Trip Report: Skiing the Northwest Couloir of the Pfeifferhorn

Trip Reports
on
April 11, 2014

By Ben White

Kyle, Jackson and I had a big day ahead of us in Hogum Fork. We had our ski boots clicked into our skis at five in the morning in the White Pine lot. With headlamps on and a good forecast, we started up the hill. Not too much later, the snow was dumping. The avalanche forecast was green all around, but we didn’t want a bunch of slough coming down with us in no fall zones. After about twenty minutes, it abruptly stopped snowing. By this time, we had moved from Red Pine into Maybird. The sun poked up and turned the last remaining clouds into pink cotton candy. Shortly before we gained the ridge, there was nothing in the sky but blue.

Snowing in the dark, it soon let up

Snowing in the dark, it soon let up

On the ridge to the summit of the Pfeifferhorn with beautiful weather

On the ridge to the summit of the Pfeifferhorn with beautiful weather

As we crested the ridge, the wind was blowing gently. It became calm and blue after that, perfect weather for short sleeves. Life couldn’t have been better. A group of two had passed us and began booting up the ridge to the summit of the Pfeifferhorn. We gladly followed their tracks and caught up with them at the summit. After talking to them about their plan, we hung out and ate some food while waiting for them to ski the couloir. Once we peered over the edge and saw that they were gone, harnesses were donned and I took the rope. I dropped in first.

Self timer on the summit. Left to right, myself, Kyle and Jackson

Self timer on the summit. Left to right, myself, Kyle and Jackson

A short walk from the summit was needed to get to the skiing

A short walk from the summit was needed to get to the skiing

It was steep. Wide enough to make good turns, the skiing in the couloir was super fun. Clipping the rappel anchors was a bit hairy, but once that was done the rest was smooth sailing. Getting off the rope and into my skis was comforting and I called up to Kyle. Once he was off the rope, I skied the rest of the way down. Jackson followed and the two of them came out with no troubles. The skiing was amazing after the rappel. Steep, consistent, fast and edgeable, it could not have been better unless it was twice as long. High-fives were had after skiing this classic Wasatch line. We then snacked again and looked at our next line for the day, Hypodermic Needle.

Kyle at the bottom of the rappel

Kyle at the bottom of the rappel

Jackson above Kyle

Jackson above Kyle

The Northwest Couloir of the Pfeifferhorn is a striking line, an amazing line to start the day with

The Northwest Couloir of the Pfeifferhorn is a striking line, an amazing line to start the day with

Here is a video of the two descents of the day

Hogum Fork March 2014 from Ben White on Vimeo.

How we skied the Pfeifferhorn
-Start at White Pine Trailhead in LCC, follow signs/ skintrack to Red Pine, do not enter Red Pine and continue up and to the right (into Maybird) until the Pfeifferhorn is in sight
-Gain the ridge and summit via the East Ridge
-Ski some steep stuff, then rappel, there are two beefy bolts at the rappel.
-Continue skiing steep stuff down until it opens up. Big smiles
-One might find two-way radios useful for communication between leader and follower(s) before the rap
-Exit through Hogum Fork, it is a battle through trees down low. Or gain the ridge that separates Maybird and Hogum and exit the way you came

 

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