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2005 Backcountry Trip Reports => March 2005 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: Zap on 03/14/05, 05:53 AM

Title: March 13, 2005, Silver Basin,Crystal
Post by: Zap on 03/14/05, 05:53 AM
Spent the weekend at Crystal in an avy instructor course and spent part of our field trip near Silver Basin.  The ski area is quite brown. Iceberg gulch is bare and most sun exposed slopes even near the top of Rex are brown.  Silver Basin/Three Way Basin have sufficient coverage for touring.  Consistent patches of snow can be linked about half way up chair 4 so you  can start skinning.  The coverage is adequate in the open areas but intermittent in the trees. By the time our field trip ended about 3pm the snow had already started to refreeze so we just skidded down the patches and hiked to the base.  

After spending the weekend at Crystal and reading the recent trip reports locally, we're leaving for the Sierras.


Title: Re: March 13, 2005, Silver Basin,Crystal
Post by: md2020 on 03/14/05, 06:17 AM
we were there Sat, but it was too embarassing to post a TR. Glad you beat me to it. We climbed up to top of Silver Basin by way of quicksilver lift. I couldn't believe how hard the snow/ice patches were under the lift. Continuous snow just below the lift. Nasty crust and thigh deep frozen mush underneath on slope to top of Silver Basin. We spent a lot of time at the top complaining about the lack of snow and enjoying the sun before deciding what to do next. We had originally intended to traverse to Sheep Lake Basin and back, but the many brown patches of the good south facing slopes put a damper on our enthusiasm. I managed to talk Brenda and Frank to at least hike down the bare grass slope over to the low saddle to check out the run down to Placer Creek. We arrived to a patchy, unskiable slope. Took another extended break and headed back. The ski down the crusty Silver Basin was a bit of a challenge, but we traversed far skiers left to get decent turns where the sun had done its job. Call this trip a good workout.

Title: Re: March 13, 2005, Silver Basin,Crystal
Post by: ron j on 03/14/05, 07:16 AM
Thanks to you both, Zap and Mike.
It's good to know what's going on in that area, coverage wise.

Title: Re: March 13, 2005, Silver Basin,Crystal
Post by: Mad_Dog on 03/14/05, 10:54 AM
From the TR information above, it certainly sounds like we will be have to postpone our "Annual Crystal BC SkiFest" until next year. Also looks like the "Sourdough Chute Fest" will be put to rest until next year too.  >:(  >:( Ron, Jerry, and I had talked about the Crystal SkiFest earlier in the season, but the snow has been so sketchy, that the idea this year hadn't gotten any further than just talking about it.  We'll see what happens next season, and might be able to pull both of those off again. Once the Steven's Canyon road at Paradise opens, we'll check out the "Slush Cup" spot and see what fun we can have there.   :D

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