Submitted By: Randonee_Urban on September 01, 2010
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Depending on snow cover, it may be possible to descend NE off the summit to the open snow field above the NE couloir. You can also descent east off the summit and traverse skiers left to the snow field above the NE couloir. When we skied it, the couloir narrowed about half way down the face to about 6 feet (this of course will vary with timing/snow conditions). Once thru the narrow section, you're basically at the top of the apron, so let 'em rip!!
For extra credit, climb and ski one of the north facing couloirs on North Star Mountain on the way back to the car.
The Terrain Park is an RMNP classic area for mid-winter backcountry skiers looking for sparse crowds, pillow lines, and, most importantly, DEEP powder. This area is also used by the Colorado Mountain School for Avalanche 1 classes, so make sure you 're on your Avy Game because you never know who will be asking you about current conditions!
The constant winds of RMNP pick up snow from Longs Peak all the way to Chaos Canyon, where the trees near Lake Haiyaha and Dream Lake strain out the wind, depositing the soft, cushy snow in the north-facing Dream Chutes and in the East Facing Terrain Park runs such as Mario Gully and others.
After a few storms, this is easily some of the best short-lap powder skiing terrain on the Front Range.
How to Get There
Park at Bear Lake Trailhead (Plowed year-round) and hike to Nymph Lake. Continue towards Dream Lake, but take a left (south) just before the actual Dream Lake onto the Lake Haiyaha trail (look for a sign poking out of the snow). From here, ascend the switchbacks through the trees and on top of the large cliffs until you will find your self before an exposed, steep slope. You can either continue up the ridge (west) to the Dream Lake Chutes, or traverse across the ridge (south) to the east facing runs.