“A mile-long ski descent from the 5th tallest peak in RMNP.”
— Ryan Nevius
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Need to Know
While the skiing is mostly wide-open, there are a couple of hazards to be aware of. This is prime avalanche terrain in a remote location. It's south-facing; so make sure to get an early start in the spring before wet slides become an issue. The bottom part of the "hourglass" (the last half of the descent) also has some rocky/cliff sections to navigate. Trending skier's right is often the safest way to circumvent this section.
While the ascent from Ypsilon Lake is the shortest and most direct, an ascent via the Northeast Face may be just as quick and less of a hassle (no bushwhacking), depending on the conditions.
The South Face (Hourglass Couloir) of Fairchild Mountain is a great line. With a summit over 13,500', nearly 2,000 vertical feet of above-timberline skiing, and great views of the Longs cirque, this is a rewarding peak to ski.