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Author Topic: April 19, 2016 - The Crystal Quintet  (Read 1914 times)
Lowell_Skoog
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April 19, 2016 - The Crystal Quintet
« on: 04/19/16, 11:23 PM »



In April 2008, I did a tour at Crystal Mountain after the lifts closed in which I linked several peaks into a fun loop. I called it the Crystal Quartet.

With great conditions at Crystal recently and the forecast for clouds this weekend, I got the urge to repeat this trip and extend it a bit this time. With five principal summits I suppose it could be called the Crystal Quintet.

Threeway Peak - I left the base lodge around 8:40 a.m. The snow was already softening with our record warm temperatures. I skinned up Quicksilver into Silver Basin, passing a pair of ski tourers on the way. I skinned up the east ridge of Threeway Peak then scrambled to the summit. Here's the summit view:



During the descent of the NE gullies I did my best to slough the wet surface snow, then skied the slide track. I wasn't able to get much to go. Here I encountered long-time Crystal skier Scott Kingland, who was on his way to Crystal Lake basin. Scott and I have known each other by sight for decades, but I think this is the first time we've actually met.

Silver King - Scott and I climbed to Silver Saddle then went our separate ways. I continued to the summit of Silver King, where I began to realize I should have packed more than two bike bottles of water. It was a warm day. I skied Brain Damage into Avalanche Basin, where I took the following picture looking back up the King:



Silver Queen - After traversing through the woods to the base of the High Campbell chairlift, I skinned up again and climbed to the summit of Silver Queen. Here I took a photo of the memorial plaque for early snow ranger Lloyd McGahue. I must have seen this before, but I hadn't remembered it. Inspired by the memorial I stuck one of my ski tips into the picture. I was skiing on my brother Carl's Atomic TM11's, the only piece of his gear that I've kept and continued to use (for over a decade now).



Summit Lodge - After descending Powder Bowl, I skinned up the cat-track to the Summit House where I took off my boots to let my socks dry out. I sent a text to my son letting him know my progress. Since nobody else knew where I'd gone for the day, I decided before I left the car that I would send him a text at each waypoint to let him know where I was and where I was going next. He didn't mind and it made me feel better. I've been sensitized to this sort of thing over the past few months. Scattering some of my wife's ashes on the summit drove the point home for me.

Northway Peak - I wanted to get some skiing off each of my high points, but I was also getting a bit dehydrated, so I just skied the upper bowl of Green Valley to the first flats. Then I climbed back up to the top of the Green Valley chair and followed the cat-track to Northway Peak. I'd originally thought to just ski down the ridge to the bottom of the Green Valley chair, but the north side of Northway Peak looked so nice that I couldn't resist skiing it. Fortunately it wasn't too hard to traverse across upper Paradise Bowl back to the ridge. I skied down to the chairlift, made an easy skin up to the Iceberg Gulch saddle, then descended Iceberg and Lower Bull Run back to the lodge, around 2:20 p.m.

This was a really enjoyable outing--a nice way to say goodbye to the Crystal ski season for this year.


« Last Edit: 04/20/16, 07:12 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Chamois
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Re: April 19, 2016 - The Crystal Quintet
« Reply #1 on: 04/20/16, 08:25 AM »

As usual, nicely stitching together a tour.   Looks fun.
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Robie
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Re: April 19, 2016 - The Crystal Quintet
« Reply #2 on: 04/20/16, 12:57 PM »

Well done on all counts!
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ski2fly
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Re: April 19, 2016 - The Crystal Quintet
« Reply #3 on: 04/20/16, 07:14 PM »

Sweet tour. I met Scott's (I am pretty sure brother) Leroy way back in the mid 80's. My brother worked at Olympic Sports and I got a job selling ski boots at Ski Bonkers. I think I was in my college years or there abouts.
I did a-non tour (lift served) sort of the same thing a few years ago on Easter Sunday, similar conditions but everything was frozen corn on the shady side.  Skied Brain Damage, Dog Leg Chute (the one into Bear Pits), down off of Grubstake Peak into Snorting Elk, Northway bowl,  down Banana chute, and one more off the saddle between The Throne and Silver King. Fun day, lots of chatter.
Cheers S2F.
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: April 19, 2016 - The Crystal Quintet
« Reply #4 on: 04/20/16, 07:27 PM »

Sweet tour. I met Scott's (I am pretty sure brother) Leroy way back in the mid 80's. My brother worked at Olympic Sports and I got a job selling ski boots at Ski Bonkers. I think I was in my college years or there abouts.
I did a-non tour (lift served) sort of the same thing a few years ago on Easter Sunday, similar conditions but everything was frozen corn on the shady side.  Skied Brain Damage, Dog Leg Chute (the one into Bear Pits), down off of Grubstake Peak into Snorting Elk, Northway bowl,  down Banana chute, and one more off the saddle between The Throne and Silver King. Fun day, lots of chatter.
Cheers S2F.

Cool!

Leroy Kingland is Scott's uncle.

If I do this again sometime, I'll try to add Grubstake Peak. I didn't realize how well filled in it was until I looked back from Northway Peak. But I was pretty low on water by that time, and ready to call it a day.
« Last Edit: 04/20/16, 07:30 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
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