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Backpacker Magazine – September 2011

Backyard Everests: Pfeifferhorn

Bag a stout weekend adventure-and vistas from the big lake to the High Uintas.

by: Brendan Leonard


Though BACKPACKER’s editors live in peak-blessed Boulder, we still envy residents of Salt Lake City for their access to deep powder and skyscraping summits. Exhibit A: 11,326-foot Pfeifferhorn, a mini-Matterhorn 45 minutes from downtown. Bonus: It’s just five miles to a lakeside basecamp, where you’ll stage a summit scramble.

DO IT From White Pine trailhead, hike one mile to the junction for Red Pine Lake. Turn right, and after gaining 1,900 feet in 3.5 miles, you’ll reach its blue-green waters. Make camp 200 feet from shore. Next morning: Head southeast on a climber trail along the stream between Red Pine and Upper Red Pine Lakes, then southwest up talus to a 10,897- foot false summit. Head west along an airy ridge across the saddle, then scramble to the Pfeifferhorn’s summit.

CLIMBING MAGAZINE RECOMMENDS The North Ridge, a one-day winter knife-edge scramble to four pitches of 5.5 climbing.

GET THERE Head to Snowbird/Alta. Get off at Snowbird Entrance 1, and walk .7 mile west to White Pine trailhead.
GUIDEBOOK Hiking Utah, by Bill Schneider and Ann Seifert ($16, falcon.com)
MAP USGS quad Dromedary Peak CONTACT (801) 733-2660; fs.usda.gov
TRIP DATA backpacker.com/hikes/pfeifferhorn
ELEVATION 11,326 feet
GAIN 3,700 feet
MILES 10
ROUTE East Ridge via Red Pine Lake Trail
DRIVE 45 minutes

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