Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November Summits: The Pfeiff and Lake Peak

I've been reluctant to head out into the high country because there just couldn't be any good skiing available.  Right? My pessimism began to dwindle last week when Tom Goth and I yo-yo'd Suicide Chute and found the turns to be better than expected.  Today, I met Adam Fabrikant, Billy Haas, and Tyler (forgot his last name) for a trip up the Pfeifferhorn.  Keeping the expectations low, I figured I wouldn't be too disappointed.  

Tom and some big ass skis in Suicide Chute last week
The higher we traveled, the more psyched I got as the weather was perfect, the company good, and the snow coverage just enough.  Following an unorthodox skin track likely put in by mountaineers, we landed on the knife edge ridge that leads to the standard East Face ascent.  We pulled a few fun rock moves on cool granite and then followed the boot track to the summit.  The booter was in but there were no turns coming down, further supporting the thought that our cousins, the mountaineers, had laid the way.  
Adam and Tyler near the summit of the Pfeiff

We lounged in the sun for a few minutes before I watched an aggressive display of confidence as Adam, Tyler, and Billy skied this steep line quite hard.  I've been up the Pfeiff likely a dozen times and skied four other lines on the classic Wasatch peak, but today was my first time skiing the standard ascent route.  Often overshadowed by the NW and NE Couloirs/Face, I though the East Face was a delightful moderately steep descent, particularly when linked with the flanking headwall into Maybird Gulch.  

Adam dropping off the summit
More Fabby with Box Elder and Timp Looming the in the background
Billy and the moderately steep East Face

The plan was to bounce over and ski the North Couloir but the coverage was laughable so we climbed back up and skied down to Upper Red Pine Lake.  A second or maybe third lunch ensued before making a quick skin to the summit of Lake Peak.  The East Couloir beckoned and being suckers for wind board, breakable crust, and pockets of powder, we couldn't resist. 

Dropping into Maybird

Who cares that the skiing is variable and the coverage poor?  This guys is psyched!

Cool features abound during this low coverage state

Tyler climbing out of Maybird

Tyler skinning along the shore of Upper Red Pine Lake 

East Couloir, Lake Peak

Fabrikant getting rad on a little wind spine

Next, the three young guns bid me adieu while they sought out more variable turns across the drainage, and I made an ill advised bush whacking descent out White Pine before finally finding the trail and my sanity.  

Back at the car, I was stunned by how fun the day ended up.  We didn't see another soul, skied great lines off classic summits, lounged in the warm autumn sun, and had a care free day in the mountains.  I'm mildly regretting having to miss the fun on their last climb but I think I'll just have to remedy that tomorrow afternoon!


  1. Great work on the blog, I've been following it for awhile and have added a link to it from mine, which I began recently: kajsonnichsen.blogspot.no
    I am thinking to start up something akin to the 'citizen series' where I live and would really appreciate any tips/ideas for different race formats if you have the time, my email is atira@hotmail.com

  2. Dude! Your blog is awesome! Looks like you've been getting after it in some pretty cool places. I'll email more about the race series.