Perhaps El Nino has finally arrived, as it hadn’t really snowed for a week when we arrived at Crystal for the weekend. Fortunately, El Nino seems to have had at least had the decency to wait until a 100+ inch base had accumulated on the Pacific Northwest mountains. There’s worse things in life than skiing on superb terrain and in beautiful weather.
Saturday actually remained cold all day. Avoiding the sun damaged areas, the skiing was still fantastic on firm but by no means hardpacked snow. The Powder Bowl was especially fine, and the steep tree runs below remained mostly in good condition.
On Sunday the weather was warmer, and the sun exposed areas actually softened to spring-like slushy conditions that were great fun. We ripped down Green Valley, bumped down the black diamond runs under the Rainier Express chair, and explored several lines in Snorting Elk Bowl. Avoiding the crowds was easy, the runs pleasantly quiet and the views of the Cascades up to Mount Baker and down to Mount Adams were stunning.
The more I get to explore Crystal, the more I appreciate its wonderful, challenging terrain. There’s so much to explore here, it could take years.
It’ll be tough, but I’ll do my best ;}
Weekend Details: Saturday 8200m, Sunday 7100m
Season Totals: 24 days, 12 powder days, 183,000 vertical metres