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Everest Ridge

Mod. Snow, Snow, Alpine, 6300 ft (1909 m),  Avg: 3.5 from 32 votes
FA: Dean Brimhall & LeGrand Hardy (February 19, 1916)
Utah > Wasatch Range > Wasatch Alpine… > Mt Timpanogos

Description

Everest Ridge is a Utah Valley area classic alpine climb. This route is famous for the 1992 "Utahns on Everest" expedition who used the route to train for their climb of Mount Everest (news article).

This route can be climbed snow-free during dry summer months, however, this is a description for an alpine-like climb of the route during winter/early spring when snow is present.

Everest Ridge can be climbed car-to-car in one long push. The climb is most often done with an overnight stay in Big Baldy Pass as the climb is fairly steep and long. An overnight camp in the pass is a worthwhile outing in itself offering amazing views of Utah Valley and the Wasatch Range.

The climb starts as a hike on the well maintained Dry Canyon trail to the top of Big Baldy Pass. The final approach into Baldy Pass is often covered with deep soft snow requiring snowshoes. Terraces have been carved into the slopes south of the pass for erosion control and provide flat, sheltered camp locations.

From the pass climb through a stand of quaking aspen to gain the bottom of Everest Ridge. Here the slope steepens enough to make snow shoes impractical (stash snowshoes as you leave the aspens and get out crampons/ice axe). In ideal conditions the snow on the ridge is sunbaked and wind-swept making for good styrofoam cramponing snow.

Ascending Everest Ridge starts by following a steep slope between two short cliff bands. This beginning slope can and does avalanche. Climb next to (or over) one of the cliff bands to avoid unnecessary exposure and gain the ridge proper. Some route-finding is necessary on the ridge as snow conditions change. Be prepared to cross some exposed rock.

A rock band near the top of the ridge may be climbed under some conditions, but is usually bypassed by traversing right on steep exposed slopes.

Avalanche Caution: Climbing the ridge does provide some protection from avalanche exposure, but there are exposed slopes where great care should be taken. Acceptable alpine conditions “can” be found from mid-January into early March. Avoid Everest Ridge during high avalanche conditions.

Route Info:
Dry Canyon: 5,450 ft (1,661 m), GPS: N40.34226 W111.67673
Baldy Saddle: 8,300 ft (2,530 m), GPS: N40.37159 W111.65527
Everest Ridge Summit: 11,650 ft (3,551 m), GPS: N40.38632 W111.64431
Timpanogos Summit: 11,750 ft (3,581 m), GPS: N40.39118 W111.64600

Dry Canyon to Baldy Pass: 2.70 miles, 2,850' elevation gain
Baldy Pass to top of Everest Ridge: 1.28 miles, 3,350' elevation gain
ER Summit to Timp Summit: 0.37 miles, 100' elevation gain (also some elevation loss)

One-way Distance: 4.35 miles (7 km)
Total Elevation gain: 6,300 ft (1,920 m)

More photos and information can be found on SummitPost.org

Location

The climb begins as a hike up Dry Canyon. Get to Dry Canyon trail head by driving east to the top of Orem's 2000 North or Lindon's 200 South (one and the same) and turn left on Dry Canyon Drive (just before the road bends south). This street becomes a narrow paved road and ends at a paved parking lot at the mouth of Dry Canyon. Park here. Follow the trail between the cliffs.

