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Tight chutes in steeper terrain, off the highest peak in Colorado, make this an absolute classic Sawatch descent.


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Map Key

0.8

Miles

1.3

KM

Ski Line

14,316' 4,364 m

High

12,731' 3,880 m

Low

0' 0 m

Up

1,585' 483 m

Down

36%

Avg Slope (20°)

77%

Max Slope (38°)
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
The standard route (Mt. Elbert: NW Ridge) is closed miles below the trailhead until late spring, meaning you must take the slightly longer East Ridge route.

Overview

III D6 R3
Depending which chute is chosen, the difficulty can vary. Generally, the further east the easier the descent. However, the easiest options seem to be in the open section in the middle.

Description

From the summit of Mt. Elbert, pick your way east avoiding the patches of exposed talus. Stopping just before the rollover, take turns ripping down your choice of the walled-in, wind-loaded runs. To exit the drainage, you can go north (to the standard route) or south (to the east ridge), or just skip the exit entirely and ski alongside the creek to the Colorado Trail.

Shared By:

Thomas Beatty

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#2

in Twin Lakes

#326

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

#2

in Twin Lakes

#104

in Colorado

#326

Overall
15 Views Last Month
387 Since May 17, 2021
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
0%
33%
67%
0%

Photos

A view of the chutes. The easiest options are far left or dead center.
May 17, 2021 near Leadvil…, CO
Be careful to avoid causing a wet slide, like we did on the steepest chute.
May 17, 2021 near Leadvil…, CO
Avoiding the exposed rock near the summit may just be the crux of this route.
May 17, 2021 near Leadvil…, CO
closer look at the center lines of the Box Creek Chutes
Jun 5, 2023 near Leadvil…, CO
skiing the Box Creek Chutes
Jun 5, 2023 near Leadvil…, CO
Box Creek Chutes in June of 2023
Jun 5, 2023 near Leadvil…, CO
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