Trip Report: Mt. Timpanogos, UT – “Cold Fusion Couloir”

Miles Clark | | Trip ReportTrip Report
Mt. Timpanogos with our line down the Cold Fusion Couloir on May 12th, 2020. image: parkcitypeople.com

Yesterday, May 12th 2020, Martin, Ben, & I walked up Mt. Timpanogos in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah to ski a line called “Cold Fusion Couloir” that is one of the “50 Classic Ski Descents of North America“.

We climbed up the furthest north peak of the Mt. Timpanogos massif that tops out at 11,383′ and dropped directly into Cold Fusion Couloir which faces Northwest.

According to “50 Classic Ski Descents of North America”, the “Cold Fusion Couloir” is 3,030-vertical-feet and 35-40º steep.

Cold Fusion Couloir – Mt. Timpanogos, UT Details:

  • Summit:  11,383′
  • Vertical from car:  4,500′
  • Vertical skied:  3,000′
  • Pitch:  35-40º
  • Distance:  14.5-miles round trip
  • Time from car to summit:  5 hrs 45 mins
  • Car to car time:  9 hrs 30 mins
Socially distanced selfie on the summit of the furthest north peak of the Mt. Timpanogos massif at 11,383

We started hiking from the Mutual Dell campground in the American Fork Canyon at 6:45am.

From the campground, you walk up the Bear Canyon Trail for about 1.9-miles and 1,400-vertical-feet until you hit a dirt road (Timpooneke Road) and you follow that west for about 4-miles until you arrive beneath the very obvious Cold Fusion Couloir.

We hiked up a little gully filled with snow and that snow came right to the road.

Finding this little gully was the crux of the navigating of this climb and you’ll know that you’ve gone too far if the pine forest on the uphill side of the road changes to all aspen trees.

If you hit those aspen trees, turn around, go back, and head up the first little gully you see.

The little gully gets wider and wider and wider until it becomes an avalanche gully that is the base of the Cold Fusion Couloir.

Ben about half way up Cold Fusion Couloir. image: snowbrains

It’s all very obvious and simple route-finding above the road.

We switched from shorts and sneakers to ski boots and skins at the junction of the little gully and the road and switched to boot crampons after only about 20 minutes of skiing.

From there it was crampons and ski poles to the summit in firm, but slowly softening snow.

The climb up the gully was straightforward and steep.

Ben in his 3rd turn off the summit. image: snowbrains

There is a little subpeak just before the 11,383′ summit where the snow stops for a short bit of scree before continuing again to the summit.

Beware of the enormous hanging cornices here.

It’s safest to stay on the rock once on the ridge.

We summited at about 12:30pm (5 hr 45 min climb) and chilled out on top an hour or so letting the snow soften up a bit more before dropping in.

Martin living his best summit life. image: snowbrains

We dropped in around 1:30pm and then skied about 15 turns of firmish snow off the summit before crossing the steep little scree field (Martin’s least favorite part of the day) to the top of the Cold Fusion Couloir.

I dropped into the Cold Fusion Couloir in just about perfect corn snow and skied as fast as I could while making as many turns as I could.

I skied it from top to bottom and it took me 7 minutes and 8 seconds to get to the road.

An epic, long, very fun run.

Ben charging up. image: snowbrains

The top was good corn snow but a touch firm, the middle was excellent corn snow, the very bottom was horrible, twist your knee, blow your ACL snow.

It felt exquisite to take the ski boots off and put sneakers back on.

We talked non-stop smack while strolling the cruisy road back to the Bear Canyon Trail that leads down to the Mutual Dell campgrounds, our cars, and our beer.

Utah Lake. image: snowbrains

The road was easy.

The steep trail down to the campground was tough.

My knees were pretty pissed off…

Our first views of Mt. Timpanogos in the morning. image: snowbrains

But, it was over soon enough and were back at the cars laid out on the pavement drinking Coors Banquet Beer and talking about the day and the next adventure…

The 50º Grunge Couloir of Mt. Timpanogos?

Maybe on Saturday…

May/June 2020 Trip Reports:

Photo Tour in Chronological Order:

I ate my morning cereal out of a plastic safeway bag… Worked great. Milk leaked thru a little but not bad! image: snowbrains
Heading up thru the greenery. image: snowbrains
Martin headed up with Cold Fusion on the upper right skyline. image: Ben
A fungus among us. image: snowbrains
Ben gawking. image: snowbrains
The little gully that touches the road. image: snowbrains
Ben taking a strategic break early in the snow climb. image: snowbrains
Ben at the very bottom of Cold Fusion Couloir with the top of the couloir in view. image: snowbrains
Heading up with lots of wind-blown debris on snow. image: snowbrains
1/3 the way up the couloir. image: snowbrains
Found this snail shell half way up the couloir… image: snowbrains
Ben half way up the couloir. image: snowbrains
Frozen mini-waterfall. image: snowbrains
Martin and Utah County. image: snowbrains
Bug life… image: snowbrains
Ben & Martin grinding up. image: snowbrains
Miles with an alpine adjustment… image: Ben
The top of Cold Fusion Couloir. image: snowbrains
Moonscape & Martin. image: snowbrains
Martin about to touch the summit. image: snowbrains
Ben on the summit. image: snowbrains
Ben, pizza, Martin on the summit. image: snowbrains
Miles on the summit. image: Martin
Miles & pizza crust on top… image: Ben
Martin off the summit. image: snowbrains
Break for Martin after the screen slope transfer from the summit snow patch to the top of the Cold Fusion Couloir. image: snowbrains
Ben & Martin headed home on the dirt road. image: snowbrains
Martin in the aftermath… image: snowbrains

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3 thoughts on “Trip Report: Mt. Timpanogos, UT – “Cold Fusion Couloir”

    1. Hey Chris, I greatly apologize. Thank for allowing us to use the terrific image. I just gave credit to parkcitypeople.com. Thanks much.

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