3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
Gunbarrel is one of those slopes that is as direct as it gets being unobstructed the whole way and a north facing gully.
This area gets wind loaded and can easily have some of the best snow around.
That being said it is one big terrain trap so it needs to be treated with caution as getting to the top you have to be in the line of fire.
For the most part you san safely skin up most of the route but the last few steps you have no choice to go into the gut.
Now that I got that out of the way lets start talking about the route itself. Leaving the base of Crystal Mountain make your way up the Quicksilver run until heading towards Silver Basin.
Following the main trail soon you will go into a wide open flat sometimes referred to as Airplane Flats, from here start heading north through the trees and soon enough the slopes will open up and you will have a clean view of Gunbarrel.
While the line looks amazing you should start skinning up the trees to the lookers right.
A switchback at a time you will quickly gain elevation until you are near the summit, here is where the route gets sketchy.
You need to traverse directly into the gut for a handful of switchbacks to gain the low col so do it fast and only expose one person at a time but before long you are looking down a great line and anticipating some great turns.
Dropping in is quite straightforward as you just need to loosely go down to the basin and follow your skin track back into the main Silver Basin Trail.
If you have time and want another run the ridge is a great bonus or alternative if you aren’t confident in wanting to make it all the way to the col.
Either way whatever you decide is a great line within the Crystal Mountain Backcountry. Click here for a trip within the area and much more photos https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/crystal-mountain/gunbarrel/