S-Bend Chutes

Crystal Mountain

Mount Rainier National Park

Two small chutes that open to a steep face.

Freeride Skiing Severe

Distance
1.2 km
Ascent
0 m
Descent
444 m
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.9 km
Gradient
46˚
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S-Bend Chutes Map

Description

S-Bend Chute is a narrow slot through the trees that open to a broader, steep face. Situated on the far skiers right side of the sheer headwall known as The Valley of the Cliffs, S-Bend Chute offers the one of the only ways through this headwall without getting cliffed out. Other routes through the cliffs are snow-dependant and all of them require a rope. S-Bend Chute, however, does not require a rope. It is possible to ski Omas and Opas (aka The Twins), stay right at the bottom, even sidestepping a few steps to reach the top of S-Bend Chutes. Alternately you can enter Gate B, stay left above the cliffs and then veer right into the S-Bend Chute. This chute starts as a low-angle slot through the trees. Follow this to the where it steepens up. Stay left, drop into the chute and stay left. The buttress will rise on your left, forcing you to take multiple lefthand turns. Go around a rock to where the chute opens and allows you to turn back to the right. It's open here, so enjoy this glade towards the bottom of the face. It is also possible to side step back up to the right and re-enter the ski area. Otherwise, follow the gradient through the creek bed/trail at the bottom of the Valley of the Cliffs to the summer trail. Just above the summer trail, the way gets steep and funky. Watch for unmarked hazards and be prepared to make some quick turns around rocks, stumps and trees. The summer trail is the return to Lower Northway, where you have hopefully left a shuttle vehicle. Otherwise walk the road to the Boulevard and hitch back to the Base 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

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Features

  • Trees
  • Cliffs
  • Walk Required

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area