Peak(s):  Mt. Arkansas  -  13,795 feet
Date Posted:  01/25/2023
Modified:  01/26/2023
Date Climbed:   04/30/2022
Author:  jprinner
 Moonshine Couloir   

Total distance: 6.04 mi
Total climbing: 3745 ft

Full report and GPX download here:

Most people climb Mount Arkansas via the North Ridge route, which is supposedly class 2+ although I found to be more like class 2.

The Moonshine Couloir, also known as the North Couloir, is another popular route that people take to reach the top of this mountain. It is well-liked by both skiers and couloir climbers, and is reasonably simple to get there from the trailhead. Snowshoes are strongly advised because there is typically no clear path leading up to the couloir.

We do not stop for trains
Faraway view of the peak
Nice view of the peak and couloir
The couloir, front and center
Starting up

Since the moonlight couloir is not very difficult, it may be completed with just a helmet, crampons, and a simple mountaineer's ice axe. We were initially worried about the giant cornice that likes to form at the top, but upon doing some research discovered that it had melted away on the left side so we could just walk up to the ridge.

Looking down
Cornice up ahead
Top of the couloir

The peak is only another 50–100 feet away from the top. After reaching the summit, you have a few options: ski down or downclimb the couloir, walk off the North Ridge, which is usually moderately avy safe provided you stay mostly on the ridge, or return to the trailhead by descending the couloir.

Mt. Arkansas Summit

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
01/26/2023 20:11

Now this one goes on my list
01/27/2023 08:48
Nice report!!! But the cornice looks scary.

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