Crystal Mountain, WA 2/28/2016

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Crystal Mountain, WA 2/28/2016

Postby tseeb » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:56 am

I skied Crystal on Sunday on the 2nd to last day of 2 week road trip from CA to BC. They reported 2" new on both Sat and Sun, and they also went over 400" for the season. It was my first day ever skiing in WA and I got the Pacific NW experience as it was raining just below parking lot and still pretty wet at parking, then snowing on lifts, getting drier as you went up. I did not get on hill until almost 10 which meant I missed the wettest first hour when Crystal was limited to lower lifts. I caught up to John from Seattle, who I skied with the last two years at Mustang, on Forest Queen Express (FQE), the highest lift open early. He was with a couple of friends, one who was with his wife and both of whom had young teenage daughters skiing with them. Since visibility was marginal at times and a lot of the sub-surface was refrozen and hard on my back unless smooth, we mostly cruised.

Crystal eventually opened everything except gondola and chair 6 which stayed closed due to wind. (Northway was also closed due to $?) We found the best new snow on Pro Course that we took twice. I followed the wrong yellow jacket on 2nd lap down Pro Course and skied down firmer Middle Ferk's Run to Rainier Express (REX). I figured the group would lap Green Valley Express and I'd see them at top, but they followed me so I had a little wait at top while they caught up. It was entertaining as I saw two females who were not ready for the wind get blown off the road between the top of the two lifts. We skied down then rode up FQE where we had a leisurely lunch in beautiful Campbell Basin lodge at top.

We took a couple of more cruisers after lunch before ladies left to take care of dog waiting in vehicle. The guys and I skied Snorting Elk a couple of times finding some fresh snow in trees to skiers left of named run, then hiked/traversed a little to get more smooth untracked in Huckleberry on 2nd lap. On our last run together, we skied to bottom on double-diamond Left Angle Trees where subsurface was not re-frozen, but new snow was not as deep. The short, steep shots between trees skied well. I took one more lap from Main Lodge to top of REX and skied an untracked chute to left of Snorting Elk run, then continued to base on Kelly's Gap. I never got to see Mt Rainier, but did get to see (but not ski) some of the expert terrain on Silver King, Silver Queen, The Throne and in many other areas at Crystal.

I did not have my watch and paused SkiTracks at lunch and did not re-start it for a most of the PM, so my vertical is an estimate of 14-15K, which is not much considering that at $72 it was my most expensive lift ticket of trip. It was snowing heavily when I took shuttle back to C parking about 3 PM. Crystal reported 8" the next day although it also warmed up. Not a great day for pictures.
Skiing with these guys made day way more enjoyable than it would have been solo
Dumping when I left, but turned to rain not too far below parking lot
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