Crystal - Basin Lake Chutes

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by MuradN on 12/28/20 9:45pm

After a great day of powder skiing on Saturday I managed to pull myself away from the low hanging Crystal BC powder and head out to the Basin Lake Chutes. We cruised to the top of Platinum Peak and skied excellent snow down into Cement Basin. We veered off a skin track at the Basin Lake saddle and made our way up the burned trees to the top of the furthest west line that runs down to the lake. This first line had some obvious wind loading and would benefit from a little more snow at the top. We moved on to the next chute and performed a belayed cornice drop which produced a 1.5 foot deep wind slab that ripped down to the rain crust. The next chute had similar signs of loading so we kept going to the furthest east line. This chute had no cornice at the top and the snow had no wind effect, perfect! The skiing was great with the exception of a small section of hidden rocks. After a few small donations of p-tex we skied awesome powder down the apron.

Opposed to returning via Basin Lakes we wrapped around further east into the large bowl, did a quick lap and gained the ridge above Cement Basin. More great skiing got us down to Cement Basin where we joined the typical skin track back to East Peak just in time for sunset. There was still plenty of untracked snow to enjoy for our last run and the luge track to the parking lot was it's typical good time.


John entering the chute


Kate in the middle of the lin


Exit tracks down to Cement Basin


Sofia gaining East Peak at Sunset


Cool sunset clouds over Rainer

Your last photo is quite compelling, showing the red light caught in the face.

Thanks for the TR. The wind seems to have scoured that part of the Crystal BC in a few places, leaving a cruel crust.

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2020-12-29 05:45:04