Kessler Peak Skiing

Page Type
Utah, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Winter
Time Required:
Less than two hours

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Kessler Peak Skiing
Created On: Apr 25, 2009
Last Edited On: Feb 6, 2012


Surrounded by the entire Wasatch Range, Kessler Peak can be seen from just about anywhere your at in the Wasatch. This peak has something for everyone. Cliffs, large avalanche paths, open faces, couloirs, expansive aprons and some excellent tree skiing are just some of the many choices found here. The views from the summit are in the outstanding catagory. With steep runs on every side of the compass....this is not the place for a beginner to attempt to ski. Avalanches are VERY COMMON on this mountain so please stay off its massive slopes when there is any indication of avalanche danger. This peak is known for sending down avalanches that cross the Big Cottonwood River bed and burry the main highway. Every year large trees are taken out by the massive amounts of snow tumbeling down the hill.
Skiing Kessler PeakSkiing Argenta
 Kessler PeakKessler Peak

Getting Up There

The only real practicle approach for Kessler Peak is from Big Cottonwood Canyon. Head up Mill D South (aka Cartiff Fork) and skin into the trees on your right. Another and more simple route up is skinning straight up the Argenta Slide Path just off the side of the Big Cottonwood Canyon Highway.
The Mill D South TrailheadThe Mill D South Trailhead
Troy skinning up Mill D SouthTroy skinning up Mill D South


1 Argenta Seen from the highway, this large avalanche path sees lots of down hill traffic. Sometimes the main path can resemble a ski resort but if you get off the beaten path you can still find some powder in the trees. Gaining the ridge you will be rewarded by outstanding veiws of Mineral Fork and Big Cottonwood Canyon. The run is a series of steep downhills followed my periodic relatively flat terrain. Usually there is a dawn patrol crowd so building a skin track is never an issue. To get started on this run you have to cross the Big Cottonwood Canyon river. The easiest place to do so is where a pipe diverts some of the water flow. Please use caution in the spring, the river can be quite high. Also during the spring be aware that the river level WILL rise in the afternoon so plan accordingly. Another thing to be aware of is that there are cliff bands on the upper bench that are hard to see from the main ridge. We learned this the hard way when searching for fresh lines. We could not see the cliff coming but once we were on top of it there was no escape but right back up the way we came. Had there been an avalanche on the way back up, we would have been carried off a 50+ foot cliff, followed by a ride through thick pine trees.
Skinning up ArgentaTroy skinning up Argenta
Skiing Kessler Peak Troy skiing Argenta
Troy minutes away from getting cliffed outTroy minutes away from getting cliffed out on Argenta. Be sure to scout out your line carefully.

Gods Lawnmower

2. God's Lawnmower This massive north face is totally a destination shot and on the to do list of many backcountry skiers. The large face is epic and the trees that follow are not too bad either. The best way to skin this peak is up the lookers left trees. The top of this path is VERY steep and depending on the time of year there can be moats that would really ruin your day if you got caught in one. Due to several avalanche cycles throughout each year there is debries when there is 50 inches of snow on the ground to over 100 inches of snow on the ground. When it comes to skiing this avalanche ready for anything!
Kessler PeakKessler Peak

Gods LawnmowerGods Lawnmower

The Catchers Mitt

3. Kesslers Catchers Mitt/ East Couloir The Catchers Mitt (east face) is more lonely skier wise when compared to the other runs that surround it. This large face resebles a baseball catchers mitt hints the name. Ususally the skin track up this run stays to the lookers left. Considering it is east facing it is best to get this one done earlier in the day.
Kessler PeakKessler Peak and the East Couloir
Kessler PeakKessler Peak

The Other Face

4. The Other Face There is no easy way of getting to this run. Head up Mill D South (Cartiff Fork) till the face appears. Take the path of least resitance till you reach the top and enjoy.
Troy skinning up Cardiff Fork with Kessler Peak in the backgroundTroy skinning up Mill D South with Kessler Peak's "Other Face" in the background

The Other FaceThe Other Face

East Couloir

The East Couloir is best described as short and steep. However some turns made here will make your season. This run faces east so be sure to tackle it early in the day. Typically the storms that slam the Wasatch range come from the Northwest which means that it will usually be filled in nicely...however there can be some major cornices at the top...sometimes blocking the entrance. Usually it is best to scope out this line before charging it. By skinning up the Kesslers Catchers Mitt you will have plenty of time to eye and oogle this couloir.
Kessler PeakKessler Peak and the East Couloir
Kessler PeakThe East Couloir hidden in the shadows

Essential Gear

Avalanche knowlage, Beacon, Probe, Partner, Shovel and Common Sence. Stay off Kessler Peak when their is avalanche danger present. Skis are highly recommended.

Kessler Peak s Argenta SnowpitTroy doing some snow science/avalanche homework before skinning and then skiing the upper most headwall.

Kessler Peak Skiing

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