Pickhandle Basin and Crown Point

12/23/20
WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
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Posted by engineeredforadventure on 12/23/20 7:22pm

An exploratory day in the Crystal backcountry...again. After a crazy rain event on Monday and a slight refresh of powder on Tuesday, I headed up with Kyle, Steve, Anthony, Thatcher and company to seek out some goods. We planned to head up to Pickhandle Point first, ski some of the eastern aspects, and then head north towards Crown Point. The winds were strong out of the west during the storm, so we suspected that western aspects would be scoured and windboard...which they were. We had to boot our way up the bowl beneath Pickhandle Point because the dust on crust was just sluffing off and we were skating around like Bambi. 

From Pickhandle Point, we skied NE towards Crown Point, down an open face of shallow wind slabs, which were not reactive. We transitioned and continued up towards Crown Point, where Anthony paraglided further east. Bye Anthony!

Steve, Kyle, and I continued to ski the SE aspects off Crown Point, which were baking in the sun but nice and soft! We began to see roller balls as we waited for Anthony to launch, so after one run we decided to ski more of the SW facing glades. 

We skied north off Crown Point to the basin east of Bullion Peak, which had some good protected snow mixed with wind garbage...which was about average for the day. The skin track back up to Bullion was steep, icy, and overall pretty unpleasant. Steve and I decided to head in at Bullion, while Kyle took another run to meet up with Thatcher and crew down below, making their way up just behind us. Overall, the day clocked in around 5,100' gain with good turns mixed in with tough skinning.

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2020-12-24 03:22:35