Lower Niagara's Chute

Crystal Mountain

Mount Rainier National Park

A steep, wide couloir for experts

Freeride Skiing Severe

Distance
333 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
222 m
Low Point
1.6 km
High Point
1.9 km
Gradient
45˚
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Lower Niagara's Chute Map

Description

This steep, wide couloir is more challenging than it might first appear. All of the Niagara's terrain faces east and the sun often cooks down the snow. It is also lower elevation than most of Crystal's extreme terrain. During good snow events, all of the chutes and flutes in Niagara's offer a fun challenge. Lower Niagara's Chute sits just left of Johnson's and is guarded at the top by the far right side of the tree band that bisects this steep face. Start at Gate 9, work the upper face towards the tree band. Watch for fumeroles here, as some of them are quite deep. Avoid the rocky section just inside the gate altogether. Instead, head towards Johnson's and Old Faithful, the twin money makers in Niagara. These two chutes get all the love out here, and rightfully so. They fill in faster and offer a more straightforward line. Lower Niagara's Chute, sitting just skiers left, is often forgotten. It steepens up towards the bottom and looks intimidating from the top. It funnels partway down, just like the other chutes out here, but the funnel gouges deeper into the hillside creating a pinching effect. Once through this tight spot, let 'em rip in the apron below. Follow the slope left or right through the trees, eventually hitting I-5, the return trail to the base of the ski area.

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

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Features

  • Trees
  • Cliffs

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area