Posted on March 23 2020
(The ski chute in Nevada, just to be clear) Ever seen a human pinball machine that drops nearly 2,000 feet and is narrow enough you can almost touch both sides the entire way down? That’s the Terminal Cancer Couloir. This pencil-line chute is visually stunning even to the pedestrian. To the seasoned skier of the steeps, it’s a beacon that calls adrenaline forth.
Naturally, this appealed to our favorite 111 ambassadors, Erich Roepke and Stein Retzlaff, who have been pushing the limits in every single thing they do since they were old enough to walk. And lucky for them, they found this beast just outside shouting distance from North Lake Tahoe where they call home. They had a lull in their schedule, they were itching for adventure and it was right there, calling their names. So with Clif Bar stuffed grins and their trusty 111 field watches, they made the drive to the bottom of the funnel underneath this iconic line. They texted us on their way to let us know what they were up to and after a quick google search of the ski ascent (and the word "couloir") we texted back, "Yikes. Ok. Good luck?"
The walk up is pretty standard. It’s like a never-ending staircase made out of wet sand... on a good day. So yeah, standard... if you’re a little nuts. They are. The descent, on the other hand, is something else. Again, let's use the human pinball machine analogy because that's literally what it is. It’s a tip-knocking turn fest the entire way down. There’s no way to really draw a line unless that line is perfectly straight and you don’t plan on stopping at the bottom. So, humans need to pick their way down the hallway and try not to slam into the mountain or leave some outerwear on either side. We were worried, the boys were not.
They made it happen. Getting this couloir is a bit of a right of passage and we are so pumped for both of them. Check the shots here for an idea of just how snappy this sliver of Casino Country can be.