Coalpit Headwall

Salt Lake City

Wasatch Backcountry

Coalpit is one of longest and most coveted runs in the Central Wasatch.

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
3.1 km
Ascent
5 m
Descent
1.5 km
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
3.3 km
Gradient
44˚
VIEW ON MAP
Coalpit Headwall Map

Description

This 5,000 foot behemoth starts off the top of North Thunder Peak with an incredible view of Salt Lake City valley. The steep open face can be guarded by large overhanging cornices, but there are a few places to sneak in. There are two ways to get to the top of Coalpit. The first and most common is to park at White Pine trailhead, follow the trail into Red Pine, cross the bridge to Maybird and climb up the Maybird Hogum Divide, descend to the base of the Hypodermic Needle and climb up it. The second way is to climb up the Y Couloir and traverse along the ridge until it intersects the upper Coalpit Ridge then climb that to the summit.

The slope is near 50 degrees keeping it interesting. The upper section is about 1500 feet long then it tapers into some rolling trees that drop into a really long halfpipe gully. Near the end of the run is an icefall that can vary in size and difficulty to work around. When it's fat it can be easily skied, or side stepped, when it's lean you may need to downclimb. There are some fixed lines that can be used to aid in the descent, but bringing a short line to rap around a tree is a good idea.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May

Features

  • Trees

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area