OverviewCold Fusion Couloir is a fantastic snow climb up the north aspect of North Timpanogos. While most commonly traveled as a ski-mountaineering descent, Cold Fusion Couloir is a strenuous and beautiful climbing route with an uninterrupted 2,500-3,000 foot glissade (depending on snowpack depth).
ATTENTION: It is important to note that Cold Fusion Couloir is a steep, dangerous, and avalanche prone region of the Timpanogos massif. Only attempt this route under safe conditions and with proper knowledge and experience in avalanche terrain.
Click for the Full Trip Report on my photography website.
Getting ThereTake I-15 to the Highland/Alpine Exit (#287), turn east onto UT-92. Continue east on this highway and you will arrive at the mouth of American Fork Canyon. There is a Forest Service Toll Booth and a $3.00 fee for a three-day pass on the road.
From the mouth of American Fork Canyon, go 4.8 miles up the Alpine Loop road to a large fork in the road. Take the right fork and continue 1 mile to the entrance of Mutual Dell, a youth camp. Gates close the parking lot during the winter and spring, so just park on the side of the road outside of the gates.
Locating the base of the couloir can be tough in the dark. Here's an experience from seanpeckham that is helpful:
"Where the couloir reaches the road, it is a small gully. I was expecting something larger and in the dark we failed to notice it. According to the GPS we were very near it, though, so we bushwhacked up until we found it. On the way down, I took a waypoint for the entrance: 40º25.692' N, 111º40.921 W. This is where the 7.5' quad shows the stream, right where the road starts to head NW again after the "horseshoe turn"; if you are heading WNW, you have gone too far."
The lower half of the couloir is an easy 25-30 degrees with no obsticles.
The middle half of the couloir has numerous cliffs that are easy to navigate with 30-40 degree slopes.
The upper half of the couloir is a constant 40 degrees, with some 3rd class rock scrambling depending on the snowpack. The couloir is wide and will supply different slope pitches depending on the line you choose. Local guidebooks record the pitch between 35-40 degrees and as high as 50 degrees. SPers have measured it at 40 degrees, give or take a few degrees.
The first peak you reach is a false summit noted as Point 11,383.
From the false summit, continue a short distance along the north ridge to the true summit at 11,441 feet. There is a small rock band along the north ridge with a 10-foot 3rd class section. Other than that, it's 2nd class terrain. Again, with this rock band, you can find spicier lines of 4th class is desired.
As fun as the ascent can be, the true beauty is in the ski descent or glissade. 2,500-3,000 vertical feet of steep, uninterrupted slope (depending on snowpack depth).
Distance: 2 mi.
Elevation Increase +1,442'
Timpooneke Road to base of Cold Fusion Couloir
Distance: 2.8 mi.
Elevation Increase +410'
Cold Fusion Couloir to The Summit
Distance: 1 mi.
Elevation Increase +3,031'
Route Total (one way)
Distance: 5.8 mi.
Elevation Increase +4,883'
Essential GearAxe, crampons, helmet, and clothing for cold weather climbing.
Additions and Corrections[ Post an Addition or Correction ]