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Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing

Central Wasatch Mountains, Utah

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Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing

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  • Negotiating the summit ridge.- Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing
  • After two hours of ridge walking, the summit finally comes into sight.- Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing
  • Treading carefully on the heavily corniced ridgeline.- Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing
  • A gloomy Kessler Peak in the distance.- Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing
  • A large, beautiful aspen grove at the base of Mount Raymond.- Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing
  • The first view of the peak.- Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing
  • Looking up Big Cottonwood from the long approach.- Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing
  • Hiking to snow in spring conditions near the Big Cottonwood Road.- Mount Raymond Backcountry Skiing
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful views. Incredible skiing. Significant accomplishment.
Cons: 
Long approach. Short section on the descent that requires skinning.
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Region:
Central Wasatch Mountains, UT
Max slope angle: 
15-30 degrees
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Total Distance: 
10.50 mi (16.90 km)
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,056.00 ft (1,845.87 m)
Vertical descent: 
4,000.00 ft (1,219.20 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Mount Raymond is a stunning mountain located on the ridge separating Big Cottonwood Canyon from Millcreek Canyon. While Raymond is technically a few feet shorter than its neighbor, Gobblers Knob, it is significantly more dramatic and difficult to ski. Skiing Mount Raymond is a significant accomplishment and should only be attempted by those in excellent physical condition and those are have a good understanding of the risks that go along with backcountry skiing.

To ski Mount Raymond, park near the Terraces picnic area, which is about 8 miles up the Big Cottonwood Road. It is a long skin to the peak from the trailhead, so go slow and prepare to be out in the mountains for a full day. The skintrack follows a gully up for about 700 feet to a point where the gully starts turning in two directions. Go left (west) and follow that drainage up to the ridgeline where you will be greeted with your first good view of the peak. The view from here is simply astounding, and you will be able to see all of the several chutes that come off of the summit ridge. They are a skier's dream. It would be wise to pick your chute here, as this is arguably the best vantage point.

From here it is a long and very mellow skin through a large aspen grove to the base of the mountain. Enjoy this part of the hike while it lasts, for once you gain the summit ridge this becomes a slow and challenging hike.

Skin through the aspens to Baker Pass, which rests below Mount Raymond and Gobblers Knob. Skin the ridge toward Mount Raymond as long as possible, but soon you will have to put your skis on your back and boot pack. This is a technical boot pack. Cornices are abundant on this ridge, and there are severe undulations that require you to boot pack downhill. Go slowly. This is not a place to take a wrong step.

Slowly navigate the ridge to the summit, where you should enjoy the unique view of the central Wasatch and West Desert. The steepest and arguably best line is the chute directly off of the summit. If conditions permit, this is the line of choice. Ski it all the way down and stay high left once you reach the aspen grove, and return to the car by following the skin track. 

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(18 within a 30 mile radius)

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(166 within a 30 mile radius)

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