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Cottonwood Traverse, The T 
South Ridge T 

The Cottonwood Traverse 

YDS: Easy 5th French: 1+ Ewbanks: 3 UIAA: I ZA: 5 British: M 1c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 25000', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 6,459
Submitted By: notmyname on Sep 27, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (16)
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“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and t...


This is a lot of fun!

The climb starts on the S. Ridge of Superior. Start at the lowest point on the ridge at the most open spot to avoid bushwacking. 3,000' 5.6 (easier or harder depending on how many boulder problems you decide to do)

Cross over to Monte Cristo easily. Drop down off Monte Cristo (be careful, this is the crux although it's easy 4th)

Now it's up n' down and up again for a long long time until you clamber up Dromedary Peak (don't cheat stay on the ridge).

A heatbreaking descent down, and not as bad as it looks back up to Sunrise (O'Sullivan) Peak.

Down and up again to the summit of the Twins.

From here there are options:
-Head down into Broads Fork. Take the ridge or backtrack to the saddle to Sunrise. The slabs straight down are fun, but can be deadly.
-Keep on Truckin to Storm Mtn and go down Deaf Smith or Furgison Cyn. Way more fun and scenic!
-Try and stay on the ridge of LCC the whole way down (epic) from the Twins

From Alta to the Twin it's about 4-6 miles of ridge climbing


The ridge the separates LCC and BCC starting in Alta.


if you need gear for this, you will need sleeping bags too since you'll be spending the night.

Photos of The Cottonwood Traverse Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: From the summit of Monte Cristo looking ahead - th...
BETA PHOTO: From the summit of Monte Cristo looking ahead - th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cottonwood traverse, ridge after monte cristo
Cottonwood traverse, ridge after monte cristo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cottonwood Traverse
Cottonwood Traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Cottonwood Ridge
BETA PHOTO: Cottonwood Ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: Cottonwood traverse
Cottonwood traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Cottonwood Traverse Photo by Aerili
Cottonwood Traverse Photo by Aerili
Rock Climbing Photo: Cottonwood Traverse
Cottonwood Traverse

Comments on The Cottonwood Traverse Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 18, 2017
By James Garrett
Sep 28, 2009

Jim Dockery used to call this "The Ridge Run" and I know it was once quite popular...often done in winter. Franziska and I once joined two other friends and did it in January from the entire SE Ridge of Superior past Dromedary and over into the Salt Lake Valley with one bivouac enroute mid ridge. Another similar traverse is the 13 mile (it felt long!) complete traverse of Timp starting with the North Face of the North Peak out of AF and descending down into Provo Canyon.
By notmyname
From: Sandy, UT
Sep 29, 2009

Sounds like a good winter tour James! That timp traverse sounds pretty fun too - I'll have to try it.
By Arie
From: Smog Lake City, Utah
Sep 30, 2009

Definitely classic- the section just after Monte Cristo is wild and the traverse above the LCC north side chutes is amazing- above some of the most rugged area in the Wasatch. Reverse the route (minus the SE Sup Ridge) and continue on around the LCC watershed (Flagstaff> Wolverine> Devil's Castle> Bullion Divide> Pfeif> Beatout> Lone Peak) and you have the WURL - perhaps the premier Wasatch ridge run. Occasionally contemplated, rarely completed. (Kudos Jared).
By andrewburr
Oct 2, 2009

the complete 'horseshoe or WURL' in 17:48
By Mark P Thomas
From: Draper
Dec 24, 2010
rating: 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b

The WURL is on my list. So is doing this ridge as a 2-3 day winter ascent via the valley. What a great ridge run in summer, eh?! More like III in summer if you're reasonably fit for mountaineering, though I could see it being IV for others. Mostly cl. 2-3, with one cl. 4 crux near Monte Cristo.
By OldManRiver
From: Cottonwood Heights, UT
Apr 28, 2013

Curious how many splitboarders/groups have done this in spring (snow) conditions. Not really sure if this is a dumb question or a thing splitters haven't really thought of.
By Greg Gavin
From: SLC, UT
Jun 17, 2013

I counted 14 Summits, and unique ridge line high points on this thing yesterday. A fantastic way to spend a day in the mountains!
By DaveOwen Owen
Aug 25, 2013

An alternative which I haven't heard mention is SL to Alta. Start at Deaf Smith to Twin then the ridge to Superior and down to Alta. Took about 12 hrs as I recall. One of my favorite hikes ever.
Doubt I'll ever be in shape to do it again as it was the 70's. You seldom saw anyone on the climbs back then.
By morris
Sep 23, 2014

Not a bad descent down lisa falls from the col before the twins. Some routefinding, but not bad.
By Andrew Mayer
From: Driggs, ID
Jul 12, 2015
rating: Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c

I would recommend going from west to east, since the best scrambling was on the west side of dromedary and monte cristo, and its more fun/easier to ascend rather than down climb these portions. encountered a few sections of low 5th class but could be avoided if desired by deviating a little bit off the ridge.
By Sam Cannon
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 18, 2017

I started by doing the Lisa Falls Direct up to the summit of the West Twin and went from there. Having done S Ridge a dozen times it was fun to do something else that also ended up being high quality, and ascending the west ridge of Sunrise and Monte Cristo seemed to be the way to do it. I descended the standard trail for Superior, Lisa Falls to Alta Lodge in 12 hrs and I'm pretty out of shape.

This is an iconic Wasatch chossaneering outing, in my opinion, that should be in the same category (more or less) as S Ridge, W Slabs, N Ridge of Pfeiff, Kamp's etc. Finally did this after 5+ years of climbing and mountaineering in these canyons and damn if I don't know what took me so long to get to it.

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