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

Powdery Xmas Presents at Crystal

After a 3 year absence from skiing Crystal, we were greeted incredibly warmly on Xmas Eve with 9 inches of new snow, light crowds and excellent weather. But like some of my friends, a warm welcome rapidly becomes a celebration involving excess Double Dead Guy consumption, which is enjoyable, but challenging. That’s Crystal for you. By noon we’d skied lines in Powder Bowl, Bear Pits and Green Valley that are as steep as you can ski anywhere. It’s a great, kick-ass mountain.

The crowds were focused on the huckster lifts (Northway, Chair 6), but even these diminished by 11am as the local pow hounds headed home. At 15F, the snow had come down super light, and in places was seriously deep due to the wind pushing it around. You didn’t have to try hard to find fresh or lightly tracked snow all day. It was everywhere, even at 4pm. I love Xmas skiing!

Xmas Day dawned cold and mostly clear. The groomers were as good as you get, ever, anywhere, and we spent the day alternating between warp speed carving and play in the pow. The runs into Snorting Elk Bowl were especially sweet, offering steep winchcat groomed and soft, chalky bumps to play on. Even the Crystal Glacier, aka Middle Ferk’s Run, was skiing so well we lapped it three times.

With Crystal’s incredible scenery and terrain, and deep snowpack from wild December weather, this day had a ‘calm before the storm’ feeling. We reveled in having one of the best ski hills in the world to ourselves (relatively speaking) for a day. I suspect it wasn’t that  way the next day …

Xmas Eve 8100m, Xmas Day 8200m vert

Season Totals 14 days, 103,400m vert, 9 powder day



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