“Moderate skiing with big consequence for a fall leads to a short, steep crux.”
— Jason Killgore
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Need to Know
The summer route eye-bolts may or may-not be easily accessible in late spring. Plan to leave gear if you need to rappel, or better yet use patience and wait until the line is in.
Endless arguments can arise when choosing the best ski line on Longs Peak. Position versus length versus steepness versus exposure vs etc...
The North Face isn't a long line, but the position is classic. Expect to wait for a series of sticky spring storms to make a clean descent. It is recommended that the route be climbed before skiing to get beta for the crux slabs. If you sense any signs of instability, bail ASAP. You do not want to get avalanched over the slabs, or worse, Chasm View.
From the summit, move slightly west, then take a fall line descent back towards the crux slabs. The skiing here is open and classic, but a fall could be quite bad. If those storms were sticky enough, the slabs will go with a series of hop turns on 50 degree slopes . If not, prepare to rappel or downclimb. I'd estimate the slabs are skiable every couple of years.
The line seems to come into best shape sometime between April and June, and will often only be skiable, clean, for a few days or weeks. It is worth the wait for conditions.