Allison pointed out to me tonight that Timpanogos is a Ute word meaning rock (tumpi-), and water mouth (-panogos). That got me googling and it wasnt long before I came up with this page from Southern Paiutes: Legends, Lore, Language and Lineage. If you haven’t read about the possible origin of the word “Wasatch” it’s worth clicking that last link.
Anyway, today we walked up the East Peak of Timpanogos, or Peak 10791, or Elk Point, depending upon who you ask. Climbers on summitpost claim guidebook author Kelsey labeled the point East Peak of Timpanogos in his books despite the pre-existing name Elk Point. But then Derek and Bruce Tremper agree Elk Point is the outcrop a bit further south, just above Sundance. So who knows. Anyway.
We skied the prominent, fearsome-looking avalanche path on the NE corner of watchamacallit after looking for something even more billy-goat to ski. The snow was variable and, notably, punchy in places. Down lower the powder was still cold and soft but the near surface facet layer is 6-8″ deep, loud, and loose. The snow in this area is loosing strength, as both the top and bottom of the snowpack metamorphose. All it will take is a windy night or a couple inches of snow to turn this slope into the loaded gun it often is.
We skied the big gut-shot off the summit in the photo below. That’s mostly ’11/’12 gear you see the boys sporting there. Sorry, but you’ll have to wait to see it up close.
I’d classify the route as “adventure skiing” which in my lexicon implies a dose of exploration, routefinding, and perhaps less-than-ideal snow. While there aren’t many days in a year I feel bold enough to venture into the funnel we skied, terrain knowledge from today will be helpful the next time I do.