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Wildcat Ridge
Route

Wildcat Ridge

 
Wildcat Ridge

Page Type: Route

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 40.65560°N / 111.756°W

Object Title: Wildcat Ridge

Route Type: Ridge Scramble

Time Required: A long day

Difficulty: Class 4

Route Quality: 
 - 3 Votes
 

 

Page By: Joseph Bullough

Created/Edited: May 31, 2005 / Jul 6, 2010

Object ID: 165266

Hits: 10399 

Page Score: 81.17%  - 13 Votes 

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Overview

This route begins by ascending the south summit of Mount Olympus, which is typically done by way of the Mount Olympus trail. Refer to these pages for trailhead directions and complete details on ascending Mount Olympus.

Wildcat Ridge is generally defined as the ridge connecting Mount Olympus on the west with Mount Raymond on the east. The more rugged and difficult portions are located on the west side of the ridge. Triangle Peak is the first peak encountered to the east of Olympus, followed by a series of unnamed peaks. Although these unnamed peaks are higher in elevation, Triangle Peak is the most distinctive in appearance, and is most commonly associated with Wildcat Ridge. As mentioned on the Triangle Peak page, these unnamed peaks are obscure and very infrequently climbed, therefore they have been included on this route page rather than creating a seperate mountain page for each of the peaks.

Once beyond Mount Olympus there are very limited opportunities for aborting the hike, so ensure you have sufficient time, water, and stamina to complete the route. This area is also known for its rattlesnake population, so watch your step!

The route can be done from west to east, or in the reverse direction. The west to east version is probably the most common and will be described in this route. One of the advantages of this direction is that the hotter portions of the route can be done in early morning, saving the cooler portions of the ridge for the afternoon.


Stats

Stats are based on a point-to-point hike beginning from the Mount Olympus Trailhead and ending at Mount Raymond:

Round-Trip Hiking Distance: 11.5 miles
Total Elevation Gain: ±7,600 ft.
Trailhead Elevation: 4,897 ft. (Mount Olympus trailhead)
Maximum Elevation: 10,241 ft. (Mount Raymond)

Summits which will be climbed on the traverse include, from west to east:
  • Mount Olympus - 9,026 ft.
  • Triangle Peak - 9,410 ft.
  • Mount Raymond - 10,241 ft.

    In addition to these three named summits, there is a series of unnamed summits along the ridge between Triangle Peak and Mount Raymond. These peaks are referred to by their elevation in the route description below.


    Route Description

    Elevations for unnamed peaks are taken from USGS quads when given, otherwise they are based on GPS measurents.

    Trailhead → Mount Olympus
    The ascent to the south summit of Mount Olympus is described on the Mount Olympus page, therefore will not be detailed here. Briefly, the well maintained trail climbs ±4,200 vertical feet in ±3.5 miles to the south (highest) summit of Olympus. Take a break on the summit, eat a snack, and enjoy the views, but not for too long; the route has barely begun at this point.

    Mount Olympus → Triangle Peak
    Wildcat Ridge begins from the south summit of Olympus and leads to Triangle Peak and beyond. There is no maintained trail beyond the south summit, so routefinding will be an ongoing affair. From the south summit begin following the ridge down to the east a short ways, then work your way steeply down to a saddle at the base of the Olympus summit block. There are several possibilities for descending to the saddle, so look around for a different way if the line you choose makes you uncomfortable.

    Beyond the saddle the ridge soon becomes narrow and blocky with some exposure, and will require some routefinding to negotiate safely. For the most part it is possible to remain on the ridge crest, but the more difficult obstacles can generally be bypassed by dropping off the ridge for short distances.

    The ridge soon narrows to a knife edge, and although the exposure increases the scrambling becomes easier and it is possible to remain on the ridge crest through the majority of this section.

    The knife edge ends at a small saddle near the base of the Triangle Peak summit block. From this saddle contour to the southeast for ±100 yards, then look for any suitable location to turn left and make an easy scramble up the south slopes to the summit. A slightly steeper route can also be found by proceeding directly up the west ridge from the saddle.

    The distance from the south summit of Olympus to Triangle Peak is only ±0.8 miles, but don't be surprised if the traverse takes in the neighborhood of 2 hours, depending on your scrambling prowess and routefinding skills. This section of ridge contains what is probably the most difficult scrambling to be found on Wildcat Ridge, although a number of challenging sections remain to the east of Triangle.

    Triangle Peak → Peak 9,587
    From the summit of Triangle Peak continue along the ridge towards Peak 9,587, a rounded and forested high point on the ridge ±0.35 miles southeast of Triangle Peak. The first half of this ridge is serrated with several vertical impasses, which are dealt with most easily by droping off the ridge to the right and avoiding them altogether. Regain the ridge when convenient, and follow the steep forrested slopes up to the summit of Peak 9,587.

