19 June 2011 ~ Comments Off on Skiing the west face of Mount Timpanogos

Skiing the west face of Mount Timpanogos

On my bucket list has always been to ski the west face of Mount Timpanogos in Utah. On May the 5th, 2011, a few guys from a local club were hiking (booting) and skiing to the top of the true summit (11,749 ft.) via Everest Ridge or the west face, as I call it. My friend Jim Knight invited me to do an alternate route the same day and ascend to the top of the East Summit via the Aspen Grove/Primose Cirque route (from the northeast side) and then descend the west face. I was worried about the descent route being too steep or icy for my limited ability, but as it turned out the maximum gradient was perhaps only 35 degrees and had many wide-open areas providing stress-free skiing. On previous trips, skiing down Primose Cirque had more challenging terrain and was frequently littered with avalanche debris. It took us about five hours to make the ascent to the southeast summit (approx. 11,722 ft.), arriving at about 11 a.m. We then descending off the windblown and crusty summit bloc and met the others at the main snowfield saddle, which sits above Emerald Lake (totally covered this year). At the saddle, I foolishly dropped a ski and it slid about 800 to 1000 feet down the wrong gully before it luckily came to a stop. I booted down to it and then rejoined the others as they descended.

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