Sunset Ridge

Stowe

A rarely skied zone off the backside of Mount Mansfield.

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
373 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
126 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
1.3 km
Gradient
29˚
VIEW ON MAP
Sunset Ridge Map

Description

There are many popular routes on the main face of Mount Mansfield, but the backside is considered no man’s land. This most likely has to do with the fact that there is no way to exit the backside unless you hike back up. Sunset Ridge is the one zone on the backside that actually has a defined route. Sunset Ridge is a half day mission at least, there is a lot of hiking and route finding involved. You begin at the top of the gondola, approach the summit of Mansfield via either Cliff Trail Gully or Climbing Gully. Once at the ridge, head north until you reach the summit. From there you can head northwest along Sunset Ridge. The ridge tops usually don’t hold snow, so you may have to down climb rocks. Once on the shoulder of the ridge, there is an obvious above tree line, north facing chute. This is where the skiing starts. Be aware that this is avalanche terrain and descend one at a time. The narrow chute terminates in an open basin. Once at the bottom, take your skis off and begin hiking back up the way you can. You will almost certainly be breaking trail and if it’s hardpack you may want an ice axe and crampons. Once at the summit again, you can descend via Hourglass or Profanity Chute. Both are excellent above tree line chutes. You can also finish with Hellbrook if you really want to get ambitious.

Difficulty

Severe

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

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.

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

  • Bowl
  • Trees
  • Cliffs
  • Couloir
  • Walk Required

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons