“A cool rappel into a moderately steep but very tight couloir.”
— Jacob Winey
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Need to Know
Come prepared with rappelling gear and an anchor, in case the ones there have rotted. On a really big year, it could be possible to skip the rappel, but best to be prepared.
This is a Summit County classic and a very short tour from Frisco. From the parking lot, cross Tenmile Creek, take the bike path for a quarter mile, and then make the climb on the Mt. Royal summer trail. Once you get to the saddle between Mt. Royal and Peak 1 (fairly obvious, you can start seeing to the north) start searching the "cliffed-out" area to the right of the trail for a tree with old slings at the base. This is about 3/4 of the way across the saddle, and below the trail. Rap into the couloir from there; it's a short rappel, maybe 50 feet. It's fairly flat at the bottom of the rap, so putting your skis on in the couloir isn't a problem.
It's roughly a 1,400 foot skin, followed by a few hundred foot down climb and rappel, leaving you with an 1,100 foot or so ski. The choke of the couloir is just about 2 meters wide, but that only lasts for 10 to 20 feet. The rest of the tight section is very skiable.
Once you exit the couloir, it opens up to an apron that then drops you onto the bike path. The apron can be very fun to ski, or very rocky, just check it out from I-70 so you know what you're dropping into. Follow the bike path to the northeast to get back to the parking lot.