Monte Cristo Gully

There are a few classic lines that I want to tie up this Spring. But this Spring is different and there’s no such thing as plans any more. Thankfully, a couple of evenings ago JBo was willing to make a spur of the moment trip up Monte Christo, a local mega-classic. Immediately next to the often skied Mt Superior, the increased exposure, terrain complications, and navigation difficulties make this line less-visited.

JBo headed up Pole Line Pass at sunrise.

Up the Superior shoulder.
Booting between Mt Superior and the summit of Monte Cristo

The upside of Monte Christo is that for those with a skimo attitude and light gear, it’s a quick trip. We cruised past packs of slowboarders and Alta freeride kids on Superior up to a much quieter summit atop Monte Christo. For better or for worse the “edge of the world” line at the very far looker’s left had been skied by a pair of bros just before us. Proving that social media does change behavior, they skied those 10 turns and then booted back up to the ridge.

Not quite on the edge of the world, but straight from the top with feeling.
Jbo coming down through the first section of couloir.

The large bowl above narrows into a large couloir leading to a cliff. Before the cliff, you turn left over a ridge to reach another couloir that avoids a rappel. It had been a few years since JBo had been here, so we turned left too soon and skied another section of couloir that also ended in a cliff.

This is what the couloir too far to the left looks like.
Jbo and I agree that that bit down there looks cliffy. Time to boot back up.

One back in the main couloir, the proper route was substantially obvious and no additional navigational tricks were needed.

Back to the main couloir. If you can see JBo here, he’s fall line above the directissima rappel. The gully escape is over the arete to the left.
The lower couloir was a mix of super smooth and super bumpy. Here, JBo on a smooth bit.

The snow was marginal, the company fantastic, and morning magnificent.

Category: Skiing


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