Black Cliffs

Crystal Mountain

Mount Rainier National Park

A steep series of cliffs and gullies that opens into a wide basin

Freeride Skiing Severe

Distance
167 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
116 m
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.1 km
Gradient
40˚
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Black Cliffs Map

Description

A steep series of cliffs and gullies that opens into a wide basin, Black Cliffs is easily identified by a dark rocky buttress that separates it from False Summit Left. Access can be tricky. Stay on the west ridge of Powder Bowl, careful not to duck under the Kemper's ropeline. Kemper's is a permanently closed slope outside of the Crystal boundary. It avalanches regularly, and can break out all the way to the ridge. Black Cliffs is the first opening past the Permanent Closed sign along the rope. The entrance is steep, but gets easier on the left. Fluted spines often form below the cliffs. Work the spines and gullies to the open basin below for 600 vertical feet. At the bottom, catch the traverse track towards Bear Pits for another 500 vertical feet. Alternately, join the Lucky Shot groomer to the base of Rainier Express. The only downside of riding Powder Bowl is that it takes two chair rides to get back to the top to do it again.

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

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Features

  • Cliffs

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area