2020 Spring Beatout traverse


Love the Mountains!
Mar 1, 2016
I have wanted to do a spring Beatout traverse for a few years now and was happy to finally get the chance on a beautiful spring Saturday in April with a fine group of hiking friends. The Beatout is a wasatch classic that starts at the white pine trailhead, hits 4 peaks (Pfiefferhorn, Upwop, chipman, and south thunder) goes across the lightning ridge, and out bells canyon to the granite trailhead.
My favorite spring climb is to climb Pfiefferhorn up the maybird headwall so it was especially nice to do a route that included that as its starting point. We had to put on snowshoes after the maybird bridge. Then crampons at the base of the maybird headwall.

Pfiefferhorn always looks lovely covered in snow when approached from maybird gulch. Upwop our second peak of the day can be seen on the right of Pfiefferhorn.

Nearing the maybird headwall.

looking down maybird gulch at the cottonwood ridge

climbing the maybird headwall

Looking down into maybird gulch from the top of the maybird headwall and the beautiful snow covered cottonwood ridge in the background.

Pfiefferhorn from the top of the maybird headwall.

Going up the steep Pfiefferhorn summit block

Always love this view looking East to the red and white baldys from part way up the Pfiefferhorn summit block.

this would mark my 4th spring Pfiefferhorn summit. I have only climbed it twice in the summer and find it much more enjoyable and prettier in the snow.


I was excited to go down the rocky west ridge of Pfiefferhorn for the first time. Climbing down rocks with crampons on makes it even more exciting

looking ahead to our next peak for the day upwop. South thunder our 4th peak of the day can be seen just to the right of Upwop.

Looking back at Pfiefferhorn which was quite popular with backcountry skiers the day we were there.

getting closer has an acronym for its nickname which stands for unnamed peak west of Pfiefferhorn.

upwop has beautiful views of box elder and timpanogos

however the best part of upwop is its spectacular view of Pfiefferhorn

Looking to the west we see lone peak as the
White hump in the center. To the right of that is south thunder our last peak of the day

Leaving upwop we experienced some postholing on the descent. This is the view looking back at Pfiefferhorn.

Chipman our third peak of the day can be seen on the left. Our biggest challenge of the day is the climb up the ridge to the chipman saddle

The view of box elder peak kept getting better the upwop descent.


A view of the lightning ridge which goes from chipman peak to south thunder gives us a look ahead of things to come

the exciting ridge below the chipman saddle was the funnest and most difficult part of the day

a closer look at the exciting ridge below the chipman saddle. It had a good combination of snow and rocks to climb which added to the excitement

looking back down on an exciting rocky section of the exciting ridge below the chipman saddle. Climbing rocks with crampons on with ice axe in hand adds to the excitement

Looking up the exciting ridgeline at more snow and rock climbing to come

looking down from near the chipman saddle at the ridgeline we just climbed

the beautiful view looking back at upwop on the left and Pfiefferhorn in the right

upon reaching the chipman saddle our next goal for the day was an out and back to chipman peak. Chipman provided a most excellent view of box elder and timpanogos. Chipman was our only 10,000 foot peak for the day. The other three are eleveners. Chipman marks the start of the lightning ridge.

Looking back at chipman peak after starting up the lightning ridge.

looking ahead at the beautiful lightning ridge.
One of the joys of the day was the dreaded postholing. Cutting across the lightning ridge you would be walking like this

and then all of the sudden with no warning would end up like this

there she is south thunder our last peak of the day.

the end of the beautiful lightning ridge before heading up south thunder

one more look at south thunder our last peak of the day before the ascent.

on south thunder it was time for an obligatory summit selfie with my celebratory Walmart pecan pie in front of the official south thunder summit mailbox

Beautiful view looking back at Pfiefferhorn to the East from south thunder

Looking to the west we see lone peak. We headed off of south thunder in this direction to head down the long bells canyon.

we enjoyed about 4 good glissades coming off of south thunder.

then above the upper bells reservoir in the flats we had to put snowshoes back on. As we got lower into bells canyon there were throngs of people headed to the waterfall. The gps clocked us at 14.65 miles. It took me 13 and a half hours. We went over 5,000 in elevation gain and just under 7,000 in elevation loss. It was a most grand day spent enjoying the beautiful wasatch mountains. I was happy to finally hit this wasatch classic. I was blessed to be joined with great people. We were blessed with great weather. Love to enjoy God’s beautiful mountain creations especially when they are covered in beautiful snow. We were blessed to have a most excellent safe adventure.


