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Slot Couloir

Adventuring on the lands of the sdukʷalbixʷ (Snoqualmie) people. 

Slot Couloir
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Route Description:

This Pacific Northwest classic needs no introduction: But, in case you aren't familiar, the common question "Is the Slot getting skied right now?" is often only answered with a resounding "Yes!" Please still practice due diligence in skiing this line: Despite it's popularity, it is a steep line with a steeper entrance. And while the rock walls may protect snow quality, it's still affected by weather developing avalanche hazard that can make it dangerous.

Okay! So, you're planning to ski this classic? Then head to the maintenance lot at Alpental. From this lot, you'll cross the road to clamber up the opposing snow bank. Then begin skinning north to the lower slopes of Snoqualmie Mountain. You'll approach a frozen waterfall, where you'll look to enter the infamous section called Phantom trees which lies left of the waterfall at around 3,400 feet. The lower part of the Phantom is often considered the crux of this whole route due to the steep frozen skinning which may require you to boot short sections. Up slope, you can find better skinning and if you move climber's right into the Phantom Slide the trees will be more open. As you break tree line, you'll have a better view of the upper slopes: you can either turn right to ascend the south ridge or head left to ascend near the west ridge for a more direct approach. Ascending more directly, you'll probably notice an entrance at 5,900 feet: but this is not your entrance. You've found the entrance to the Snot which requires a rappel so if you see tat on trees you'll know to keep going higher. At around 6,200 feet, you'll find the Slot Couloir entrance. With a stunning view, transition for your ski. The upper section is steep and tight, and in some coniditons may beckon a some to ski on belay: But once you're in the couloir proper you'll understand why it's a classic!

The intuitive end of the ski line will probably have you near 4,500 feet. But if you want to save some skinning, ski leftwards once you exit the steep walls of the couloir. Both options set you up for a final skin southwards to a notch in west ridge at about 5,400 feet. Transition at this notch to ski southwards, then southwest in order to link up with your uphill track. As you ski the southwest aspect, you'll have the option to lineup the variably steep waterfall at the bottom for an exhilarating exit or stick to the right to stay in the Phantom Trees for a safer option. Once below the waterfall, follow your skin track southward to get back to the maintenance lot.


 5 miles <distance>

Elevation, High Point.png

+/- 4,000 feet <vertical gain/loss>

6,200 feet <highest point>


December -April <best season>

None <permits>

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