5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
Okay so you clicked on this and want to know how to get there.
Why? it is the Suicide Chute….
I need to give a little bit of backstory to this line as it is not a tour that I recommend for crowds or pretty much anyone just looking to tag steep lines.
While looking at the map you will notice that it is a nice looking line but it is incredibly dangerous if the avalanche danger is anything but stable.
This line can slab off from numerous different sections and once you drop in you are committed.
In all honesty I was reluctant to even write about it but from what I’ve heard this is already in guide books but without any context.
This is my chance to let you know don’t mess with it unless you are 100% sure it won’t slide on you and even if you are still play it safe.
Ride this line in sections and don’t just go from top to bottom leaving your friend wondering if you went okay.
Maybe you did but when your friend drops in they are not so lucky and good luck climbing up to them within a 5 minute window.
As I like to say “there is a thin line between Badass and Dumbass” now on with the show. Starting at the Crystal Mountain base you need to go skiers left on the Gold Hills Groomer gaining elevation until arriving at the Bullion Basin Summer road.
Start making your way up the summer road until you arrive at the flats and make your way lookers right.
Follow the old Bullion Basin chair cutout before crossing the creek and with a few well placed switchbacks you will be back at the Summer trail.
Follow said trail past the lower Bullion Basin and after the next switchback you will find some nice spaced trees which is the safest route up to East Peak. Climbing up East Peak stay in the trees as you put in switchbacks before arriving at the top of East Peak.
Drop into Cement Basin and once at the flats start traversing skiers left just before you hit the trees.
It is time to switch over to skinning heading north and slowly loosing elevation and if you do it correctly you will reach a point where the creek is at a Y.
Head up just right of the lookers right branch and then start heading directly north until arriving at a low col.
From there you want to head East until arriving at the top of the Suicide chute. The line is obvious as you can just see the starting point before it drops off.
Remember that once the first person drops in no one can see them after that.
Drop in and go over the roller and after a few turns ride over to the side wall before yelling up that the next person can head down.
Now let the second person ride down as you can see most of the line from here and it is much easier going down to an avalanche victim then heading up to them.
Regroup at Basin Lake and start heading towards Upper Lake Basin.
Once in the upper basin head south up a mellow ridge before heading west and reaching the high point separating the Crystal Mountain and Lake Basin Valleys. It is time for the final run of the day so drop in and make a hard traverse skiers left towards the East Peak area.
Once near the west ridge drop in and keep riding fall line until just below in some semi dense trees.
From here make a hard traverse skiers left and with some luck you will hit the Bullion Basin trail which goes all the way back to the base. Now that you have read this please refer back to the first paragraph and be insanely cautious if you choose to go to this area.