Dead Elk Couloir Approach
ElevationAscent: 470' 143 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 11,955' 3,644 m
Low: 11,485' 3,501 m
GradeAvg Slope: 19% (11°)
Max Slope: 33% (18°)
Avalanche risk for May 17, 2019: Moderate
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
Current ascent conditions
Popular ski lines nearby
0.5 mi 0.9 km • -1,633 ft Descent • -497.8 m Descent
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0.4 mi 0.6 km • -871 ft Descent • -265.42 m Descent
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0.3 mi 0.5 km • -398 ft Descent • -121.25 m Descent
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Hidden Valley "Ptarmigan"
0.2 mi 0.3 km • -128 ft Descent • -38.9 m Descent
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“Route to the top of Dead Elk Couloir from Bear Lake.”— Jacob Winey
In the winter, you can walk straight out of the bear lake parking lot towards flattop without even hiking to the lake. Once you pass the top of Flattop East face, keep going until the incline begins to mellow out. The top of Flattop is often wind-scoured, so be prepared to boot pack.
The two entrances to Dragontail Couloir come up quickly on the left side and can be recognized by one, mellower line entering westward into the couloir and another past that which enters facing east and is much steeper. Another couple hundred yards along the ridge will bring you around a small hill of scree and to the entrance of Dead Elk. The top part of the couloir may be scoured a little bit and there will be a noticeable choke to the couloir as you look down it.
Land Manager: National Park Service - Rocky Mountain National Park