Hiker Trash
Jan 4, 2015
Spectacular photos and conditions, bravo! I made the mistake of doing the beatout in the summer once and it was... rough. Probably faster on snow, and sooooo pretty to boot!


Aug 18, 2018
WOW! Spectacular TR, thanks for sharing. High adrenaline day. Glad you all made it back safely. Your photos are always super cool, beautiful scenery.


Mar 1, 2015
Wow, that looks brutal, terrifying... and absolutely amazing! This is seriously inspiring me to start doing some real snow climbs


Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
Jun 7, 2012
Stunning. I've been doing a lot of ski touring in the wasatch this winter, and I agree. Looks better with a blanket of snow.


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
Every time I read a report of yours, I see "exciting" as being synonymous with: exposed, dangerous, one stumble, slip or loose rock away from certain paralysis or even death. :)

Beyond that...looks like it was a terrific day. Great photos! Yet again, I now have to go pinch myself to confirm we really do live at the foot of mountains like that.

John Morrow

May 22, 2015
Wow, what a backyard you have! Love the alpine flavor here:

a closer look at the exciting ridge below the chipman saddle. It had a good combination of snow and rocks to climb which added to the excitement
View attachment 88525
looking back down on an exciting rocky section of the exciting ridge below the chipman saddle. Climbing rocks with crampons on with ice axe in hand adds to the excitement View attachment 88526
Looking up the exciting ridgeline at more snow and rock climbing to come
View attachment 88527
looking down from near the chipman saddle at the ridgeline we just climbed
View attachment 88528

Great stuff and a long day! Almost surprised more evidence of skiers isn't visible. Maybe the lighting


Life really is better Here
Apr 20, 2013
Read this twice. Always like the clean, purity of what you shoot on those peaks.
Pfieff is on the schedule for either this week or next, but to Summit up Maybird, and the WHOLE beat out...

were not worthy.jpg

or at least I am not.


Love the Mountains!
Mar 1, 2016
Thanks @Perry, @Titans, and @RyanP!

@slc_dan you are wise to enjoy the wasatch mountains in the snow!

@WasatchWill I like your description of exciting. That’s an excellent summary. And I agree feel so blessed to live so close to these awesome wasatch mountains. I would drive a long distance to climb a route line the Beatout.

Thanks @John Morrow the wasatch mountains are great for exploring. There were many skiers that day up on Pfiefferhorn and UPWOP.

thanks @Ugly you are too kind. Love seeing your pictures and reading your adventures. Have a great Pfiefferhorn climb!


Because I am able.
Dec 31, 2017
Absolutely breathtaking and terrifying (for me) haha. My heart started to beat irregularly just looking at your photos!

I love the photo looking down at Maybird Gulch. Looks so fluffy!!! Thanks for sharing.


