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Author Topic: 1/12/13 Bluebird at Crystal  (Read 1942 times)
Rowan Stewart
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Posts: 108


1/12/13 Bluebird at Crystal
« on: 01/13/13, 01:05 PM »

I decided on Crystal for the weekend after reading the tr by silaswild. 12' of blower pow and sunny skies at Crystal is hard to pass up. But, we had to deal with the hordes of resort bound skiers on the road if not on the slopes. Traffic became stop and go more than a mile from the parking lots. It wasn't all bad though, as the one radio station we could pull in played back to back ccr songs, while we were ogling frosty slopes above.
My touring partner Tyler and I were a little taken aback by the number of skiers on the bullion basin skin track, but they all seemed to turn off towards east peak, and we happily continued on towards the saddle and union creek. We stopped to dig a pit on the east side of the ridge above union creek, and confirmed the nwac forecast. the light new snow was very well bonded to the buried crust, and not cohesive at all. We made it to the top of the peak directly north of crown point, ( i don't know what it is called) and encountered two other skiers.
We switched over, and enjoyed a few hundred vertical of beautiful sunny east facing glade skiing. The crust beneath the fresh snow was barely noticeable, and the snow on top was epic.
The two other skiers traversed north at the bottom of the run, leaving us to break trail by ourselves back to the top of the unnamed peak. We took a lunch break to enjoy the views of Rainier, Adams, St Helens, and to laugh at all the skiers crossing tracks on east peak.

We took another lap down union creek, and followed our skin track back up.
 The northeast aspect of the peak offered shaded pow turns for our next run. We rode down to the pacific crest trail and caught up with the most geometrically perfect skin track I have ever seen that climbed up the northwest bowl of the the unknown peak. Whoever set that track, thank you and wow.
Our last run of the day was down the southwest face of the peak. (yes we covered every aspect)
As we switched over for the last time we remarked at the shear beauty of where we were, and not for the first time that day.
The top part of the run was perfectly gladed trees, which gradually choke out, as the slope turns to several different gullies. The snow on this aspect was different than the east aspect. less fresh snow, and a firmer buried crust. We came to the top of a steep hourglass shaped slope which I have seen before, but never ridden. from the skiers right side of the hourglass, I traversed across jumping on the slope, which produced no result. I dropped in made 3 or four fast turns catching face shots, before I rode into the crusty debris from sun triggered sluff. I lost my edge, fell on my ass, and before I could get up and down the slope, my sluff hit me from behind, catching my board, and dragging me approximately 100 vertical ft down the slope. I Yelled out that I was OK. I heard a yell from Tyler, and saw another large sluff coming down the slope. One of his skis slid by me and stopped. We made visual contact with one another, and began searching for the other ski. I found it in some small trees near to where the first one stopped. No gear lost, and no one hurt; it was an exciting way to end off a great day, and made the burgers at taste even better.
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-Edward Abbey
Zap
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Posts: 2155


Re: 1/12/13 Bluebird at Crystal
« Reply #1 on: 01/13/13, 02:08 PM »

Nice trip report and photos.  Glad to hear the sluff finished OK and the ski was found.  Wink
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BrewSki
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Posts: 13


Re: 1/12/13 Bluebird at Crystal
« Reply #2 on: 01/13/13, 07:06 PM »

That geometric track was put in by Erik the day prior.  We experienced some sluff/slide in the same area on the steeper slopes. 

Good work!
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Jake the Brit
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Posts: 339


Re: 1/12/13 Bluebird at Crystal
« Reply #3 on: 01/13/13, 07:54 PM »

I agree.

Skied/ boarded the Norse Peak south summit again & a bit of Cement basin on the east side and encountered what can only be described as righteous powder all the way up & down. It's really fast & super stable.

The menace rain-crust is still there on the west aspects, about 12" down, the totally unconsolidated dry powder sits pretty well on top. There is also a wind crust towards the ridge on the N/W aspect.

Saw 2 skiers & 1 boot pack boarder all day. Lovely. No pics
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snoslut
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Posts: 432


Re: 1/12/13 Bluebird at Crystal
« Reply #4 on: 01/16/13, 03:59 PM »

Quote
We rode down to the pacific crest trail and caught up with the most geometrically perfect skin track I have ever seen that climbed up the northwest bowl of the the unknown peak. Whoever set that track, thank you and wow.

Your welcome for the track Rowan.  Splitboarders sure make a smooth double wide.  That last 2 ft to gain the ridge was the crux.

Btw, the peak is referred on topos as pt 6,479 or Bullion Peak.

Nice to meet and share a few lines and a brew with you, Brewski.

I rode the same west facing gully and the top few inches did run the previous day.  It also ran on this day and a little bigger than the day before but sun exposed being the common. 
« Last Edit: 01/16/13, 05:26 PM by snoslut » Logged

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