With a good stable snowpack, and still plenty of snow to ski, we decided it was finally time to go put our own tracks down the famous north face of Mount Timpanogos: Cold Fusion.
At around 10 am, Ashton and I started hiking up Bear Canyon at Mutual Dell, while John and Addie drove up to Pine Hollow and started the approach with the moon bike. We didn’t all take the moon bike because it would’ve been too much to pull three people that far.
Ashton and I quickly made it up Bear Canyon, arriving at the road in about 45 minutes. From there it’s a long walk on the road all the way around to the front of the mountain. We had some good conversations, enjoying the easy skiing, warm temperatures, and beautiful views.
After about 2 hours we arrived at the base of this beautiful line. It’s long, consistent, and steep. We skinned up the first 7 or 800 feet, before switching to booting. The booting started off really challenging, as the snow was inconsistent, and too soft to get good holds, but after a few hundred feet like that we linked up with a separate booster which was much more supportable. From there it was physically taxing, but efficient.
My stomach was hurting and I felt a little bit sick for probably 1500 feet until we were just a few hundred feet from the top, when I decided it was time to use the bathroom. Smooth rocks came in clutch for toilet paper, and afterwards I felt much better. From there it was a bit of a rock scramble, mixed with booting in the snow to make it to the summit, which is just North of the True North Timpanogos summit.
The booster took us right to a nice flat place of snow, that seemed like a good spot to relax and transition, until we realized it was a MASSIVE cornice. The snow was completely overhanging from the ridge. In fact, there wasn’t any snow on the ridge. As we walked over to where the rocks were all of a sudden we fell hip deep into the crack that was the cornice slowly falling away from the mountain. I had to have Ashton help pull me out, and I had to help pull John out, because we were both fairly stuck. We had no idea how precarious the snow we were standing on was, and we were grateful to all be safe.
We then enjoyed some time on the warm rocks, looking at the views and just appreciating the vast beauty of the area. We also hiked along the ridge to go get a good luck at grunge couloir, one of the gnarlier lines of Timpanogos, and hopefully something I’ll do at some point! It looked spicy, but it also looked like a ton of fun! We tried kicking some cornices down, and Ashton successfully got one down, but the bigger one wouldn’t budge, even with three of us giving it good kicks!
After a little bit more sight seeing and a quick transition, we began the long descent down this beautiful face. The snow wasn’t the best, but it was fun top to bottom. It was somewhere between true corn, and slush. I’m not sure there was a proper re-freeze the night before, which is why it was a little slushy. It was a crazy long run! Long enough that we had to stop several times just to relax for a second before continuing.
Unlike most of the tours we do, getting to the bottom was not the end, we had a loooong hike out. Addie and I just kind of shuffled along the road, without our skins, and without releasing our heals. Ashton tried putting one skin on and scootering, which didn’t work too well, and John put both skins on and skinned out, which ended up being the slowest of the three approaches. The no-transition ended up being best. From there we were pulled out on the moon bike until we hit Bear Canyon, where Ashton and I opted to ski down rather than continue to get pulled.
Skiing down Bear Canyon was more reasonable than I would’ve guessed. It was open enough that nothing was too sketchy. After the flat section, I chose to hike down the final switchbacks, but Ashton was bold and skied all the way to the car. I was pretty impressed by his creativity getting down!
The stats ended up being around 12.5 miles with 5600 feet. I’ve done longer tours, but this one felt extra hard for some reason. Maybe it was because we were out for so long, and a lot of the hiking was either flat, or straight up booting. It was probably extra difficult because it was fairly different than what we normally do.
I’m super happy to have been able to ski this epic line, and I’m sure I’ll be back.