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Cross Couloir

Difficult
 5.0 (2) SKI LINE

Possibly the prettiest couloir in Colorado, and a bucket-list descent for any backcountry skier.


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Map Key

0.6

Miles

0.9

KM

Ski Line

13,727' 4,184 m

High

12,262' 3,737 m

Low

0' 0 m

Up

1,465' 447 m

Down

50%

Avg Slope (27°)

80%

Max Slope (39°)
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Check the status of Notch Mountain Road with the Forest Service. Certainly still skiable when the road is closed, just will likely involve an overnight.

Need to Know

The approach is a slog. If skied before the road is opened, then there's an extra eight miles and ~1,500' vertical to get to the summer trailhead. The approach is open to snowmobiles until May 1st, then it is closed to all motorized transport, so get hiking.

Description

Cross Couloir is a massive chute down the east face of Mt. of the Holy Cross, making up the center of its namesake cross.

The couloir starts just southeast from the summit, but you can usually ski from the true summit. From the top of the couloir, you can clearly see the 1,200' down to the right-hand exit out to Bowl of Tears. This exit is probably the most common way to ski the couloir. Some people choose to ski the entire couloir which involves a couple short rappels.

Once you exit from the couloir, you have a beautiful, open, east face to ski down to the lake. Getting back to Half Moon Pass from the lake involves a minefield of route-finding with quite a few hidden gems.

Enjoy! And know that a successful descent earns you permanent bragging rights every time you catch a view of Holy Cross from Vail or Copper.

History & Background

Mt. of the Holy Cross was named a National Monument in 1929, until its National Monument status was removed in 1950 and it was returned to the National Forest Service.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jacob Winey

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#12

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
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Ski Line Rankings

#9

in Colorado

#12

Overall
99 Views Last Month
5,363 Since Apr 30, 2017
Difficult

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Photos

Sam cruising down Cross Couloir.
Apr 30, 2017 near Minturn, CO
Looking up Cross Couloir from below.
Apr 30, 2017 near Minturn, CO

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Check-Ins

May 10, 2020
Dylan Kobriger
w/ Joel. hiked from tigiwon and camped at half moon pass
Jun 10, 2017
Jesse Villines