Guided Alpine Traverses - Mountaineering (Alpine Climbing)

Guided Alpine Traverses - Mountaineering

Alpine traverses have become a favorite for UMA guides and guests alike. The goal is to travel light and fast to cover lots of terrain, and the Salt Lake mountains offer great terrain for it. Traversing combines rock climbing and trail running into a scenic, aerobic adventure.

A skilled and fit UMA guide knows how to stick to the crest whenever possible, yet avoid very difficult sections such that the rope is rarely needed. Sticky-rubber approach shoes work for rock moves interspersed with hiking and scrambling. Spring through fall is the primary season.

Some of our favorite Wasatch alpine traverses include the following (many other routes are also available.)

ALPINE TRAVERSES

Devils Castle Traverse

Get a taste of traversing in a short day by climbing up and over the airy summit of Devils Castle above Alta. Enjoy commanding views of Albion Basin, American Fork and the Wasatch Range. The dark Limestone offers good handholds and ancient sea shell fossils. Summer and early fall is the best season for dry rock and stable weather.

Difficulty: Good aerobic fitness is necessary. Hiking, scrambling and climbing experience is recommended

Duration: 4 hours

Max Ratio: 3:1

Meeting Time: Generally 8am

Meeting Location: Alta

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
  • Helmet, harness

What You Need: 

How to Register: 

1 person $245 / person
2 people $175 / person
3 people $145 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Devil's Castle Traverse

Devil's Castle Traverse

Photo by Tyson Bradley


Traverse of the Goddesses

After scaling the West Slabs of Mt. Olympus, scramble east to the North Summit. Enjoy the expansive view north from this tiny summit, then head south. The route now traverses over 5 points, "the goddesses," to finish at the Main (South) Summit, 9,026'. Descent is by means of down-climbing to the south, then hiking down the well-trodden Mt. Olympus trail.

  • Ideal season is spring and fall
  • Mountain Goats are usually the only company
  • Make hundreds of 3rd to 5th class climbing moves
  • Crampons and axe used in selected portions in early-season

Difficulty: Good aerobic fitness is necessary. Hiking, scrambling and climbing experience is recommended

Duration: 8-12 hours

Max Ratio: 3:1

Meeting Time: Generally 6am

Meeting Location: Einstein Bagel Shop in Olympus Cove

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
  • Helmet, harness

What You Need: 

How to Register: 

1 person $445 / person
2 people $325 / person
3 people $275 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Traverse of the Goddesses

Traverse of the Goddesses

Photo by Tyson Bradley


Wildcat Traverse

This traverse starts from the South (Main) Summit of Olympus and follows the ridge east to Mt. Raymond. Third and 4th-class scrambling on solid quartzite starts right away, and continues to Triangle Peak. Six other high points are traversed as route-finding, up and down-climbing stays interesting. Neffs Canyon provides a good bail-off point and friendly trail descent past an idyllic mountain spring. Be prepared for an aerobic, scenic experience far from crowds, featuring both technical and hiking sections.

  • About 7 miles and 7,000 of ascent / descent
  • Many climbing moves up to 5th class
  • Rope is rarely needed for solid scramblers
  • Best season: late spring, early summer and fall
  • Usual start is up the Olympus Trail from Pete's Rock

Difficulty: Good aerobic fitness is necessary. Hiking, scrambling and climbing experience is recommended.

Duration: 8-12 hours

Max Ratio: 3:1

Meeting Time: Generally 6am

Meeting Location: Einstein Bagel Shop in Olympus Cove

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
  • Helmet, harness

What You Need: 

How to Register: 

1 person $445 / person
2 people $325 / person
3 people $275 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Wildcat Traverse

Wildcat Traverse

Photo by Tyson Bradley


Triple Traverse

Reigning magnificent, 7,000' above Wasatch Front, are 3 impressive mountains: Dromedary, Sunrise (O'Sullivan) and the Salt Lake Twin Peaks. Traversing the three massifs is a Triple Crown of sorts, and makes for a cool, scenic scramble in the sky. It can be done from Broads Fork, Lisa Falls or Ferguson Canyon, and is also part of the Cottonwood Crest or WURL (Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Linkup mega-traverse.) Best season is mid-summer through early fall.

Difficulty: Good aerobic fitness is necessary. Hiking, scrambling and climbing experience is recommended.