Protection

Use crampons and an ice axe for a winter ascent.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Night time view of Utah Valley from Everest Ridge.
[Hide Photo] Night time view of Utah Valley from Everest Ridge.
Dawn patrol in the Wasatch as seen from Everest Ridge.
[Hide Photo] Dawn patrol in the Wasatch as seen from Everest Ridge.
Looking across the face of Timp under a full moon from Everest Ridge.
[Hide Photo] Looking across the face of Timp under a full moon from Everest Ridge.
Watch out for them avalanches! This one was on a northwest facing slope.
[Hide Photo] Watch out for them avalanches! This one was on a northwest facing slope.
Low on Everest Ridge
[Hide Photo] Low on Everest Ridge
Looking south from the summit.
[Hide Photo] Looking south from the summit.
View of Orem/Provo under a full moon from the summit of Everest Ridge.
[Hide Photo] View of Orem/Provo under a full moon from the summit of Everest Ridge.
Ascending Everest Ridge.
[Hide Photo] Ascending Everest Ridge.
The traverse up top that bypasses the 5th class rock band. Some may want to bring a rope and pickets for this, but most will be fine with just a harness to clip to their ax or no harness at all, which felt very secure to me with good snow conditions.
[Hide Photo] The traverse up top that bypasses the 5th class rock band. Some may want to bring a rope and pickets for this, but most will be fine with just a harness to clip to their ax or no harness at all, wh…
Up the rock step on Everest Ridge
[Hide Photo] Up the rock step on Everest Ridge
Everest Ridge, Mt. Timpanogos
[Hide Photo] Everest Ridge, Mt. Timpanogos
Looking at the traverse from the top of Everest Ridge to the Timp Summit Hut.
[Hide Photo] Looking at the traverse from the top of Everest Ridge to the Timp Summit Hut.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] This looks cool and very long. What about descent options considering avy dangers? Looks like something you could have a lot more fun descending on skis... Jan 5, 2009
[Hide Comment] AKA The Big Baldy Ridge.

See Wasatch Tours Vol 3. Jan 6, 2009
John Ross
Wasatch Front, UT
  Mod. Snow
[Hide Comment] Craig, yeah there's probably nothing "official" about the name Everest Ridge or Big Baldy Ridge. Everest Ridge is just what locals have called it for many years. Thanks for your comment though.

Tenesmus, the steep faces of Timp are sometimes skied/boarded but not by me. =) The conditions have to be just right. I think the ridge offers the best protection from avalanches. I was on Everest Ridge once when the cloud ceiling dropped and we were hit by a powerful snow storm. With poor visibility, we headed down the ridge to find we were NOT on the ridge we had climbed up. My old yellow GPS (no maps) indicated we were too far north. The white-out was disorienting and the GPS directions didn't make sense. With the storm intensifying and cliff bands below us, we elected not to retrace our steps back up, but to traverse south across the face to try to find Everest Ridge again. The more fresh snow that fell the greater the avalanche danger on the exposed slopes, but the near white-out made it easier to cross the steep slopes without being able to see the huge exposure below. After quickly crossing three ridges and still not reaching Everest Ridge itself we found a way to descend around the cliff bands and glissade back down to better visibility. One more ridge and we would have finally gotten back onto Everest Ridge. Amazing. High on the ridge we somehow had gone down one of off-shoot ridges to the north (see ). Glad we trusted the GPS as we followed it right to camp. Funny thing was, back in the valley the sun was out and it was almost spring-like. Jan 6, 2009
Tristan Higbee
Pocatello, ID
 
[Hide Comment] The Utahns on Everest team didn't do the FA of this climb. My dad did this climb in the late 60s or early 70s with some BYU alpine club, so it was definitely climbed even before then. Jan 8, 2009
[Hide Comment] FA Brimhall, Hardy 1916.

According to Wasatch Tours Vol.3 it was the first winter ascent of the mountain. Jan 14, 2009
John Ross
Wasatch Front, UT
  Mod. Snow
[Hide Comment] Reading that account again, it doesn't say for certain, but it is likely that their "first winter ascent" of Timp was via this ridge.

From LeGrand Hardy's 1954 obituary:
"Always interested in the out-of-doors and any challenge that it presented, he was a member of the small party that was the first to climb Mt. Moran of the Teton range in Wyoming." (Perhaps he was a member of this party in 1941.) Jan 15, 2009
Alec LaLonde
  Mod. Snow
[Hide Comment] Good to see this route in here -- the best way to summit Timp IMO. The elevation changes are a bit exaggerated here, though: it's more like 6400 vertical ft from Dry Canyon..

SummitPost has an excellent route description as well Jan 18, 2009
John Ross
Wasatch Front, UT
  Mod. Snow
[Hide Comment] The elevation for Dry Canyon was off but is fixed now. Thanks for noticing. The SummitPost link is more clear in the description now as well.

