The Tusk

Stowe

A very large rockslide on the Spruce Peak side of Smugglers Notch.

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
668 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
333 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
510 m
High Point
843 m
Gradient
38˚
The Tusk Map

Out of all the rockslides in Smugglers Notch, The Tusk is the longest and the most fun. The Tusk gets its name due to its shape and proximity to the Elephant’s Head rock feature. There are a few ways to approach from lifts, but these are not favorable and you have no sense of the conditions. It is much safer to approach from below, so you can assess stability and snow conditions. The Tusk begins with a long winding rock chute, often completely untracked. The first 500 feet are usually the highlight of the journey. About half way down there is a choke that sometimes has an ice flow, but nothing too technical. The bottom half is somewhat uneventful until you reach the Notch. From there you can take the Notch Road back to the resort parking lot. Be warned! The Tusk is considered avalanche terrain and should be treated like a western backcountry tour. Ski one at a time and don’t stop anywhere that looks like a slide path.

Difficulty

Difficult

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.

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

Features

  • Trees
  • Cliffs
  • Couloir
  • Walk Required

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons