FKT: Andy Butterworth - La Sal 12er Traverse (UT) - 2020-07-02

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
7h 58m 49s
GPS track(s)

I started at 8:59 on 7/2 from la sal pass after camping at medicine lakes just east of the pass. Smooth sailing until the big drop into geyser pass where any semblance of a trail disappears and talus and down trees make their first appearance. The supposed crux of the route, fang between tuk and Peale, was quite easy by dropping to the south and staying on solid rock instead of climbing the ridge line directly, that would be incredibly dangerous given the exposure and loose nature of the rock in the la sals. I failed to pull water through geyser pass so only drank the 1.5 ls I started with, luckily the temps stayed in the low 60s above 11k all day and dehydration only kicked in the last hour or so.  The most challenging aspect of the route, physically, for me was the avalanche chute and summiting  mt tomaski as this was the steepest and hottest section of the route on loose terrain with no trail or obvious line. The line flows very logically from tomaski all the way to la sal peak where you are greeted with a heinous 2k off trail decent in a mile into the bachelor basin before hitting the dirt road into willow basin for the final decent before a slight uphill finish at the green gate. Despite some navigation issues costing time in the bachelor basin area before the finish I was able to finish in 7:58. Make sure you fill up water in the geyser pass area as the water at burro pass before tomaski I expected was not flowing in July.  This is a very unique route due to the desert scenery below and nearly uninterrupted views of SE Utah and SW Colorado. I saw three herds of mountain goats, five or six elk, and only 3 or four humans. I hope this route gets more attention as it’s very aesthetic and Challenging in its own right due. If you have any questions or want beta on the route give me an email at and I would be happy to help out!