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dblack Dragontail Couloir

  4.9 ( 18 )

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0.5 mile 0.9 kilometer point to point
Ski Line
Extremely Difficult


Ascent: 0' 0 m
Descent: -1,633' -498 m
High: 11,784' 3,592 m
Low: 10,151' 3,094 m


Avg Slope: 58% (30°)
Max Slope: 106% (47°)
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Trail shared by Eric Internicola

Avalanche risk for Apr 18, 2019: Low

Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.

Full forecast for CAIC: Front Range Zone — Brought to you by CO Avalanche Information Center

Avy tweets from @CAICfrontrange

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Current ascent conditions

Minor Issues 12 days ago See History
Crusty, Windblown, Hardpack, Icy - 10:30 am 4/7/19, conditions were not favorable. Skiable, but difficult. Beware large and hard chunks of snow on apron

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A rocky mountain mega-classic

Eric Internicola
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry


Needs Overview

Need to Know

Cornice at the top of the couloir. There's rock fall potential, and this is definitely avalanche terrain. I recommend a springtime descent.


Fantastic springtime skiing. It's very common to skin up Flattop or to climb the couloir from Emerald Lake. From the top, there are two entrances—the classic entrance is to the looker's left, and the Incisor entrance is to the right. The Incisor is probably skied more commonly since it's not as steep or narrow as the classic line, however it does involve an exposed traverse over a cliff band where it connects to Dragon Tail.

After the two entrances merge, the couloir gets much wider and far less steep. From there out, it's a consistent, mid-30s slope the rest of the way making it an absolute blast to ski. After you get out of the couloir, there's an apron to ski down to get to Emerald Lake. This apron can be enough fun on its own that people lap it on clear days.


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Apr 18, 2019
Austin West
3h 07m
Mar 30, 2019
Paul Richard
Mar 23, 2019
Jesse Villines
Sep 20, 2017
Jun 4, 2017
Ben Richardson
We made it almost all the way up the left fork but stopped about 100 ft from the saddle due to insecure snow and exposed rock. A pretty serious wet... 5.2mi
May 5, 2017
Justin Palm
Good sized wet slide at the base of Dragon's Tail/Dead Elk. Looks icy and iffy due to much of the soft top layer sliding off the southern facing as...
Apr 16, 2017
Anfarwal Vr
w/ CH, went 2/3 up couloir since didn't have gear (and my 1st). Ate lunch at the lake. 4.5mi — 4h 30m
Apr 16, 2017
Ryan Overton

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 18 votes


  4.9 from 18 votes
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