Main Goat Chute

Crystal Mountain

Mount Rainier National Park

One of the classic narrow couloirs in Goat Chutes

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
235 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
187 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.6 km
High Point
1.7 km
Gradient
43˚
VIEW ON MAP
Main Goat Chute Map

Description

Main Goat Chute is a classic expert couloir. Narrow from top to bottom, this chute gets steepest in the middle and again at the bottom. This is true backcountry and lies outside the ski area boundary. Ski/ride this couloir one at a time and always carry the proper avalanche rescue equipment. This chute used to be guarded by a tree at the top, which required some creative navigation to enter. An avalanche took out this impediment a few years ago, making the entrance slightly less intimidating. Still, this is a run for experienced experts. Once in this couloir, even a small slough could be dire. Attempt this chute only during stable avalanche conditions. This chute is easier than either of its neighbors. It starts at the upper most spot on the ridge making it the first one you come to when exploring Goat Chutes. Enter between two prominent rock buttresses. You will be closer to the left buttress. Work around this one and also around the few trees at the top to the couloir itself. Once inside this chute is similar to Banana Chute, but the narrow part lasts longer. Halfway down, the couloir steepens. It can get icy here, so watch yourself. You won't want to slip here. Below this section it narrows again, with a rock buttress rising to the right. The chute curves a little left here, steepens again before hitting the apron below. Watch for avalanche debris here. Head down and to the right to an open glade until you hit the summer return trail. Follow that trail south to the Lower Northway parking lot where you hopefully stashed a shuttle car. Otherwise walk up the road to the Boulevard and hitch a ride the long mile back to the resort.

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