OverviewThe Southwest Couloir is a popular scramble in the summer, and in the winter is frequented by ski mountaineers. It is a fun snow climb with a short icy section near the top of the summit couloir. The route is pretty straight forward and very similar to the summer scramble. Avalanche danger in the first couloir can be quite high, but in the right conditions this is a great winter climb with amazing views.
Getting ThereTake exit 47 (Denny Creek/Asahel Curtis) off of Interstate-90. Skiers often choose to traverse over from the top of Alpental, but I recommend hiking in from Denny Creek. See the Denny Creek approach on the Kaleetan Peak page.
The couloir is steep and avalanche danger is high, make sure to dig a pit and assess conditions before entering its path. Another thing of note is the size of the cornice above the couloir, which I have been told can sometimes close it off completely. If you should elect to circumnavigate the couloir you could also approach farther to the north, on the large east facing lee slope which can be prone to slab slides. It is a lesser of two evils, so pick your poison.