The White Pine Trailhead in Little Cottonwood Canyon is one of the best ski touring trailheads in the country. From the trailhead, one can access a wide range of ski terrain from mellow trees to steep, exposed alpine summits. Simply put, there is something for everyone at this trailhead. Red Baldy is one of the major summits accessed from the White Pine Trailhead, and it is a touring destination that should attract any serious backcountry skier in the Northern Utah area.
From the White Pine Trailhead, follow the skin track up, for a long, long ways. The approach to Red Baldy is relatively mellow and long, so enjoy the views and keep climbing uphill. Eventually you will be greeted with fantastic views of the basin, with White Baldy, Red Baldy, and Lake Peak being the primary peaks. The skiing potential here is truly unbelievable. Red Baldy is the biggest peak on the left (east), and it has a relatively mellow and elongated summit. Once in the basin, skin up the left (east) side, which will most likely have a skin track. The common skinning route up the peak is on the mellow ramp on the looker's left side of the peak. Following this route, one can skin almost directly to the summit. Once on the ridge, there are several good skiing options, all of which are right around the 30-degree mark.
When looking at the peak from the base you will notice several chutes on the looker's right side. These chutes in general are called the Rock n’ Roll Chutes, and they are a fantastic option for those looking for a little more challenge and the reward of an untracked chute. While it is possible to summit via the ramp and hike the ridge, the most direct route is to skin, and then hike, directly up the chute.
Note that it is roughly 3,200 vertical feet of climbing to the summit, so a long day and excellent physical stamina are required! The Red Baldy area is stunning, and it is a must-visit for backcountry skiing enthusiasts!
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.