Mar 28, 2012
Maybird in spring is spectacular and not too hard to get up to, I had upper Maybird to myself for most of a day last June!
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
montanaclimber advice Grand Canyon backpacking Spring 2020 Trip Planning 16
Yvonne The Subway September 2020 - a trip that went wrong Hiking & Camping 10
LarryBoy A Greater Yellowstone Loop - 2020 Backpacking 21
TheMountainRabbit Bowen-Baker Loop (Never Summer Wilderness) - June 2020 Backpacking 1
J Death Valley National Park and Area Mountain Rambles Dec. 16-17, 2020 Hiking & Camping 0
J Death Valley Natl. Pk: Funeral Pk, Slit Canyon, and Big Dune. Dec 21-22, 2020 Hiking & Camping 1
J Death Valley NP Black Mountains and beyond Hiking Dec 19-20, 2020 Hiking & Camping 1
Bob Yellowstone today ...... 4/21/2020 General Discussion 0
TheMountainRabbit NW Wind River Range (Bridger Wilderness) - August 2020 Backpacking 3
Yvonne Sky Rim Trail, Yellowstone, August 6, 2020 Hiking & Camping 15
travel2walk trip report: Wind River Range – Ross Lakes, Bear Basin, Grasshopper Glacier, & Dinwoody Creek loop, Aug-Sep 2020 Trip Reports 41
OldBill In and Around the Winds, Sept 2020 Backpacking 8
Tim Valentine Alaska Visit August 2020 Hiking & Camping 16
J Scrambles in the Lower Colorado River Corridor AZ/NV; Dec. 11-14, 2020 Hiking & Camping 5
TheMountainRabbit Lamar River, Mirror Plateau, and Pelican Valley (Yellowstone NP) - mid-September 2020 Backpacking 28
J More fine and aesthetic desert summits scrambles Dec. 1-3, 2020 Hiking & Camping 2
J Footlose and unfocused in the Mojave and Sonoran Desert Dec. 8-10, 2020 Hiking & Camping 2
Nick 2020-2021 Snowpack General Discussion 97
J A few days in Mojave National Preserve Dec. 5-7, 2020 Hiking & Camping 9
J On to towers of the Sonoran Desert with friends; Nov 21-30, 2020 Hiking & Camping 6
balzaccom What was GOOD about 2020? General Discussion 20
J N. Mojave Desert Rambles and Scrambles (start of 40 desert days) Nov. 14-20, 2020 Hiking & Camping 4
Tim Valentine Hoover Wilderness August 2020 Backpacking 9
scatman Frary Peak - December 5, 2020 Hiking & Camping 10
scatman Church Fork Peak - November 28, 2020 Hiking & Camping 2
scatman Grandeur Peak, The West Slope Approach - October 31, 2020 Hiking & Camping 7
NECoastalHykur Ketchum Run Overnight - Loyalsock Trail - Pennsylvania - 2020 September 26 Hiking & Camping 6
chandlerwest Zion Nat'l Park - October Adventures 2020 Hiking & Camping 16
scatman North Summit, Mount Olympus - October 17, 2020 Hiking & Camping 16
wsp_scott SEKI 2020 Backpacking 5
Nethos Southern Utah - Late October & Early November 2020 Trip Planning 16
TractorDoc Yellowstone's Heart Lake -- September 14-17 2020 Backpacking 32
Stephanie B Our Intro to the Red Desert, September 14 - 16, 2020 Hiking & Camping 4
scatman Cache Creek, Yellowstone National Park - September 10, 2020 Backpacking 8
SteveR Album Fall Colors 2020 Photography 37
wabenho Teton Crest Trail - August 2020 Backpacking 13
Nethos Devil's Path, Catskills, September 5-7 2020 Backpacking 3
scatman Naomi Peak - September 5, 2020 Hiking & Camping 2
Titans The Milky Way and a plethora of beautiful ponds - The Adirondacks, August, 2020. Hiking & Camping 14
swmalone Yellowstone Camping Trip - August 18-20, 2020 Hiking & Camping 21
scatman Pebble Creek, Yellowstone National Park - August 14, 2020 Backpacking 42
C Paria Canyon water source - August 2020 Trip Planning 2
Blake Merrell UHT 2020 - Leidy to Hayden Backpacking 18
Born to Hike 85 miles on the Uinta Highline Trail including Crater Lake and a Dinosaur: July 26 - Aug 1, 2020 Backpacking 35
scatman Mount Nebo - August 6, 2020 Hiking & Camping 13
blueeyes FITZ-BARN 2020 Everything Else 6
scatman Grandview Peak - July 24, 2020 Hiking & Camping 11
D Tetons Crest Trail Aug./Sept. 2020 need a new partner/partners Noobs: Introduce yourself! 1
scatman Broads Fork Twin Peaks - July 14, 2020 Hiking & Camping 20
scatman Bourbon Lake, Uintas - July 11, 2020 Hiking & Camping 4

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.