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Late winter / early spring backpacking SLC area
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By Ryan Arnold
Feb 19, 2014
Happiest place on earth
A buddy and I are trying to get in shape for summertime peak bagging (hopefully the Grand Teton). We'd like to find some 1-2 day trips that can be done over the next 2 months that don't require snowshoes, crampons, or ice axes. I hear the top of Twin Peaks can be sketchy. Lone Peak via south- or west-facing routes would probably be ok... ? I've also considered Nebo, Mt Olympus, Timp, but don't know firsthand about winter/spring conditions. What other peaks should we be looking at?

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By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Feb 19, 2014
Stairway To Heaven - all the way to the Pearly Gat...
Look for stuff out in the West Desert. Most other peaks you mention will have snow. But even then they are day trips. If you really want over night trips head south and do a canyon where you need to carry your water.

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By MRock
Feb 19, 2014
Split shin after 5.9+ R lead
^i concur. There's gonna be snow and everything will be wet and muddy around salt lake at that time. Head to the desert and get weird

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By Ryan Arnold
Feb 20, 2014
Happiest place on earth
Never been out in the West Desert for something like this. Any scenic suggestions for a long single day or short two-day trip?

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By Abu Ari
Feb 20, 2014
For one days trips, the loop hike on Deseret Peak is a pretty decent workout. Notch Peak is spectacular (I was there two weeks ago). Fool Creek Peak is a hidden gem but you have to use the northern approach because the southern route is closed due to flooding from a massive forest fire in 2012.

For longer excursions, Wheeler and Ibapah are both outstanding. However, you might need snowshoes. Most of the West Desert is relatively snow-free this year but it's hard to say how much snow has accumulated above 10,000'. (In the case of Wheeler, I suppose you could call Great Basin Nat'l Park and ask them how much snow there is but I don't know if they'd give you a straight answer.)

In general, West Desert peak-bagging in the winter entails knowing where you're going because you're most likely going to be breaking a fresh trail through 6-12" of snow. Gaiters and micro-spikes are great to have but not really mandatory. All of the peaks listed have extensive pages on Summitpost.

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By ddriver
From SLC
Feb 20, 2014
Abu Ari wrote:
Fool Creek Peak is a hidden gem...


Nice to hear this opinion expressed, though it is quite visible if one knows where to look. Have you by chance climbed the ice route or the grade 3 rock route out there?

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By Abu Ari
Feb 20, 2014
ddriver wrote:
Nice to hear this opinion expressed, though it is quite visible if one knows where to look. Have you by chance climbed the ice route or the grade 3 rock route out there?


No I haven't but please do elaborate. Usually if I'm out there, I'm by myself between graveyard shifts for my job. There's a lot of interesting looking rock in the Canyon Range and would be nice if some of it was documented here.

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By Brian in SLC
Feb 20, 2014
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Abu Ari wrote:
For longer excursions, Wheeler and Ibapah are both outstanding. However, you might need snowshoes. Most of the West Desert is relatively snow-free this year but it's hard to say how much snow has accumulated above 10,000'.


Ditto both of those as nice excursions. We skied them in the winter (early spring on Wheeler and Jeff Davis') but pretty doable with boots/shoes and micro spikes if the conditions are fair. I'd probably toss in a light ice axe for self arrest too, just in case its slick.

Did Wheeler as a day hike. Ibapah we spent the night after the approach hike.

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By ddriver
From SLC
Feb 20, 2014
Abu Ari wrote:
No I haven't but please do elaborate. Usually if I'm out there, I'm by myself between graveyard shifts for my job. There's a lot of interesting looking rock in the Canyon Range and would be nice if some of it was documented here.


Damnit Ari, was trolling you for the info. I just figured there might be something good out there I could get you to admit to. It looks like there should be something out there, don't you think?

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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 20, 2014
Andrew Gram
I'd just do long hikes in the desert. Mexican Mountain and the San Rafael Knob are very cool long 4th/easy 5th class hikes. Window Blind Peak in the swell feels more like mountaineering than rock climbing and is a big day out. Good time of year to go exploring down there.

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By Bonneville
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Feb 21, 2014
Cooks at it's finest....
It's kinda short but we've been lapping Grandeur the last few weeks. With the weather lately we've seen everything from days where it's mostly mud and snow rot to post holing it without snowshoes or crampons to the top. Like I said, it's not super long but you do get some pretty, maintained elevation gain going up which is a killer workout in of itself. That's what we've been doing to get in shape for the bagging season. So far so good. LOL!

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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Feb 25, 2014
CoR
You can do Olympus to the saddle without snowshoes or crampons but some traction aid would be nice on the descent. That gets you a little more vertical than Grandeur. You don't need multi day trips for your workout and with the closer stuff you can get in a lot of vertical in little time and even hit them before/after work. To add weight you can carry water jugs so you can dump the weight on the descent to save your knees.

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