Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pleasing the Boss Pfeifferhorn Style

Last week Jason sent me a text saying that we would be skiing with one of our bosses today.  You can't say no to your superiors.  Right?  Luckily, this particular boss is super cool and we'd like to hang out with him in the mountains even if he didn't hold power over us.  

He had never been to the summit of the Pfeiff and had an understandable fascination with it.  We do too since it's one of the more alpine feeling peaks in the Wasatch and there's just something inspiring about steep snow and granite.  

The boss surprised by moving quite well, making the trip to the summit in right around three hours.  And, he's now talking of getting even lighter gear!

Speaking of light gear, the rappel was done with a single 35 meter 6 millimeter piece of cord.  We brought two, just in case, but one did the trick.  My feeling is that for rappels only, 6 mm cord is definitely the way to go as it takes many pound off one's back and takes up significantly less space in the pack.  Also, I've been skiing nearly every day on the Trab Maestro skis and have found them to be a very useful and appropriate tool for ski mountaineering.  They weigh 950 grams and when combined with a race binding, still come in at under 1100 grams.  This allows for a fast cadence, almost as if on race skis.  It also makes technical climbing easier since they are lighter on the pack.  As for the skiing, we've recently encountered perfect powder, rock hard baby head roller balls and everything in between.  They probably excel most on hard smooth surfaces but have done just fine in all conditions.  Of course more testing is needed so I better go skiing again today!

Here are some pictures from the Pfeifferhorn, beautiful as always.  Jason shot the best ones and I think is developing a nice talent in photography.  

Gaining the White Baldy/Pfeifferhorn Ridge 

Mild winds as forecasted

VWD pulling into the tempest

Photo by JD 
The always fun ridge traverse (photo by JD) 

VWD scrambling 


Jason, cool texture, and Utah Lake

We saw a couple other guys on the summit, thanked them for the skin track/booter, and then waited for them to claim what was theirs.  
Pointing out something important to Virgil (photo by JD)

For some reason there's no snow from the summit so we had to traverse into it.  (photo by JD)

Sneak entrance into the NW Couloir (photo by JD)

Jason getting started down the NW Couloir in pleasant conditions

Here's Jason make a calculated sloppy turn just above the rappell

Rappelling with about 35 meters of 6mm cord.  I barely noticed it in my pack. (photo by JD)

Virgil getting the goods (photo by JD)

VWD and the lower NW Couloir

The final apron
One of my favorite ridges

One last test for the day


  1. Curious as to what belay device you're using for that 6mm cord...

    1. My favorite is the new generation Petzl Reverso. It seems to do just fine with thin cord, even with big gloves. Friends also use a munter.

  2. That is also one of my favorite ridges. Also you're looking very skinny these days, lets get some Pei Wei sometime.