Notch Slides

Stowe

Large rockslides and chutes in Smugglers Notch, requiring mountaineering skills to access.

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
950 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
277 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
558 m
High Point
835 m
Gradient
51˚
Notch Slides Map

The slides of Smugglers Notch are always in plain view, but are rarely skied. The slides themselves can be quite hard to access, usually involving skins or climbing gear. To access the slides, ski into The Notch via Hellbrook or Back Bowls. Once in The Notch, pick the slide you want to ski and begin your approach from the bottom. Some slides do not start from the road, so you may need to cross a drainage to access them. Be warned! The Notch slides are considered avalanche terrain, just because it’s Vermont doesn’t mean there is no avalanche danger. Stick to the sides while approaching to limit exposure. You may need an ice axe and crampons to approach in hardpack conditions. The slides are very steep and some are very narrow. Others are fairly wide but have ice flow and other obstacles. The top section should be skied carefully especially in icy conditions. Once out of the rocks, you have the option of riding the run out or skiing some natural glades. Ski the slides one at a time and don’t stop anywhere that looks like a slide path. To exit, follow the notch road back to either Stowe or Smugglers Notch. The road is closed in the winter and can be skied/skated. If you are coming from Stowe you have a long walk back.

Difficulty

Extreme

Extreme skiing terrain above 45 degrees. These routes are reserved for experienced experts.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

February, March, April

Features

  • Face
  • Trees
  • Cliffs
  • Couloir
  • Walk Required

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons