Guiding & Instruction - Mountaineering (Alpine Climbing)

Guiding & Instruction - Mountaineering

Snow Mountaineering Skills

Excellent preparation for spring / summer climbs in the Rockies, Cascades, Alaska, etc. Instructor will take you through a progression from climbing in balance, using duck-foot, crossover-step, sidestep, and plunge-step, to self-belay with piolet cane, high and low dagger, piolet traction, and on to flat-footing and front-pointing with crampons. Finally the rope will be incorporated, emphasizing proper tension, stepping over the rope for turns, and limitations / dangers of being roped on steep, exposed terrain. Self-arrest with the axe, a last resort, but an essential skill to know, will also be taught. After building confidence arresting falls on the seat, climbers will progress to upside down and backward.

Difficulty: No experience necessary; moderate fitness required

Duration: 6-8 hours

Max Ratio: 4:1

Meeting Time: Generally 7am

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
  • Helmet, harness, avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

What You Need: 

How to Register: 

1 person $395 / person
2 people $275 / person
3 people $225 / person
4 people $200 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Running Belay on Mt. Rainier

Running Belay on Mt. Rainier

Photo by Tyson Bradley


Guided Summits:

Popular routes include the following (many other routes are also available)

  • West Ridge of Toledo Peak
    Combine ice axe and crampon training and a spectacular, rugged, mixed rock and snow alpine climb along the well-protected West Ridge. This 2,000-foot ascent involves an approach from Alta, usually on snowshoes or skis. Along the way, suitable areas exist for a snow mountaineering skills session. Upon reaching the rocky West Ridge of Toledo, the guide will lead a series of chimneys and rocky aretes. Followers will learn mixed rock and snow climbing, usually in crampons; removal of rock protection and anchors; and reach a spectacular 10,500-foot Wasatch summit. Descent is to the east down Toledo Bowl on foot, glissade, snowshoes or skis.

    Difficulty: Moderate fitness is necessary, but no previous ice axe, crampon or rock climbing experience is required

    Duration: 6-8 hours

    Max Ratio: 3:1

    Meeting Time: Generally 8 am

    Meeting Location: Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot or Alta

    What We Provide: 

    • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
    • Helmet, harness, avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

    What You Need: 

    How to Register: 

    1 person $395 / person
    2 people $275 / person
    3 people $225 / person

    6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

  • Mount Superior East Ridge
    The 11,050-foot summit of Superior presides over the Snowbird and Alta ski areas, and the standard summit route is via the East Ridge, a rewarding 2,500 hike / scramble. It is a suitable first alpine climb, and is relatively non-technical, except for some exposed, class 3 rock along the summit ridge. An ice axe and crampons are helpful in winter, whereas in summer it can be scaled in light hiking boots.

    Difficulty: Good fitness is necessary, but no previous ice axe, crampon or rock climbing experience is required

    Duration: 6-8 hours

    Max Ratio: 3:1

    Meeting Time: Generally 8am

    Meeting Location: Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot or Alta

    What We Provide: 

    • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
    • Helmet, harness, avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

    What You Need: 

    How to Register: 

    1 person $395 / person
    2 people $275 / person
    3 people $225 / person

    6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

  • Mount Superior South Ridge
    From mid-November through June, the Suicide Chute, a classic, rock-lined, 40-degree couloir, is usually snow-filled. Crampons and ice axe are used, and we work on snow climbing skills before scaling the classic, alpine, knife-edge, mixed rock and snow ridge. At least 1,000 feet of exposed climbing along the knife-edge crest is roped. Slings, passive protection, snow-pro, stoppers and cams are placed to provide security. The guide will employ a combination of running belays, short-pitching and short-roping. The hardest move is rated 5.6. Descent is along the easier East Ridge and down to Alta via Cardiff Pass.

    Difficulty: Advanced; previous mountaineering experience necessary; excellent fitness required

    Duration: 8-12 hours

    Max Ratio: 2:1

    Meeting Time: Generally 6 am

    Meeting Location: Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot or Snowbird

    What We Provide: 

    • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
    • Helmet, harness, avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

    What You Need: 

    • Ice axe, crampons and mountain boots (winter); sticky-rubber approach shoes (summer)
    • Lunch, water and snacks
    • Review the equipment list

    How to Register: 

    1 person $445 / person
    2 people $325 / person

    6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

  • Pfeifferhorn East Ridge
    Deep in the heart of the rugged Lone Peak Wilderness stands the iconic Pfeifferhorn. After a 4-mile approach with 4,000 feet of vertical gain, this ascent includes steep scrambling to reach the top. In winter the approach is on touring skis with skins, split snowboard or snowshoes. An ice axe and crampons provide security up and down the steep summit slopes. In summer light hikers work well for the mostly dry trail and rocky summit triangle.

    Difficulty: Good fitness is necessary, but no previous ice axe, crampon or rock climbing experience is required

    Duration: 8 hours

    Max Ratio: 3:1

    Meeting Time: 6 am

    Meeting Location: White Pine Trailhead or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot

    What We Provide: 

    • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
    • Helmet, harness, avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)

    What You Need: 

    How to Register: 

    1 person $445 / person
    2 people $325 / person
    3 people $275 / person

    6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

  • Pfeifferhorn North Ridge - Overnight
    The classic winter mixed snow and rock alpine route in the Central Wasatch Range is the North Ridge of the "Pfeiff." Approach from White Pine Parking Lot on day 1, using skis, split-board or snowshoes for flotation in the snow. A weather-proof snow camp will be established around 9 or 10,000-feet in Maybird Gulch. Enjoy a quiet night in a cozy tent with a warm down sleeping bag.

