Y Couloir (Left Branch)
Avg: 3.7 from 7 votes
|Type:||Alpine, 1500 ft, Grade IV|
|Page Views:||4,765 total, 27/month|
|Shared By:||Willie Mein on Jun 8, 2003|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionThis is one of the most spectacular ski descents in RMNP.
Although this is a climbing site and many people think of the Y couloirs as snow/ice/mixed climbs, the left Y Couloir (climber's left, skier's right) is most remarkable as a ski mountaineering adventure.
Typically the best time to catch this East-facing couloir is in the early morning, in the early spring. One can either approach from the Lawn Lake trailhead (below), or from the Alpine Visitor Center (above). The complete tour, starting from Trail Ridge Road/Alpine Visitor Center and coming out at the Lawn Lake Trailhead is an awesome ski mountaineering experience; however, it is dependent on the opening of TR road. The approach from below is straightforward and allows one to assess the conditions before dropping in on skis.
A single alpine axe and crampons should suffice for ascending the couloir. Many climbers may feel comfortable without a rope.
With many miles, a lot of vertical, high summits, insane exposure, and wicked skiing, this is a very big day under the best circumstances.