The snow and stability this winter in the Crested Butte backcountry has been absolutely fantastic, and I’ve been taking advantage of my rare days off by skiing some of the more attractive lines looming above town. Last week I had a great outing on Crested Butte’s Terminator 4, involving some really fun and engaging mixed climbing.

Country Club Couloir on Mt. Crested Butte

Motivated by the high-adventure with a short approach experience of last week. Steve Banks and I ventured to a similarly prominent but seldom explored “Country Club Couloir”. Located on the West face of Mt. CB, this couloir faces more Southwest than the Terminator’s, and is the cause of much rubber-necking as one drives North into town. Steve and I opted for an afternoon start due to the frigid (-24 degrees F) temperatures in the morning. The mercury ended up climbing up substantially, and we ascended in nothing but our baselayers.

Because of the relatively moderate snow climbing experience while ascending, the tight nature of the couloir (200cm), firm conditions (snice= not snow anymore and not yet ice), and very steep angle made the descent a little spicier than we anticipated. Overall, I felt that the CCC was much more severe and technical than the Terminator 4 chute.  We opted to just climb and ski the business of the couloir, but there is roughly 1500 ft of nice glade skiing leading directly from the summit of Teocalli bowl (in bounds terrain at CBMR). We both mused about what a spectacular off piste run this would be, if only Crested Butte Mountain Resort had open boundaries…