Duration: 8-12 hours

Max Ratio: 3:1

Meeting Time: Generally 6am

Meeting Location: Big Cottonwood Canyon Park and Ride

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
  • Helmet, harness

What You Need: 

How to Register: 

1 person $445 / person
2 people $325 / person
3 people $275 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Bouldering near Dromedary Peak

Bouldering near Dromedary Peak

Photo by Paul Olerich


Red, White and Tram Traverse

When the summer is hot and the snow is gone, escape to the highest traverse in the Central Wasatch: White Pine to Snowbird via Red and White Baldy and the AF Twin Peaks. White Baldy, 11,321', features a long, scenic summit ridge with dozens of climbing moves over solid granite. Next up is Red Baldy, named for its bright, reddish rock. Feast your eyes on amazing views, both far and near, when you look up from the exposed 4th-class scrambling.

At East Pass, the technical difficulty gives way to an air-conditioned aerobic push over Red Stack, AF Twin (11,489,) and the East Twin. The descent into Snowbird is on a smorgasbord of quartzite, slate, shale and limestone. Catching a free ride down from Hidden Peak on the Tram is a relief for the knees and just reward after a rugged scramble in the sky.

Difficulty: Good aerobic fitness is necessary. Hiking, scrambling and climbing experience is recommended.

Duration: 10-12 hours

Max Ratio: 3:1

Meeting Time: Generally 6am

Meeting Location: White Pine Trailhead

What We Provide: 

  • Broadly experienced, highly-trained, professional mountaineering guides
  • Helmet, harness

What You Need: 

How to Register: 

1 person $445 / person
2 people $325 / person
3 people $275 / person

6.85% tax will be added to all prices; gratuity is not included

Resting above it all on White Baldy's tiny summit

Resting above it all on White Baldy's tiny summit

Photo by Tyson Bradley


Other Classic Traverses

  • Beatout: Pfeifferhorn to Bells Canyon (10-12 hours)
  • Cottonwood Crest: Salt Lake Twins to Alta, or vice versa (12-18 hours)
  • Cathedral Traverse in Tetons (2 days)
  • WURL: Lone Peak to Salt Lake Twin Peaks via the LCC rim (2 days+)
  • Grand Traverse in Tetons (3 days)
Other Classic Traverses

Other Classic Traverses

Photo by Tyson Bradley


Utah Mountain Adventures

P.O. Box 521809

Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1809

Phone: (801) 550 3986

Fax: (801) 486 8505

Email: uma@utahmountainadventures.com

Utah Mountain Adventures | Patagonia Utah Mountain Adventures | Forest Service Backcountry Skiing Utah, by Tyson Bradley
Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding - Utah Mountain Adventures

Leave the crowds behind, and expand your skiing and snowboarding horizons! Traveling out-ofbounds, using climbing skins and alpine touring (AT) or telemark binding, or a split-board is becoming tremendously popular.

AT skis and splitboards are available for rent from UMA and local shops.

Touring is the perfect sport for those who hike or climb in summer and love to ski or snowboard in winter. Skinning facilitates approach and egress from peaks in winter and spring that would take far longer without. Solitude, cardio-vascular exercise, and adventurous runs are all part of the "off-piste" experience.

The Wasatch Range offers easy lift and trailhead access to deep, light snow in wide-open bowls, protected glades, and steep chutes.

Lift access is available from Alta, Brighton, The Canyons and Snowbird.

Trailhead access is available in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons and Millcreek, etc.

A knowledgeable UMA guide will lead you into the finest snow and terrain. Our guides keep abreast of the avalanche, snow and weather conditions to choose the best tours. They take into consideration both your fitness level and downhill ability to select the appropriate routes for you.

UMA guides pace you and teach you how to travel uphill efficiently, working on rest-step and kick-turning techniques and progress only as fast as you feel comfortable. They give you plenty of time to rest, enjoy the view and take photos. UMA guides demonstrate how to transition between the uphill and downhill modes and teach as much about avalanche hazard evaluation, route finding and other skills as you want to learn.

Skiers and snowboarders of all ability levels improve techniques, discover new terrain, and build leadership skills.

For more information on backcountry skiing & snowboarding classes in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, please view our Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding Courses.

We also offer private Guided Backcountry Touring & Instruction in the Wasatch Range in and around the Salt Lake area.