Glenwood Springs / Carbondale
Submitted By: Killabeeski on April 23, 2010
Views: 3270 page views
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]
Glenwood and Carbondale are both right off of I 70 west of Vail. From here you have great access to Sunlight Ski Resort as well as the Roaring Fork Valley. There is great access to plenty of skiing back here, not to mention the hot springs in Glenwood.
How to Get There
Just head west of the Front Range on I70 and you will cross through Glenwood Springs. From here there are plenty of great backcountry ski areas to tap into