Whipple Couloir Backcountry Skiing is a classic Wasatch ski descent.  Getting there and finding it isn't straight forward but you'll be rewarded if you do.  With some of the most unique and visually stunning scenery in the Wasatch, the Whipple Couloir could be the most scenic of all the classic descents.

Whipple Couloir Route Planning

First, you have to find the trailhead.  It's hidden up the top of Residential Neighborhoods.  Finding the trail isn't that difficult, but it isn't obvious either

Next, the approach is long and low. Whipple Couloir Trail Map The approach starts at a low elevation.  Often times you will be hiking instead of skinning from the trailhead.  The Whipple couloir backcountry route is best accessed via Thomas Fork in Neff's Canyon. Accessing it from the Big Cottonwood involves hideous bushwhacking. Skiing Neffs Canyon means you'll have to climb a long way to access good skiing.

Whipple Couloir Trail Map

From this point, proceed uphill along the road grade into the canyon. Remember to keep to the left at the initial branch, as you will be traveling eastward along a well-traveled trail. As you progress, the trail will become narrower with trees until it opens up in an area. At this point, turn right into the dense woods and follow the winding trail through the north fork of Neff's. Throughout this trail, it will stay along a ridgeline until it reaches the upper section of the canyon. In the upper bowl, take a left turn and continue through the tree-covered area until you reach a minor peak. From there, move towards the ridge, backtrack a few hundred feet, and descend along the ridge to locate the entrance to the Whipple Couloir.

Backcountry skiing the Whipple Couloir is not for sissies!   You gotta be strong because it's steep, rocky, and somewhat narrow. Skiing Whipple Couloir is south-facing, making it more affected by daytime heating and the associated avalanche dangers.  After you're done skiing it, you have to climb back up it to get out. The good news is you'll likely be able to skin back up the couloir to get out. This saves a lot of time and effort compared to boot packing.  If you access it from the BIG Cottonwood Canyon you're in for some miserable bushwhacking.  My recommendation is to get fit, then attempt it early in the day from Neffs Canyon.

Backcountry skiing the Whipple couloir

Skiing Whipple Couloir

Related Articles and links:

Whipple Couloir Backcountry Skiing

Whipple Couloir Photo Gallery

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