Southern Madison Range

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Southern Madison Range

Submitted By: sicky_line_brah on September 03, 2010

Administrator: sicky_line_brah

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Colorado » Ten Mile Range

Cristo Couloir

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.

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Details

A remote and rugged range that stretches from the south of Big Sky to Hebgen Lake.  Long approaches are required unless you have a snowmobile or the roads melt out, but be warned the majority of the range is in wilderness so don't go past the wilderness boundary with your sled.  A broad range of terrain from big, open faces, to narrow steep couloirs.  Avi conditions can be found at mtavalanche.com

How to Get There

There are several trailheads and access points, with the Taylor Fork Road being the closest to Big Sky.

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