Submitted By: Randonee_Urban on September 01, 2010
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The descent for this area is pretty short, but it does get steep. You start out going through the trees, and as it gets steeper, it becomes an avy path. The hanging meadow is a short pitch that is void of trees, but be careful because it is prone to avalanches caused by backcountry skiers. Once you are down through the meadow, you can cut hard left to get back to the first turnoff and take a quick skin back up to the warming hut or you can continue NW and go down to 7 Mile, which is a much longer run.[more]
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.