Escalator

Fiordland National Park

The Remarkables

The middle Alta Chutes, much quieter than its neighbours

Freeride Skiing Difficult

Distance
1.5 km
Ascent
75 m
Descent
274 m
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
2 km
Gradient
36˚
Escalator Map

The Remarkables plays host to some fantastic chutes that are found nestled on the ridge on the southern side of the Shadow Basin Chairlift, looking out directly towards the north face of Double Cone. Frequently used as the location for the Freeride World Tour, this area gives some of the best freeride terrain in the area.

Description

Given the fact that they are only a short hike from the top of Shadow Basin and that they are within the resort boundaries (when patrol have opened them), this means that the Alta Chutes see a lot of traffic of varying ability levels. Be aware that there are some people skiing in resort and have little consideration for avalanche safety or safe travel practices, and don’t be surprised if someone knocks a load of sluff down on top of you within these chutes!

From the top of the Shadow Basin Chairlift, take your skis/board off and bootpack up towards the ridgeline that is ahead of you to your south east, you should pass a resort boundary gate and there should already be a track set from patrol securing the chutes each morning. Elevator, Escalator and Alta Chutes are all accessible from this ridgeline.

Escalator is the middle chute along the Alta Chutes ridgeline and is and is a great choice to head towards if the masses have inevitably all flocked towards Elevator. You’ll normally find much less people have skied this couloir, yet it’s not far from being as great-a couloir as Escalator, so sit back and enjoy the freshies in this one!

Once out of the chutes, a simple westerly traverse (snowboarders stay high) is needed to be made before you reach Lake Alta to make your way back to the pistes and reach the lifts for another lap of these awesome chutes!

Difficulty

Difficult

Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Low Exposure (E1)

1 out of 4

Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Couloir

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area