Home > Trip Reports > March 1, 2003, Bullion Basin/East Peak, Crystal

March 1, 2003, Bullion Basin/East Peak, Crystal

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by BrentH on 3/1/03 6:28am
We found only a little new snow (1") on a fairly strong crust (dust on crust). We climbed through Bullion Basin to 'Bullion' Peak and started a Union Creek run, but after ten turns gave it up as a bad idea (breakable crust). Next we climbed the ridge to East Peak (skins balling badly) and noted the evidence of recent strong winds, both E and W. We found a pocket of good snow and did two 600vf runs on the E facing slope into Cement Basin (avalanche fatality there two months ago). We anticipated a less than wonderful descent and so did not take a third run, but started back at 3 pm to maximize the sun warming on the W facing slope. A nice day to be out despite mostly difficult skiing. No avalanche activity noted (except that the rocks are shedding near the start of Bullion Basin). We saw three other small parties. The ski area had light-moderate traffic.
Thanks for putting this up after you got home, Brent.
Good decision making info for us Sunday skiers.

"A clever skier will often find an oasis of good snow while the rest of the party -- within a few yards of him -- are struggling with crust."   Sir Arnold Lunn

Always liked this observation (a quote from the inventor of the slalom race), Ron. It really applies this season. Happy hunting!

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2003-03-01 14:28:54