Submitted By: mtnfiend on July 07, 2011
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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]
Wheeler Mountain sits at the south west end of the blue lakes basin that is formed by Quandary, Fletcher, and Drift to the north and North Star Mountain to the east.
How to Get There
Take hwy 9 south out of Breckenridge towards Hoosier Pass. Turn west at the Quandary and Blue lakes trail head. In winter, the road closure is basically immediately off the hwy. Later in the spring, the road to blue lakes melts out and you can then park at the lake.
Submitted on: Jan 30, 2012