FATMAP difficulty grade
Cliff Trail Gully is named after the Cliff Trail, a summer hiking trail that ascends the woods next to it.
People looking at this gully in the summer would never expect there to be any skiing here.
But thanks to wind loading and an excellent amount of yearly snowfall, Cliff Trail Gully is skiable most years.
In winter, Cliff Trail Gully is often used to access Rock Garden and Mount Mansfield.
Because most people only see this as an ascent route, it is often overlooked.
The hike itself is fairly easy, one fairly steep section in the beginning leads to a fairly mellow slope the rest of the way.
You can choose to hike or skin.
At the top there is a large windlip that slopes in from the right side.
If it is stable, this can make for a fun drop into the gully.
If it appears to be unsafe, stick to the gut of the chute.
The top section is narrow but fairly low angle, with a large rock wall to the right and a tree covered slope to the left.
About half way down the slope becomes much steeper.
Two cliffs form a constriction in the middle, after this the gully becomes very wide with little trees here and there.
The route ends where it started, behind the Cliff House Restaurant at the top of the Gondola.
Be aware that this is avalanche terrain, while very rare, slides do happen in Vermont.
Ski one at a time and be aware of hikers who may be on their way up.
This slope rarely sees more than one group at a time but it’s good to be cautious.