Storm day in Crystal Backcountry

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by engineeredforadventure on 1/2/21 5:15pm

A stormy day in the Crystal backcountry! Kyle and I headed up for an exploratory day with very low expectations. We skinned up to East Peak, cutting fresh track through breakable crust on our way up. The winds were HOWLING along the ridgeline. We took our first run E down into Cement Basin, with decent fresh snow on top of a supportable crust from 6800 to around 6000, which then turned to breakable crust below. We then headed north towards Lake Basin, where we took one run back towards Cement Basin before ducking off north towards Upper Lake Basin. On our traverse to Upper Lake Basin we kicked off a wind slab, D1 around 6-8" deep, 60 feet wide, running for around 40 feet down the slope. 


Kyle noticed a change in the texture underfoot and cautiously tested the slope, which came loose. We backed away and found lower angle terrain down to Basin Lake.

We skinned back up to East Peak and took a run all the way down to the cat track before taking one more lap on the southwestern slopes of East Peak. Overall pretty bad skiing but a good exploration day. Stay safe out there!

Thanks for the report. You have been very busy. About time you got over here. Things should be just about right. Message me.

I like the photo.  I think taking "out the trees" will take it in even "better".😉

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2021-01-03 01:15:17