Flattop Mountain

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Flattop Mountain

Submitted By: Franz on June 10, 2010

Administrator: Franz

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Featured Descent

Colorado » Front Range

Russell Peak South Shoulder

The south shoulder is one of the more difficult faces of Russell peak, because even though there are more options, there are also a lot more dangers. There are tight couliors, cliffs, and lots of exposure if the snow is not right.  Depending upon the conditions, these lines can be completely filled in, or very exposed.  They heat up pretty quick due to the sun in the spring, so you want to be careful up there.  If you want to ski the south shoulder and you need an escape route, look south to Oatmeal Bowl for other options.

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Details

As it's namesake would suggest the top of Flattop mountain is well, flat.  However, this mesa does have access to several steep couliors and even some mellower more winter oriented lines.  Careful in the couliors because avalanche season will be there until late spring.  There is a little bit of everything for the skier here, mellow terrain and steep, steep technical lines

How to Get There

Go to the Bear Lake parking lot in RMNP and then decide whether you are going to access the skiing by hiking around the mellow east ridge of Flattop or going up Tyndall Gorge to Emerald Lake (Tyndall Gorge route is reccomended if your doing such things as Dragon's Tail or the Couliors that come down across from it as then you can climb the line before you ski it).  The emerald lake trail will take you right up to the heart of the gorge, which is freaking gorgeous. 
If you decide to ascend by gaining flattops East facing ridge, follow the fern lake trail to the Flattop mountain trail and gain the summit.  The east ridge of flattop is an easy hike and be prepared for lots of tourists in the summer time. Skiing down to Emerald lake is the only place I've ever gotten an applause after skiing a line

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