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Vasquez Cirque Access is a 20 to 30 minute skate/pole/hike to a series of short chutes that lead down to backcountry-style tree skiing.
To avoid this hike, catch the Cirque Sled – a snowcat that tops out at about 8.5 mph and can carry up to 48 people.
You can catch it just above the Panoramic Express Chairlift at the top of Parsenn Bowl.
It makes its rounds down to the West Headwall and back.
If nothing else, it will get you out of the wind on a cold day and give you a chance to clean your goggles before the descent.
Sign up for the Cirque Sled Pass at the base (only $10 for the entire season!), because it allows you to save your energy for the 399 acres of avalanche-controlled off-piste terrain in The Cirque Territory.
The Cirque elevation is 12,600’, dropping an intense 2,060’ during the descent! The Cirque traditionally opens mid- to late-January because of the extensive preparation to make it safe for the public.
There is no cell phone service back here, so be prepared to survive - as if venturing into the backcountry.
You can enjoy nice views while hiking.
When the Cirque is open (which is not that often due to snowpack and/or avalanche danger), your best bet for advanced terrain is to do laps off the Cirque down to the Eagle Wind lift, then take it back up and ski down to the Panoramic Express and catch the Cirque Sled again.