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Central Couloir

A gnarly roadside attraction that is rarely skiable.

Ski Touring Severe

1.7 km
3 m
640 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
399 m
High Point
1 km
Central Couloir Map

Out of all the Webster couloirs, Central Couloir is the most reliable for ski descents. Like most lower elevation lines in the region, this route is often filled with ice. However, a good storm cycle with the right wind direction can fill it in. The route is easily viewed from Crawford Notch Road, so a quick drive through will tell you when it's ready. Park at the Willey Pond Trailhead and begin skinning. From where you leave Pond Loop, finding the base of the chute will require a difficult side-hill through dense woods. Bushwhack diagonally toward Central until you cross the runout. Grab the ice axes and crampons and begin climbing. You may encounter ice and rocks in the section below the slabs. The location of this ice can differ from year to year. The upper section of Central Couloir has a significant ice bulge, this can be mostly or completely avoided via a chute to climbers left. Once above the ice bulge, you will enter the couloir proper. The dramatic 100 foot walls slowly close in until the couloir chokes out completely. This often has waterfall ice that technical climbers use to gain the ridge. From here, the fun begins. The Couloir section will likely require good hop turns until you exit it's confining rock walls. Cut skiers right into the chute you used to skirt the ice bulge. From here the line is pretty straightforward, continue down the slide, through a small choke into the runout. Follow your skin track back through the woods to the trailhead.



Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between February and March


  • Cliffs
  • Couloir
  • Tree Skiing
  • Single Descent
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons