SnoCountry’s Best Steeps In The U.S.
Tele turns at the top of "Goat" at Stowe. (Stowe)
The true “steeps,” they make us pause. Across ski-snowboard country, we peer tentatively over the edge and into precipitous pitches, long and short, that cause the heart rate to rise and adrenaline to course through our veins.
SnoCountry.com took a look around to see where to find the most sustained steeps in America that can be reached by a lift, and here’s a sampling of what we found:
“Goat,” Stowe. Off top of Four Runner Quad and situated between historic Nose Dive and National, drops ¾ of mile at 36 degrees with legendary moguls.
“Outer Limits,” Killington. Off the beaten track on Bear Mountain, nearly a half mile of relentless, unyielding moguls with 1,100 vertical drop with 30 degree pitch all the way.
“Extreme Limits,” Crested Butte. Take your pick among 500 acres of mega-steep cliffs, chutes, bowls and trees accessible by North Face poma on resort’s backside. Top challenge is 50-degree Rambo.
”Corbett’s Couloir,” Jackson Hole. Most chronicled gully in U.S., requires fearless free fall off cornice onto 60-degree slope crowded between rock walls. Locals also brag on “Alta Zero.”
“Pinball Chute,” Crystal Mountain. Off top of Silver King summit, a narrow, eight-foot-wide shoot with rock walls guarding 53-pitch, name comes from the way you can bounce off the walls. Aptly named neighbors “Brain Damage” and “Lobotomy.”
“Paradise,” Mad River Glen. Off Stark’s Nest summit, the mountains most difficult and barely marked. Steep, rocky, narrow and often icy with starting jump over frozen waterfall.
“Pallavicini,” Arapahoe Basin. Iconic pitch below cornices on west side, served by own lift (soon to be upgraded) and frequented by “Pali-Heads.” Consistent 40-degree pitch for 1,300 feet of bowls, trees and cliffs.
“High Rustler,” Alta. Long often-rocky traverse to one-person-wide opening, famed chute spills off front shoulder right into base area. Jump in with intention or it’s a long sliding fall to the bottom.