Welcome to SP!  -
South Ridge

South Ridge

South Ridge

Page Type: Route

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Object Title: South Ridge

Route Type: Easy technical rock with short sections of snow

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: 5.3

Route Quality: 
 - 9 Votes


Page By: tonybell1

Created/Edited: Feb 26, 2003 / Feb 26, 2003

Object ID: 157766

Hits: 12416 

Page Score: 0%  - 2 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote



Walk up from road above Snowbird's Cliff Lodge (and work to your right).

Route Description

Follow south ridge to the summit. From summit, follow ridge line to the east to Cardiff Pass, and descend scree slope down towards Alta.

Essential Gear

Some climbers free solo this ridge but route is very exposed so technical rock gear is recommended.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-5 of 5    
PellucidWombatRoute Comment


Hasn't voted


  • 10 Essentials

  • Good boots (climbing shoes optional)

  • Short Rope (crux needs approx. 30 ft)

  • A couple of midsize nuts (#4-6), but you really only need to use one.

  • Helmet


  • 10 Essentials

  • Good boots

  • Short Rope (crux needs approx. 30 ft)

  • A couple of midsize nuts (#4-6), but you really only need to use one.

  • Helmet

  • 1 Mountaineering Ice Axe

  • Possibly a single fluke or picket, but you can probably get by slinging horns or using nuts.

  • Avalanche beacon, probe, shovel, education

Posted Feb 28, 2005 10:27 am
GlennMerrillRoute Comment


Hasn't voted

I agree, go with a super light rack. There is really only two short sections that most will place pro. It's implied in your post, but you want a few slings. Slinging horns is quick, easy and usually bomber.

PellucidWombat: what did you place in the crux crack?
Posted Mar 3, 2005 6:13 am
PellucidWombatRoute Comment


Hasn't voted

I'll need to look at my chocks, but I believe that it was a #5 Wild Country nut.
Posted Mar 3, 2005 10:19 am
PellucidWombatRoute Comment


Hasn't voted


Just past the Snowbird Lodge, take the upper entrance to the 2nd skiiers parking lot. There is a shack just past the entrance, and the turnout is right across the road from the rocky headwall of the South Ridge. Parking restrictions were from 12am-8am, but there were people parking there before 8 when we were there.


A shuttle would be the most convenient, with one car parked at the Alta Ski Lodge if descending via Cardiff Pass.
Posted Feb 28, 2005 10:30 am
PellucidWombatRoute Comment


Hasn't voted

This is described for a winter route - there may be better variations for the summer route.

After crossing the highway, head diagonally right to the far end of the cliffs to meet up with a small chute. Head up this chute as it cuts across the cliffs. (Moderate Snow or class 2)


  • For an easier variation, stay in the chute until you are forced north, and follow the open snow slopes to the first notch in the ridge. (Moderate Snow or class 2)

  • For a harder variation, at a flat area interrupting the chute, pick your way back to the right up through the cliffs. Eventually you will reach the prominent east spur of the ridge. Follow this spur to the first notch. Depending on one's comfort with exposure and mixed climbing, a running belay or simul-climbing might be a good idea for the upper part. (Class 4)

From the first notch, climb the class 3+ chimney out of the notch, and follow the ridge north. At one point there is a fun crack traverse (5.3-5.4?) that stays close to the ridge. You can bypass this by dropping down 15 ft and ascending a dihedral below it (Class 3+). Beyond this there is a large open slope. Head up this to reach the second notch.

From the second notch you can see the remaining steep part of the ridge, as well as the crux pitch near the top. I believe the crux pitch to be rated 5.5 (same as that given by an Exum guide climbing the ridge the same time as us), but for a less pure ridge climb, you can drop down 30 feet or so to the west to easier climbing to bypass it.

The crux pitch is about 15 feet long and consists of a smooth, holdless wall, with a couple of crimp holds higher up, a small roof, and a 0.5-1" crack beginning to the left and ascending diagonally to the right, up through the smooth slab. The chock stone in the top of the crack is solid. It is fairly easy, though, and you can reach up and put pro in the crack and the cockstone before beginning any serious climbing.

Beyond the crux there is a little more exposed ridgeline left, and then an easy stroll across broader slopes to the summit!
Posted Feb 28, 2005 10:44 am

Viewing: 1-5 of 5