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Monte Cristo Direct

Alta & Snowbird

Salt Lake City

Wasatch Backcountry

One of the longer classic lines in upper Little Cottonwood Canyon with a rappel thrown in to spice things up.

Ski Touring Difficult

1.8 km
0 m
972 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
2.4 km
High Point
3.4 km
Monte Cristo Direct Map

Park at Our Lady of the Snow church 7.5 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon. From here hike under the power lines to Cardiff Pass. Stay along the ridge that undulates up and down along Black Knob, Little Superior and Mount Superior. Next continue on the ridge to the W, and you'll arrive on the top of one of the most iconic and beautiful peaks, Monte Cristo.


The upper headwall has a cool feel to it as it appears to just hang there when viewed from many angles. It's much less steep than it appears though. The headwall angles into the main chute which holds a nice consistent 40 degree pitch for a thousand feet or so. Continue heading fall line and you'll come to a rocky area that may be skiable, or might need to be down climbed, or do a short rappel. This will lead you to the main large 80ft rappel. There is a large tree on the skiers right hand side that usually has a few slings around it. A single full 165ft rope will get you over the cliff. The finish is quite mellow, but it's a fun half pipe finish right to the road.



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

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between January and May


  • Cliffs

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area