Storm Mountain

Elevation: 9,524
Location: Wasatch Range, Utah

Storm Mountain is a minor peak on a ridge leading northwest from the much higher Broads Fork Twin Peaks. The mountain is really more popular for rock climbing than peak bagging. Rock climbing exists from both Big Cottonwood Canyon near Stairs Gulch and Ferguson Canyon.

View west from high in Ferguson Canyon to Salt Lake Valley The hike Allen and I did on July fourth of 1995 was via the most common route up Ferguson Canyon. We started early and headed up the hard-to-follow trail up the canyon. A stream runs through the canyon and the trail is mostly rocks.

The trail branches off to the north, and you'll quite possibly miss it. Once you get on this trail, you've got it made for a while. A climb of 1.5 miles and 1,600 feet leads to a branch that takes you to an overlook of the Salt Lake Valley. It is about a five minute side trip. Back on the main trail, which quickly deteriorates into a slog up a rocky, dry streambed, your work has just begun.

The next 1,600 feet to the meadow below Storm Mountain is steep and very taxing. The horrific trail doesn't help. For a great description of the hike to the meadow, try to track down an old copy of "Wasatch Trails, volume 2" is hilarious, but very accurate. Ahead you're more likely to take notice of the much higher unnamed 10,350 foot peak than Storm Mountain. Behind you however is a fine view back to the valley. Finally arriving at the meadow we were pleased to find it to appear to be so rarely visited. We found no signs of any humans having been there recently.

The un-spectacular looking summit of Storm Mountain from upper Ferguson Canyon Above, Storm mountain doesn't look like much more than the end of a ridge heading northwest. To get to the peak you'll need to reach a saddle to the right (southeast) of the peak. Getting there involves climbing a steep slope of grass, trees and rock bands, but no scrambling is required. As I got ahead of Allen on this part, we lost sight of each other. I downclimbed right past him, both yelling, and we totally missed each other! There was some wind noise, but I didn't think that much.

The clouds were lowering on us this day, and peak 10,350 was in and out of the clouds the whole time. From this saddle, now at about 9,400 feet, is a good view back down into Big Cottonwood Canyon. The remaining part to the summit presented no major challenges other than a mountain goat who was reluctant to give up the ridge to us. The summit views were good, but not as good as other nearby peaks (Olympus, Twins). With the clouds threatening rain we made a quick retreat to the meadow.

The hike down is a killer on the knees and we both concluded that it was definately NOT one of our favorite climbs. Climbing 4,300 plus feet to get on top of a peak that is dwarfed by it's neighbors, and on such a horrible route just didn't do it for us...but others might like the solitude this peak offers.