The White Dragon

Crystal Mountain

Mount Rainier National Park

A steep couloir for experts

Freeride Skiing Severe

Distance
315 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
198 m
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.7 km
Gradient
41˚
VIEW ON MAP
The White Dragon Map

Description

This steep couloir is one of the last straightforward routes through the cliffs that continue along the diminishing ridge to the north. This chute is true backcountry and is not part of the ski patrol's avalanche control. Furthermore, this large chute avalanches regularly, hence the name The White Dragon. The mouth at the top of this long chute is fairly wide, with a cornice that builds on the ridge rib. This rib is often wind-loaded and can avalanche regularly. This rib also offers a fun entrance into this slope. Once past this upper section, the slope steepens slightly across a few light rock bands. It steepens even more towards the bottom where it squeezes through the cliff band. This is the real danger spot here, as the cliffs on either side are tall and a fall here could be catastrophic. Below this funnel, watch for avalanche debris. You will have to veer right across a creek bed to return to the bottom of Northway Chair. Alternately ski to bottom of old Lower Northway to the parking lot where you hopefully left a shuttle vehicle. This is true backcountry. Ski/ride with a partner and carry the proper avalanche equipment.

Difficulty

Severe

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

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

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