Ascent of Pfeifferhorn on 2014-08-17

Climber: Martin Ralya

Others in Party:Christian G.
Date:Sunday, August 17, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:11326 ft / 3452 m

Ascent Trip Report

Pfeifferhorn was my second elevener, and it was a blast. Red Bear Lake is gorgeous, as are its companion lakes, and the route itself is interesting. The trail to the lake is wide enough to walk two abreast for a good chunk of the way.

The talus slope leading up to the first ridge looks worse than it is, and the same holds for the "bridge in the sky" and what I called the "wall of death" -- the knife ridge of jumbled boulders and the final summit approach, both of which looked pretty intimidating at first.

But the place was like a freeway: So many people were ahead of us, doing what looked tough, that I figured it must be pretty reasonable. The boulder ridge turned out to be a lot of fun, and up close the route to the summit was totally manageable.

I definitely felt my comfort zone expanding on this hike: I noticed exposure less, found it easier to keep my head, and just took things as they came. On the way back down, it took me half as long to reach the ridge, and I took the topmost route across the ridge itself, jumping and even hanging for a long drop as I picked my way across.

It's a long hike with plenty of elevation gain, but totally worth it. The scrambling is fun and the view is superb.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3700 ft / 1127 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:White Pine Trail
    Trailhead:White Pine Trailhead  7626 ft / 2324 m
    Grade/Class:YDS Class 3
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
About 75 degrees
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 20 Minutes

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