    Looking east from the summit of Peak 9,587 will be the first glimpse of Mount Raymond, which will be the ending point of the route.

    Peak 9,587 → Peak 9,773
    Continue eastward along the ridge from Peak 9,587 towards the somewhat higher Peak 9,773, which begins as an easy scramble down to the low point between the summits. The west ridge of Peak 9,773 includes a rugged series of small cliffs, so the best plan is to make a contour onto the steep northwest facing slopes of the peak, a short distance below the ridge. Work your way eastward and upwards until a suitable option presents itself for regaining the ridge, then follow the ridge up to the broad flat summit of the peak.

    The summit is semi-forested which somewhat hampers the views from this peak, particularly to the west. There are clear views to the east of Gobblers Knob and Mount Raymond, as well as the rounded and rather indistinct summit of Peak 9,795 to the northeast, which is the next high point on Wildcat Ridge.

    Peak 9,773 → Peak 9,795
    Make the easy scramble of ±325 feet down the northeast ridge of Peak 9,773 to a saddle. A prominent pillar and a series of small cliffs block a direct line to Peak 9,795. Make a traverse down and around the left side of the pillar and onto the west facing slopes of Peak 9,795. This traverse offers excellent views looking back to the west at the earlier portions of Wildcat Ridge, and the summits of Mount Olympus and Triangle Peak.

    Begin climbing the scree slopes on the west face of Peak 9,795, regaining the ridge a short distance to the south of the summit, then continue along the forested ridge to the summit. Although this peak is the highest point on the Wildcat Ridge (excluding Mount Raymond), views from the summit are somewhat obscured due to its forested covering.

    Peak 9,795 → Peak 9,755
    Continuing east from the summit of Peak 9,795 the scrambling difficulty eases considerably for the remainder of the traverse. Peak 9,755 is located a short distance (±0.2 mile) to the northeast. Although it would be more proper to refer to this reddish knob of rock as a 'point' rather than a 'peak', it does offer nice unobstructed views in all directions. The west face of this peak is a vertical dropoff, but it is a simple matter to stroll up the backside from the south.

    Peak 9,755 → Peak 9,631
    Follow the ridge east via easy ridge walking for ±0.4 miles to the summit of Peak 9,631. A slightly higher point (el. 9,642) is actually located ±400 feet to the south, but is off the main ridge and does not need to be ascended.

    Peak 9,631 → Mount Raymond
    Descend the northeast slopes of Peak 9,631 down to a saddle at el. 9,180 ft. This saddle marks the upper east end of Neffs Canyon. For those not wishing to continue on to Mount Raymond, it is possible to descend north from this saddle and pick up the Neffs Canyon trail, which may be followed west back to the Neffs Canyon trailhead (shuttle vehicle will be required).

    If continuing on to Mount Raymond, look for a faint hikers trail heading east from the saddle, which is quite vague and may be difficult to follow. Follow the trail around the south slopes of Peak 9,776, until it gains the ridge somewhere to the east of this peak. Faint signs of the trail may occasionally be seen, but it appears just as easy to remain on the ridge, passing over another unnamed high point, Peak 9,661.

    From Peak 9,661 descend east down to Porter Fork Pass, then begin ascending the west ridge of Mount Raymond, dropping onto the south slopes if necessary to bypass occasional obstacles. The distance from Porter Fork Pass to the summit of Raymond is ±0.35 miles, with an elevation gain of ±900 ft.

    Descent Options
    There are several options for descending Mount Raymond. The easiest is probably made by descending the northeast ridge from the summit down to Baker Pass, the saddle between Mount Raymond and Gobblers Knob to the east. From Baker Pass either drop north and pick up the Bowman Fork trail which descends into Mill Creek Canyon, or drop south and pick up the Butler Fork trail which heads east back to the Butler Fork Trailhead in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

    Alternatively descend the west ridge of Mount Raymond back to Porter Fork Pass. From the pass either drop north and pick up the Porter Fork trail which descends into Mill Creek Canyon, or drop southeast and pick up the Mill B North Fork trail, which descends south to the Mill B North Trailhead in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

    Any of these options will obviously require a shuttle vehicle to return to the Mount Olympus Trailhead.


    Essential Gear

  • There will be no opportunities for water on the ridge, so carry a suitable supply for a long day.
  • Comfortable footware with good grippy soles.
  • This is a point-to-point route; a shuttle vehicle will be required.
  • Rattlesnake repellant.

    Images