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Dead Elk Couloir

Very Difficult
 4.7 (3) SKI LINE

A steep ski descent with a mandatory rappel or down-climb near the top of the route.


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Map Key

0.5

Miles

0.8

KM

Ski Line

11,896' 3,626 m

High

10,170' 3,100 m

Low

0' 0 m

Up

1,726' 526 m

Down

64%

Avg Slope (32°)

88%

Max Slope (41°)
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Need to Know

Bring rope and rappel gear. There's a chance that there will be enough snow to down-climb the crux, but don't take that chance, that's how accidents happen.

Description

Dead Elk Couloir starts off on a 45+ degree slope in a no-fall zone, watch your slough due to the exposed nature of the top part of this route. This goes for only a couple hundred feet before the walls choke at small cliff or down-climb. Currently (January 2020) there's a very nice anchor just above the rappel on the skier's right side. We found that a 30m rope was the perfect length for the rappel, in low-snow conditions.

After the rappel, you can expect to enjoy about a thousand feet of beautiful, technical couloir skiing before opening up on Tyndall Glacier next to the mouth of Dragontail Couloir.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jacob Winey

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#220

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Ski Line Rankings

#48

in Colorado

#220

Overall
21 Views Last Month
6,135 Since Apr 6, 2016
Very Difficult

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Photos

Getting closer to the bottom of Smoke and Dragons; here's one of the spots where you really need to stay left.
May 19, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO
Sam, skiing the first snowfield in Smoke and Dragons
May 19, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO
Marking the location of Smoke and Dragons relative to Dead Elk and Dragon Tail
May 19, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO
Skiing down the bottom part of Dead Elk.
Apr 6, 2016 near Grand Lake, CO
Looking up Dead Elk (left) and Dragontail (right). April 2015.
May 2, 2015 near Grand Lake, CO
The traverse to the start of Smoke and Dragons
Jun 1, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Jan 19, 2020
Jacob Winey
Low snow after the rappel. Had to down-climb a few hundred feet.
May 18, 2013
Jared Brin