Pfeifferhorn; Salt Lake City, UT

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The Pfeifferhorn’s North Ridge in center. Photo by Kennan Harvey

The Pfeifferhorn’s North Ridge in center. Photo by Kennan Harvey

Salt Lake City

Pfeifferhorn

  • Elevation: 11,326 feet

  • Route: North Ridge (5.5, 2,000 feet)

  • Drive: 45 minutes

The Pfeifferhorn is one of the best peaks in the Wasatch Range for year-round adventure. The commanding 11,326-foot peak is marked “Little Matterhorn Peak” on USGS maps, but its common name was given in memory of founding Wasatch Mountain Club member Chick Pfeiffer. The full North Ridge can be ascended any time of year, but many prefer to treat it as a stout winter mountaineering challenge, when loose rock is frozen in place.

CLIMB IT: Bring a light alpine rock rack and rope, crampons, and a single tool. Plenty of snowy third- and fourth-class scrambling leads to a gendarme; most parties do a 10-foot rappel into the notch instead of a 5.5 R downclimb. Exposed fourth class leads to four pitches of fifth-class climbing along the knife edge. Descend via the east ridge and then north from Point 10,897.

BACKPACKER RECOMMENDS: Scramble to the summit via the East Ridge, the Pfeifferhorn’s classic summer route.

GET THERE: Drive south on I-15 to I-215 East, and continue east to the UT- 190 exit. Drive east and then south on 190 to the intersection with UT-210. Continue south approximately 9 miles to the White Pine Trailhead on your right. Ski or snowshoe up the Red Pine Trail, and cross into Maybird Gulch. Aim for the south saddle in the North Ridge.

BETA:Rock Climbing the Wasatch Range, by Bret and Stuart Ruckman; summitpost.org