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April 25, 2003, Crystal Mountain

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by J.P. on 4/25/03 8:50pm
With telemetry showing a healthy dump of new snow at cold temps on Thursday afternoon and clearing skies on the horizon Thursday night we decided an early start at Crystal might pay good divedends.

Had the parking lot to ourselves at sun-up where it was still good and cold for April in the shade.  Not knowing exactly where we wanted to go we headed up Lower Bulls Run with good coverage.  As we gained elevation and the line of the rising sun sank lower, the snow quickly thickened up.  About 3-5 inches of new on top of a firm crust.

We chose a meandering route toward the top of "Rex", up Rolling Knolls and Downhill to the top of Forest Queen where we enjoyed a very early lunch under bright sun and beautiful blue skies.  Approximately 6-8 inches of new at this elevation.  Numerous wet slides were visible on the slopes above (Silver King, Avalanche Basin, High Campbell, etc.)

With everything warming up fast we decided to try to stay near the trees on a descent that took us down Queens Run and then back to the bottom well before noon.  Much of the new snow we had seen in the morning had already melted with dirt patches now visible on Bulls Run.

All in all a great morning ski.

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2003-04-26 03:50:44