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March 7, 2003, Crystal Area, One More Time

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by Zap on 3/7/03 4:58am
As we all know, powder is addictive. So we returned to the ski area again but today there was 30" of new this morning.  We skied with avy beacons and shovels in the ski area boundary. It was another "10" day with face shots on every run.  We closed the lifts.  I have a powder burn on my chin from face shots. :)  Here's the useful stuff.  The Crystal area has received 56" of powder in the last 48 hours.  Here's what I saw during the day.  Many people digging for lost skis.  Lots of folks making first tracks and not planning how they will get back to a packed slope once the vertical levels off.  People were stuck in waist deep powder, snowboarders were stranded on the flats.  Skiers who fell were usually buried so deep that  some skiers ran into them because they were not visible.  People stuck in tree wells.  Finally, the ultimate tragedy, a skier apparently fell in a tree well off the High Campbell chair and suffocated.

With all the new snow, we skied the steepest lines possible in the ski area but always planned our exit lines if the surrounding snow started moving.  So if you're really determined to ski the backcountry of Crystal this weekend be prepared for some unusual conditions and stop by the Patrol office for the latest info.  Zap
Zap ,That's sage advice.
Now all those who are skiing this storm can thank me. I chose last week for knee surgery and darn if it didn't start snowing powder. A big foamy brew at some future date would be appropriate for sacrificing myself.

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2003-03-07 12:58:29