Pacific Northwest Ski blog (and a few other places!)

Lots or reports from skiing around the Pacific Northwest, with some East Coast excursions thrown in for good measure

Back to Crystal

One consequence of ‘following the snow’ the snow is that you never really know where you’ll be skiing from week to week. Crystal is probably my favorite Cascades ski hill, but last season, despite good conditions, we failed completely to get here. This season, this is our second visit by early December!

The November snows had abated and cold, Arctic weather had set hold on the whole Pacific Northwest. This meant rock solid conditions off the groomers, apart from a few north-facing slopes which held decent snow. The groomers were however in very good condition indeed, a real testament to the efforts of the grooming crew here.

Ian at top of Rainier Express

With non-existent crowds, sunny, bitterly cold weather, we cruised long, rolling trails at high speed. Both the main runs off the Rainier Express were firm, but good skiing, and the terrain off Forest Queen fast and fun.

Mt Rainier

About 5pm we hit the heated outdoor pool at the very pleasant if rustic Silver Skis condos where we were staying, and it started to snow. And blow. And blow. We woke up Sunday morning to a major blizzard the next morning, with the higher lifts closed due to 60mph winds. A leisurely drive home seemed the best bet ;(

BBQ fine steak at the Silver Skis Condos

1 day – 7400 vertical metres

Season totals:

6 days:37,800m vert


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