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Lightning Bolt Couloir

Extremely Difficult
  4.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


0.8 mile 1.3 kilometer point to point
Ski Line
Extremely Difficult


Ascent: 0' 0 m
Descent: -1,570' -478 m
High: 13,172' 4,015 m
Low: 11,602' 3,536 m


Avg Slope: 36% (20°)
Max Slope: 62% (32°)
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Trail shared by Michael G Danner

Avalanche risk for Jul 10, 2019: Unknown

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Full forecast for CAIC: North San Juan Mountains — Brought to you by CO Avalanche Information Center

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This line makes its way down a steep couloir with a 4 hour approach. This is a fun spring ski.

Michael G Danner
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Need to Know

Great ski for April and May. You can cut off quite a bit of the ascent by driving up Tomboy Road, though you'll probably only make it a little ways before the road becomes impassible due to snow.


This route is accessed from Tomboy Road. It's worth your while to try to drive up as much of the road as you can, but the road is officially closed in the winter. From your parked car, skin up along the remainder of the road. If you're there early enough in the season, you may be able to skin up most of the road. If you arrive later in the season, the snow may have already begun to melt, and you'll have to hike instead. When you reach the upper mining tram station you should see a couloir in the shape of a lighting bolt up in the distance, this is your objective.

When you reach the abandoned mining town of Tomboy, go left up a small valley that heads towards the base of the couloir. Hike straight up the couloir (it may be nice to have an ice axe) and then enjoy the ski down! The terrain is especially steep at the top, but the slope mellows as you reach the bottom.

All said, this is roughly a 4-hour skin/hike.

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Extremely Difficult



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