    Rise early, brew up, and warm up on a short approach to the base of the peak. A steep, east-facing snow couloir leads to the rocky summit ridge. The ridge is scaled in 7 pitches of fixed belays, usually wearing crampons and employing a combination of ice axe placements and hand holds on the granite. Finish on a ribbon of moderate snow high in the sky. Descent is via the more moderate East Ridge, and may include glissading on the northeast apron.

    Difficulty: Advanced; previous mountaineering experience necessary; excellent fitness required

    Duration: Two days

    Max Ratio: 2:1

    Meeting Time: 10 am

    Meeting Location: White Pine Trailhead or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot

    What We Provide: 

    • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
    • Helmet, harness, avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)
    • Breakfast, dinner, tent, cook kit and stove

    What You Need: 

    • Ice axe, crampons and mountain boots; touring equipment or snowshoes for approach
    • Lunch, water, snacks, sleeping bag and pad(s)
    • Review the equipment list

    How to Register: 

    1 person $985 / person
    2 people $685 / person

    6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

  

Expedition Skills

Learn mountaineering skills and winter camping and climb Wasatch peaks. During a two-day overnight outing, learn mountaineering skills and winter camping and climb a Wasatch peak in preparation for Rainier, Aconcagua, Denali or other expedition climbing.

The guide will check equipment, review efficient loading of an overnight pack, and lead on skis or snowshoes to a camp at or near 10,000 feet. Sleds may be used, especially if you are preparing to climb Denali.

En route, the guide will review route selection, travel protocols for avalanche terrain, pace and how to climb on skis or snowshoes with a load. A solid, weatherproof winter camp will be established using deadman anchors and snow walls.

The instructor will review the use of crampons and ice axe, self-arrest and crevasse rescue. Ascending out of a crevasse, ascending a fixed line, and Denali / Rainier style running protection and clipping through anchors will also be taught, if desired. Learn how to melt snow for water, cook, and stay warm and comfortable in the high altitude, winter environment.

On the second day we'll ascend a spectacular 11,000-foot Wasatch peak using crampons, ice axe and ropes. We will train for fitness and learn to climb safely and efficiently on moderately difficult snow and rock in exposed terrain. Common objectives include Red or White Baldy and the Pfeifferhorn via the East or North Ridge.

Difficulty: Good fitness is necessary, but no previous ice axe, crampon or rock climbing experience is required

Duration: 2 days +

Max Ratio: 3:1

Meeting Time: 8am

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot or White Pine Trailhead, depending on objective

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional ski and mountaineering guides
  • Helmet, harness, avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)
  • Breakfast, dinner, tent, cook kit and stove

What You Need: 

Price includes one full day plus an overnight

1 person $575 / person
2 people $395 / person
3 people $325 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Overnight & Multi-Day Ski Tours

Multi-Day Ski Tour Camping Below Pfeifferhorn

Photo by Tyson Bradley


Utah Mountain Adventures

P.O. Box 521809

Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1809

Phone: (801) 550 3986

Fax: (801) 486 8505

Email: uma@utahmountainadventures.com

Utah Mountain Adventures | Patagonia Utah Mountain Adventures | Forest Service Backcountry Skiing Utah, by Tyson Bradley
Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding - Utah Mountain Adventures

Leave the crowds behind, and expand your skiing and snowboarding horizons! Traveling out-ofbounds, using climbing skins and alpine touring (AT) or telemark binding, or a split-board is becoming tremendously popular.

AT skis and splitboards are available for rent from UMA and local shops.

Touring is the perfect sport for those who hike or climb in summer and love to ski or snowboard in winter. Skinning facilitates approach and egress from peaks in winter and spring that would take far longer without. Solitude, cardio-vascular exercise, and adventurous runs are all part of the "off-piste" experience.

The Wasatch Range offers easy lift and trailhead access to deep, light snow in wide-open bowls, protected glades, and steep chutes.

Lift access is available from Alta, Brighton, The Canyons and Snowbird.

Trailhead access is available in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons and Millcreek, etc.

A knowledgeable UMA guide will lead you into the finest snow and terrain. Our guides keep abreast of the avalanche, snow and weather conditions to choose the best tours. They take into consideration both your fitness level and downhill ability to select the appropriate routes for you.

UMA guides pace you and teach you how to travel uphill efficiently, working on rest-step and kick-turning techniques and progress only as fast as you feel comfortable. They give you plenty of time to rest, enjoy the view and take photos. UMA guides demonstrate how to transition between the uphill and downhill modes and teach as much about avalanche hazard evaluation, route finding and other skills as you want to learn.

Skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels improve techniques, discover new terrain, and build leadership skills.

For more information on backcountry skiing & snowboarding classes in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, please view our Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding Courses.

We also offer private Guided Backcountry Touring & Instruction in the Wasatch Range in and around the Salt Lake area.