Look for perfect conditions on this route during the next several weeks. Jan 19, 2009
peter coe
utah
[Hide Comment] i am thinking of climbing the ridge this weekend, any suggestion on what time to start up the ridge so i can see the sun rise?

also any tips? forwarning? Mar 3, 2010
Tristan Higbee
Pocatello, ID
 
[Hide Comment] I did this climb yesterday and it was epic. Going up wasn't too bad, but the snow was really soft on the way down, meaning that I postholed with pretty much every step. Progress down the mountain was excruciating. Oh, and I had diarrhea... Like I said, epic. It took me about 9.5 hours round trip. I started at 3:30 am but should have started earlier to get the best snow conditions.

I didn't have snowshoes and don't think they would have helped. I put away my trekking poles and got out my ice axe and crampons at Baldy Saddle. The traverse right under the step was reasonable and enjoyable. It was easy to stay off the cornices on top and on solid rock.

One note about the trailhead: There are a few trails that leave from the Dry Canyon parking lot. The one you want, the one that actually goes up the canyon to Baldy Saddle, is on the FAR RIGHT of the parking lot. I made the mistake of going up one of the trails that starts at the left and wasted half an hour.

I've got an extended TR and lots of pics on my blog here. Apr 21, 2010
[Hide Comment] Glad to hear you had diarrhea, I wish everybody would post when they had the runs... Apr 22, 2010
Klimbien
St.George Orem Denver Vegas
 
[Hide Comment] super fun - did it last November of 2009 Sep 15, 2010
[Hide Comment] Anyone done Everest Ridge earlier in the winter (late Jan, early Feb)? Is it doable? I'm considering a run next week. Thursday afternoon to Baldy Pass (camp). Friday morning up Everest Ridge. Ski down.

Anyone have an estimate of time from Baldy to the hut? Feb 1, 2011
John Ross
Wasatch Front, UT
  Mod. Snow
[Hide Comment] is from a climb at the end of January '06. Lots of post-holing. Two weeks later were much better conditions that year. Every season is different though.

Suggest watching the weather the weeks before going for amount of fresh snow fall, temperatures, and amount of sun-baking which will give some indication of the amount of snow consolidation. Sometimes you just have to go up and get on it!

I've heard some other groups are heading up the ridge in the next two weekends. Maybe they will post the conditions that they find. Look for ideal conditions over the next few weeks.

Time from saddle to summit will certainly depend on conditions and fitness. Feb 6, 2011
[Hide Comment] Did this route in March 1993 with Sean Cleary and Steve Humphries. We did the approach in the afternoon, bivied in the Baldy saddle and ascended the next day. Crampons and ice axes were employed most thankfully although we never did rope up. Rock steps were skirted on the left (in fact, we finished well to the left of the upper ridge). Descent conditions were VERY soft. We post-holed along the summit ridge to the couloir south of "Everest Ridge" and glissaded most of the way to our bivouac camp. Aug 3, 2013
Tristan Higbee
Pocatello, ID
 
[Hide Comment] Here's a really great firsthand account (with photos) of the 1916 first ascent of this route by Brimhall. May 27, 2016
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
 
[Hide Comment] So I have done this route once with snow and yesterday I did it dry. I'd heard it was hellish scree slop the whole way but after seeing a few runners do it without snow I decided to check it out - and I thought it was classic! There is a primitive trail to follow through the initial mild bushwhacking between the two rockbands and I felt a lot more comfortable scrambling up the step when dry rather than traversing around it which is what people typically do with snow, which was a blast. The position and views of Timp's western prominence without snow was in some ways cooler because of the exposed geology.

There is a bit of scree slogging towards the end but it's not as bad as that on the standard trail from Sundance, iirc.

Anyways, just wanted to add my two cents that this route, when dry, is still a very worthy objective and has just enough oomph to feel like more than a hiking route. Oct 7, 2017
Jacob Baldwin
Kamas, UT
 
[Hide Comment] Did this route yesterday car to car. We left the trailhead around 2AM which I think ended up being perfect. Conditions were good (nice firm snow) all the way up except for a few points which we were able to work around. If I did it again I would look into camping at Baldy saddle rather than doing it in a single push. I think it would be more enjoyable that way. Mar 8, 2020