Regional discussion and conditions reports for the great state of Utah, from the alpine peaks to the desert slots. Please post partners requests and trip plans here or in the Utah Climbing Partners section.
I am headed to Utah from Georgia this week for 8 days of ice climbing. I am familiar with the routes in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons but see that the avalanche danger is going to be high from all the recent rain and snow. Are there any other areas or summits, outside of the avalanche prone areas that will be in and good to climb?
Any directions or help would be greatly appreciated!
All the Provo Canyon routes will have high to considerable Avalanche issues. Joe's Valley would probably be the best bet for Utah Ice Climbing. If you just want to bag a fun peak is SLC area I would recommend Olympus, fairly safe avalanche wise.
First, no need to be bummed. Plan on climbing thick ice, and having fun. You may have to head out of SLC, but you should find some good conditions.
I think byates makes a good point about being careful, because even a small shelf can hold enough snow to do damage. But there are tons of options. So, with that said, I think that there may be safe ice climbing in Provo and even in Little Cottonwood, and that it may be a mistake to not at least drive up there to look. And, going to the climbs, you should be able to check surrounding stability, and make a decision then. You can also call or stop by IME (near rei) and talk to whoever happens to be there, and buy something in exchange for the info. It might be sad to come all that way and not check. Start with a check of the conditions the morning of at the Utah Avalanche Center website. But checking conditions does takes a little time, though may pay off. If you are the guide hiring type, hire a guide for a day, then go out on your own. Tyson at Utah Mountain Adventures can set you up.
There's a reason the avalanche forecasters know what the conditions are: they go out into them safely. We ski the Wasatch even in extreme conditions. You can do the same. Its about terrain, not snow. If it proves poor terrain for the conditions, head to Joes or Ouray Ice Park. Or ski! Good Luck.
You can email/PM me if you have questions on driving and locations, or whatever.