Growing up in Highland Utah, every time I walked out my front door I stared at the North west face of Mount Mahogany. It sits just in front of North Timpanogos like a Baby Kangaroo in the pouch of its mother, and its beautiful. With crazy season totals this winter, it looked extra fantastic, and we decided it was finally go time to ski it.
We thought about a couple of different approaches. It’s accessible via snowmobile, or Moon-bike from Timpooneke, but it’s a long ride, and we weren’t sure how far the moon bike could get us. The other option is to hike straight up the mountain starting in the neighborhoods of Cedar Hills. There are a few dirt roads, that eventually turn into a trail that takes you right into the bowl we wanted to ski. This is what we opted to do, and I think it was the right choice.
We hit snow more quickly than I would have expected and were able to start skinning. We passed through some recent, and large wet slabs that had taken out several trees and forged new paths. After just under two hours of hiking we were at the base of our intended line.
At this point the sun had only been out a little bit and so the North West face was still pretty firm. In hopes that it would soften up soon we went and skied the south west face which was excellent! The snow was smooth, fast, and consistent. We were really happy to time some great corn skiing on this side. However, it was shockingly cold for a mid April day. The winds were high, and I definitely underdressed.
When we transitioned to go and ski the North West face, the snow still hadn’t softened up, but we still had to ski it because it’s what we look at everyday.
Partway up, a full Antartica winter rolled in. COLD winds, low temperatures, and eventually NO visibility. It was potentially the coldest I’ve been all winter which is wild. I was dumb and didn’t bring a puffer coat in my backpack, but John kindly let me use his as we made ascended the final few hundred feet on what felt like concrete snow. We waited behind a tree for a couple of minutes as we discussed what we should do. While we were talking for a few minutes the clouds parted and we had visibility again. The snow was still terrible, but we used the break in the weather to make it down safely.
The good news was that the snow was consistent. Even though it wasn’t good skiing, it was better than variable snow. After descending the main face, it warmed up dramatically and the snow softened up and was fun for the next 1500 feet or so until we had to start hiking. From there we had a fair bit of post holing the trail until we finally hit dirt and made the final descent back to our cars.
It’s a cool area with a lot more terrain than I would have expected. Other than the poor approach and exit, it’d be a great place to come back to and ski other stuff. Especially with new snow.