100 Hikes in Utah
by Steve Mann & Rhett Olson (The Mountaineers Books)
As the lake opens up before you, you get your first full view of the mountain bowl above the lake, which tops out near 11,000 feet. To your right, the highest peak in back is the Pfeifferhorn (Little Matterhorn on some maps), and in the foreground, an unnamed peak at 10,897 feet (elevation shown on the Trails Illustrated Uinta National Forest map). Straight ahead looms White Baldy, and to the left are the American Fork Twin Peaks. Although there is no trail, the ascent to the lip of the glacial bowl to Peak 10,897 is well worth the effort. The steeper terrain of the bowl consists of rugged rock slides, so if you want to climb to the ridge, it’s best to hike in early June and bring crampons to ascend the snowfields. Ascend either the long slope to the southwest or along the tree-lined ridge just to the left. You’ll be rewarded with views of Little Cottonwood Canyon to the north , Salt Lake Valley to the west, Mount Timpanogos to the south, and Utah Valley to the southwest.
Because of the danger of avalanche, be cautious attempting the peak in early spring. You can call the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center before attempting to summit the ridge or peak. Later in the spring or in early summer, the consolidated snow makes an easy pathway to the top for those with crampons and ice axes. Red Lake Canyon is also a popular approach to the Pfeifferhorn.
© Steve Mann & Rhett Olson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.