Hogum Fork Overview
Hogum Fork in Little Cottonwood Canyon is no easy tour. The approaches are long, the lower section is narrow/steep and eventually you will have to cross the Little Cottonwood Canyon river. Despite these challenges this fork is quite popular with big mountain skiers. Some of the bigger names in the Wasatch such as The Sliver Couloir, The Hypodermic Needle and the NW Couloir of the Pfeifferorn call Hogum Fork their home. If you love steep couloir with long approaches and a lovely river crossing than this is a must do for you.
Tyler skinning up The Sliver Couloir Looking up at the Hypodermic Needle
The Sliver Couloir
Getting Up There
Start at the White Pine trailhead just below Snowbird Ski Resort. Hit the trail and start your gradual skin across White Pine Fork, Red Pine Fork and finally Maybird Gulch. Once your in Maybird look for the Obelisk and start heading up this east facing hill till you hit the ridge line.
The Sliver CouloirThe Sliver-
The Sliver is easily considered one of the gems of Hogum Fork, if not of the entire Wasatch. The apron that leads up to the couloir allows you to skin 3/4 of the way up, which is a rariety when it comes to couloirs. The couloir itself is superb, just narrow enough to make turns, but not too wide that you forget you are in it. The view of the surrounding terrain here is AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL! For anyone who wants to see the beauty of the Wasatch this is the place. If you love a couloirs with an apron on the side than make this one on your to do list.
The Sliver Couloir Tyler skinning up The Sliver Couloir Tyler skinning up the Sliver Couloir The Slilver Couloir
The Hypodermic Needle The Hypodermic Needle-
A canidate for the most well known line in the Wasatch, The Hypodermic Needle is sure not to dissapoint the big mountain skier. This couloir is HUGE and STEEP. There are several approaches to the top of the couloir, which include, straight up the couloir, up the couloir half way then traverse right onto the ridge (careful you will be on a hanging snowfield) or up Coalpit Gulch. These routes were listed in increasing difficulty. The top of this couloir approaches 50 degrees so what ever you do...do not fall. Sometimes, depending on the time of the year, there can be a small cliff in the middle so be sure to scout out your line well before getting too far in. Usually this is not an issue. Considering this couloir faces east be sure to get an early start...before the sun melts more danger.
The Hypodermic Needle Looking up at the Hypodermic Needle
The Pfeifferhorn's Northwest CouloirThe NW Couloir-
Lying in a dark corner of Hogum Fork and comming directly off the summit of Utah's most iconic peak, the Pfeifferhorn, is a couloir that will definately only see the most extreme of skiers. This couloir contains a 50ft cliff in the middle that definatly keeps the rift-raft away. It is extremely steep and even more commiting. A fall in this couloir is a life threating situation. A rope is required and safer than safe avalanche conditions are a must. It is best to scope out this line before daring to attempt it. Its worth the effort if your into extreme skiing at its finest.
The NW Couloir
Hogum 200-600 Hogum 200-600
This series of west facing chutes are not always the best snow but they do make for a nice "entrance run" into Hogum Fork. Each one starts out mellow but quickly steepens up. It is very hard to get a handle on which chute you are entering until you are already in. Luckily there is not much in the way of cliffs so which ever chute you pick, the job of getting down will be accomplished. Be sure to use safe travel techniques in this area, avalanches are common on this hill. To get to the top of the Hogum 200-600 start by acending Maybird Gulch's Obelisk. From here look for the chute that fits your fancy.
Avalanche skills, beacon, probe, shovel, partner and common sense. Skis are highly recommended.