Submitted By: Randonee_Urban on September 01, 2010
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Lou Dawson refers to this line as a "Big-ol-strip-o-snow" in this book Colorado's Fourteeners Volume 1. The slope of this couloir is surprisingly consistent over it's entire length. It's incredibly wide (100+ feet), and fun line that seems to go on forever. It's also a very straight forward descent. What you see is what you get, because in fact, you can see the entire line from the top. This line may not easily go from the exact summit, so some down climbing over talus may be required. Both Lou Dawson in his 14ers guide book, and Bill Middlebrook on 14ers.com have excellent write-ups on this route.[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.