What do you do when the snow kinda sucks? You hit some of the big mountains, like the Pfeifferhorn. That's what Adam and I decided to to, anyway. The quick powder shots we are used to aren't any good, but the big peaks become a lot more accessible.
We started hiking on dirt at the base of Dry Creek Canyon at around 5:15am, and soon hit snow. And of course, no big expedition would be complete without at least one stream crossing:
P-horn, aka Little Matterhorn, came into view and seemed a long way off. Probably because it was:
The snow got deeper and softer for a while so we skinned, but soon the terrain got steeper and the snow hardened back up, so we were booting again. Here's Adam with a nice view of the often ignored Box Elder Peak in the background.
It's funny how Box Elder seems like this mellow dome from the valley, on the rare occassion that people notice it wedged between Timpanogos and Lone Peak, but you get up close and realize that the shotgun chutes to the left and the Northwest Cirque to the right can offer as much of a challenge as any of the other big mountains.
The snow conditions were perfect for making fast progress. Hard enough that you rarely post-holed, but soft enough that you could get some good grip on the steeper sections. Here is Adam, working his way up to Lighting Ridge, with Chipman Peak in the background (No-Name Peak is just out of view to the right).
The rocky top of P-horn:
Up on Lighting Ridge, the northerly wind was stronger than anything I've ever experienced before. With my snowboard acting as a sail, I just about took a flying leap into Hogum Fork, down into LCC.
Box Elder (with Timp in the background) is starting to look a bit smaller from up here:
Adam making turns on the hard-pack, with the peak in the background:
Me doing the same, but looking much better thanks to Adam's photoshop skillz:
Adam working is way back down into Dry Creek:
And this is during a "bad" year in the Wasatch. Yeah, life is hard in Happy Valley.
Island Park July 4
5 weeks ago