car. From this point on, we had no trail to follow. The early morning weather was light snow, but as dawn approached, the snow and wind both picked up. We were left with minimal visibility for the entire day. We had some struggles navigating through the woods in the morning hours. When we broke into the open meadow, visibility was very poor due to snow and wind. We were able to use patterned bases to get all the way to the base of Gunsight Pass. We skinned up Gunsight Pass, traversed the other side, then skinned and booted up to Anderson Pass. We started up the final summit approach at about 1:30 PM. We had set a 2:00 turn around time which we eventually pushed to 3:00. At 2:50, we were 0.3 miles from the summit and moving at a low pace as we front pointed up the hard snow. At this point, we knew we were pushing our hours of daylight remaining and made the decision to turn around. We suffer-skied back down on nordic gear to where we could traverse to Gunsight Pass. Skied down the pass, then started the long trail breaking back to the car.
In the end, we were on the trail for 18.5 hours and had to break trail the full distance both directions.
Weather was our main culprit in making what should have been a fun summit day into a long and defeating death march.
King's Peak Photos
Distance: ~40 miles
Chad and Emily's Home Page
Brackelsberg Photo Home Page