Winter Wasatch Backyard Training

with Willie Benegas, IFMGA

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Interested in picking up the skills necessary to run your own expedition? Have some experience but interested in getting more into mountaineering and extended length trips in winter conditions? Come join our expedition seminars taking place right here in the Wasatch Mountains...

Upcoming Dates

Winter, TBD

Willie Benegas is offering 2- or 3-day weekend alpine training programs in his home, the Wasatch mountains of Utah: ski mountaineering, alpine climbing and ice climbing, during a tailored trip to meet YOUR goals to improve as an independent mountaineer.

Home in on all the skills required that you are either missing or need to revise, to enjoy the winter mountains independently – our aim is to get you out in the mountains unguided in the future: trip planning, weather, avalanche concerns and routes, plan B’s, safety plans, camp locations, group dynamics and plenty more!

Our expedition seminars will be instructed by IFMGA guide Willie Benegas, and will take place on weekends from the end of January to end of March. Willie needs no introduction but boasts significant expedition experience on Himalayan Peaks, Denali, Aconcagua, and can assist you with logistics and planning necessary to have a successful expedition.


Essentials: Approach gear (ski or snowshoes), boots, avalanche beacon, probe, shovel.


  • Cost

    From $530 (2 days)

    1:1 $440 per person per day
    2:1 $265 per person per day

  • Duration

    2 to 3 days

  • Location

    Wasatch Range, UT

  • Client/Guide


  • View in Map


Skills: Today we will focus on camp craft, managing and packing a sled, food packing/preparation, gear selection, and travel 2-4 hours to Red Pine Lake or 1-2 hours into Grizzly Gulch.


Skills: Today we have two main objectives, depending on weather conditions and avalanche hazard. Possibilities are the North Ridge of the Pfeifferhorn, or the standard SE face if we have camped at Red Pine Lake. Another option is camping in Grizzly Gulch, and climbing Toledo Ridge across from Alta Ski Resort. Both objectives involve technical climbing and will be instructed at a 2:1 ratio.


Pfeifferhorn is the 11,326 feet (3,452 m) triangularly-shaped peak located in the most isolated part of the Lone Peak Wilderness Area of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. It is the fifth-highest peak in the Wasatch Range and commands an impressive view from the top: the Wasatch Range, the Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake Valley, the Equerries to the West. In the winter, the approach is on skis or snowshoes, and we usually do the trip in two days. The first day, we get to base camp, just under the impressive North Ridge, establish our camp, have dinner and get ready for the next day. The North Ridge has some moderate technical rock climbing 5,4 but more than likely in winter our ascent will be made with crampons, because we will probably find ice and plenty of snow on the route. The views from the top are a well deserved reward after a challenging and very entertaining ascent. The descent from the top is done on the NE facing head wall. From there we hike back to camp, and finally back to the car.

The Great White Icicle

Everybody loves skiing and knows that Utah powder is world-class. But Utah has so much more to offer in the winter, so diversify your ski weekend learning to ice climb frozen waterfalls. This introduction to multi-pitch ice climbing takes climbers to the breathtaking classic The Great White Icicle, located in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Great White Icicle is likely the most popular ice climb in Utah and for good reason. Only a 15-minute, casual approach from the road, this route offers fantastic ice climbing with an introductory difficulty level. With over 600 vertical feet of climbing, normally done in 4 pitches this is an adventure you don’t want to forget the camera for. The Great White Icicle is an awesome climb for novices through experts.

Our stunning Wasatch Range adventures our permited via our partner WASATCH MOUNTAIN GUIDES LLC.