Random ShotsEast Slopes
East Slopes of Crystal Peak
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At Backcountry Coalition we strive to provide our visitors and members with a place to share their experiences and love for backcountry skiing. Our site is built from our member base and grows with them. Check out our Areas & Descents section for detailed information regarding ski areas, and some of the routes that our members have discovered.[learn more]
From the Forum
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New Area or Descent Submission Suggestions
An area is the destination for your day. For example, Berthoud Pass is an area. Consider this to be where you are parking and getting geared up for the day. There are multiple ways to head to skin up and multiple slopes to aim to descend. Please give as much logistic detail and information to aid your fellow backcountry users. Do not assume any prior knowledge of an area when posting.
The descent is where you will be skiing down. Most areas will have plenty of choices to descend, whether it be the wide open wind blown slope, the tight trees, or some narrow coulior. When posting overview photos, consider drawing arrows designating these descents.
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What is the terrain like??
How long is the ascent? How strenous?
How steep is the skiable terrain?
What is the aspect of the slope that you will be skiing?
Are there access issues?
Best time of year for descent?
Any Historical Information?
Average Length of day? Quick Laps, All day, Overnight?
Certain terrain features that should be avoided?
Avalanche Safety resources? Local Avalanche Center, Avy Terrain Maps, etc
Please be aware of different types and skill levels of users that may be using this area. Keep in mind that users may vary in skill level so please be thorough in describing potential risks, hazards, and commitment level of the area. Everyone's safety is the first priority. If there are dangers to some users please note this. Do not assume people have any avalanche training.
How to get there
Pretend you have never been there. What information do you need to get to the area correctly? It's not bad to give too much information. You wouldn't want to get lost would you?
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Cristo is a fairly wide snow gully, and is not particularly technical to ski. That said, it is steep enough to demand advanced ski abilities.
Cristo is rated D8 or D9 depending on snow conditions. For information on the D rating system, see here: http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/ratings/ski-board-d-rating-system.html
In good snow conditions, Cristo can be skied right off the summit. Depending on snowpack, there may or may not be a few rocky patches to navigate. The gully has a few rollovers, the steepest reaching 40-45 degrees. The slope has a double fall-line, and is generally a bit mellower if you stay towards the skier's right side. While not a true no-fall zone, the double fall-line nature also means that a sliding fall in the couloir could be dangerous.
Cristo Couloir is a very large avalanche path and has claimed it's share of victims. As such, this route is recommended as a spring descent in times of good stability only. Also, whether you're driving or skinning up Blue Lakes Road, be aware that several major avalanche paths threaten the road near the dam.[more]