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Pfeifferhorn
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North Ridge 
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West Face Couloir 

North Ridge 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV British: VD 3c Easy Snow

   
Type:  Trad, Snow, Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV British: VD 3c [details]
FA: Unknown
Season: Summer or Winter (best)
Page Views: 3,324
Submitted By: Allen Sanderson on Aug 1, 2007
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
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Jonathan Smoot on the challenging lower North Ridg...

Description 

A very complete description of all the options:

www.summitpost.org/route/164300/north-ridge.html


Location 

Approach from Maybird Gulch for either the couloir or the ridge proper.

Descend the East Ridge returning either to Maybird Gulch via the headwall or eastern colouirs or traverse east to the head of Red Pine Canyon. Either way be aware of avalanche danger - including while descending from the summit.


Protection 

As much of the route can be simu-climbed only a few nuts and cams along with a short rope are needed.



Photos of North Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
First light on the full moon setting. Photo taken from the lower crux
First light on the full moon setting. Photo taken ...
Some of the best rock on the North Ridge.  Although I'd have a hard time recommending dragging skis up this, I'd have a hard time not recommending the turns off the summit.
Some of the best rock on the North Ridge. Althoug...
photo courtesy "Mooner" <br /> <br />A view of the exposure
photo courtesy "Mooner"

A view of the exposure
May 2013 Trip Report: <br /><a href='http://rjohnasay.blogspot.com/2013/05/pfeifferhorn-n-ridge-55-grade-iii.html' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >rjohnasay.blogspot.com/2013/05/pfeifferhorn-n-ridge-55-grade>>></a>
May 2013 Trip Report:
rjohnasay.blogspot.co...
Slab pitch on the North Ridge.
Slab pitch on the North Ridge.
photo courtesy "Mooner." Steep, sharp ridge. Seriously one of my favorite routes in the Wasatch.
photo courtesy "Mooner." Steep, sharp ridge. Serio...
Classic snow climbing on the upper ridge with Hogum Divide beyond.
Classic snow climbing on the upper ridge with Hogu...
May 9 2013 Trip Report: <br /><a href='http://rjohnasay.blogspot.com/2013/05/pfeifferhorn-n-ridge-55-grade-iii.html' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >rjohnasay.blogspot.com/2013/05/pfeifferhorn-n-ridge-55-grade>>></a>
May 9 2013 Trip Report:
rjohnasay.blogspot....
Chris Gmitro on the upper crux
Chris Gmitro on the upper crux
Route profile
Route profile
View of the North Ridge.
BETA PHOTO: View of the North Ridge.
Comments on North Ridge Add Comment
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By bsmoot
Dec 2, 2007

This is a great winter climb. I must say, if you do the lower ridge, plan on some difficult and unprotected climbing to pass the rock towers.

By Mark SLC
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 2, 2008
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c Easy Snow

Agreed. Traverse on lower ridge w/ old fixed line clipped to old questionable pitons if I remember right. March '08. Awesome route when done together though - plan on full day

By Sam Cannon
From: Holladay, Utah
Mar 12, 2013

Out of the various "true" winter/spring mountaineering lines I've done in the Wasatch, this is by far my favorite. While the S Ridge of Superior is listed as having a higher technical rating, the N Ridge of Pfeiff is far more committing, sustained, and technical (at least in my book). Don't underestimate the route because of its 5.4 rating (though the lower part of the ridge is more difficult, and can be skipped - but don't!).

EDIT: I don't mean to oversell it, me and my partner felt pretty comfortable simul climbing almost the entire way, but it is definitely exposed, and if doing it in winter with crampons on the slab traverse on the lower half of the ridge is quite spicy.

By Josh Allred
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 3, 2013
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c Easy Snow

A really amazing route. One of my favorite I have ever done. We did the Couloir B Variation (as seen on summitpost).

Pitch 1: Climb Couloir. Gets steep the last 15 ft.
Pitch 2: Short pitch 30 ft or so. Dug a ledge and roped up for a short mixed pitch. Dont top out the couloir. Instead rope up jet to the left about 25+ ft from the top I ended up having to dig through a cornice.
Pitch 3: 5.easy full rope length
Pitch 4: 5.easy some of the best climbing in the whole climb. Full rope length. Unrope, walk to Slab pitch.
Pitch 5: Slab pitch.
Pitch 6: 5.4 Crux to a ramp.
Pitch 7: Mod snow.
Pitch 8: Mod snow. Summit.

Thats how we did it with a group of three. Have fun.

By Spencer Weiler
From: SLC, UT
Aug 15, 2013

Fun summer solo scramble. Just under 3 hours CTC up maybird, down redpine. 3-4 handlines across the east facing slabs and some old webbing tied off a tower down low where a fall would send you on a 300 foot deathdrop to the talus below are very reassuring and make this a 5.4 AO climb. Outside of those sections, its mostly secure with the scariest parts being the loose talus fields up high once you've completed the actual rock climbing.

The official climb starts from Small Pass(low point on Hogum Divide), but you can bypass a lot of the lower ridge by staying low in the drainage and then accessing the ridge proper via some NE facing loose gullies(no fun) if that suits you.