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Dec 4, 2011, Crystal Lakes and Morse Creek CORN

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Amar Andalkar on 12/4/11 2:48pm
Four of us headed into Crystal Lakes basin and the Morse Creek drainage for some lift-assisted touring on Sunday. Skied a few warmup groomers on Forest Queen, then headed south from the top of Silver Queen around 11am.

Steep south faces had nice corn forming in the sunshine. Fine skiing.

Flatter areas in the Crystal Lakes basin had about 4" of blower powder, light and dry. Also very nice, if only to glide through.

All other aspects we crossed (north, east, west) had highly variable and fairly poor snow conditions, with hard icy crusts, thin breakable crusts, dense windpacked powder, and a few small patches of real powder. Not very good skiing.

We took several laps on the nice south-facing corn. Enjoyed a gorgeous sunset on the ridge just west of Three Way Peak, with the conical shadow of Mount Rainier projected onto the sky to the northeast, then skied out via Silver Basin in variable chalky snow.

A fine day with great company and enjoyable skiing.

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Amar Andalkar
2011-12-04 22:48:04