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A steep and narrow line on the north face of Mt. Parnassus.


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Map Key

0.7

Miles

1.2

KM

Ski Line

13,244' 4,037 m

High

11,665' 3,555 m

Low

0' 0 m

Up

1,580' 481 m

Down

40%

Avg Slope (22°)

86%

Max Slope (41°)
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry

Overview

This narrow couloir is perhaps the most sought-after descent from Mt. Parnassus.

Description

Take the Ruby Gulch Approach skintrack into Ruby Gulch. There are several options for ascending the Parnassus/Woods bench in this basin, if you're lucky there will already be a skintrack or bootpack up one of the several low-angled north-facing slopes. Often there will already be a bootpack in the couloir as well, if you're choosing to climb what you ski.

Reminder that this line is called the Drainpipe for a reason - it slides regularly and is often filled with avalanche debris.

After approach, the line starts west of the summit. One may be tempted to drop north directly off the summit of Mt. Parnassus - this is the NE Face line - another fun descent but not the Drainpipe. Go one snowfield west of the summit and you can see the top of the drainpipe below this massive north-facing bowl.

Take a few steep turns off the top, several more lower-angled turns from here, and then you'll find yourself at the top of a narrow choke - here the couloir becomes fairly narrow and also doglegged. Make careful turns in the lower portion of this line. The high walls and tight width mean that this line has inconsistent snow most days. Skiers left will be softer snow while skiers right may still be icy and fast.

Exit the line and ski down the skintrack or climb back the saddle for more laps in this amazing basin.

Shared By:

Jake Albright

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Front Range

#236

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Ski Line Rankings

#1

in Front Range

#59

in Colorado

#236

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Photos

below the upper bowl, entering the chokepoint of the line
May 22, 2023 near Georgetown, CO
looking out of the couloir from near the bottom - debris is omnipresent
May 22, 2023 near Georgetown, CO
looking up at the bottom of the couloir - it's called the Drainpipe for a reason
May 22, 2023 near Georgetown, CO
upper Drainpipe Couloir - super fun turns near the top
May 22, 2023 near Georgetown, CO
looking down the Drainpipe Couloir
May 22, 2023 near Georgetown, CO
looking down from the top of the Drainpipe Couloir
May 22, 2023 near Georgetown, CO
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