telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
06/22/17, 07:19 AM

Solar Halo over Tahoma
on TAY home page
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2008 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  April 2008 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet  (Read 4845 times)
Lowell_Skoog
Member
Offline

Posts: 2041


WWW
April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet
« on: 04/27/08, 09:00 PM »



Here is a belated trip report.  It doesn't describe current conditions, since they've changed a lot since Saturday.  But it describes a really enjoyable tour, one that is especially good now that the Crystal Mountain ski area has closed for the season.  It's a link-up of four summits above Crystal, a loop I call the Crystal Quartet.

Threeway Peak - I left the base lodge a little after 8 a.m. Saturday, hoping to hit some north facing slopes before the day warmed up too much.  The morning was nice and cool, but the freezing level was forecast to climb a lot during the day.  I skinned up Quicksilver and back into Silver Basin, then climbed to the saddle east of Threeway Peak. I skied up the east ridge of the peak then scrambled on foot the last few feet to the summit.  On the descent I poked and tested the snow a bit then skied down the NE gullies to Silver Basin, finding wind affected powder.

Silver King - Putting skins on again, I climbed toward Silver Saddle, passing a group of climbers descending on foot.  They were apparently a class, since they were roped up on terrain that didn't require it.  I skinned to the top of Silver King and looked down the north side.  The broad gully to skier's right of the summit looked the least wind affected, so I descended that way.  I poked and tested the top of the gully, then enjoyed a long set of turns down the fall-line into Avalanche Basin. Then I traversed through the woods to the base of the High Campbell chairlift.

Silver Queen - Skins on again.  As I was climbing Campbell Basin toward Silver Queen I met two old friends who were descending, concerned about the sun-warmed slopes above.  I think one member of the party was less comfortable with the conditions than the other, and the other had honored those concerns and had turned back.  That's the way a partner should behave!  I judged the conditions to be okay and continued to the top of Silver Queen.  Descending Powder Bowl, my skis occasionally bottomed out on icy moguls. This was the poorest skiing I encountered on any of the peaks.

Summit Lodge (REX) - I skied to the bottom of Little Portillo, then skinned to the lodge at the top of the Rainier Express chairlift.  I ran into another couple of friends here.  We chatted and enjoyed the view then one of them joined me to ski upper Green Valley.  I said goodbye and descended Iceberg Gulch, finding good corn snow on the left side.  Sticky snow on Lower Bull Run (Lower Ferks) returned me to the base lodge.

I really enjoyed the combination of cross-country travel and downhill skiing on this tour.  Although I might have found better snow by yo-yoing some of the slopes along the way, it was satisfying to keep moving and never retrace my tracks. It's great finding new ways to enjoy old haunts like Crystal Mountain.
« Last Edit: 04/28/08, 06:58 AM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Paul_Russell
Member
Offline

Posts: 236


Re: April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet
« Reply #1 on: 04/28/08, 10:32 PM »

Thanks for the report Lowell.  I hadn't thought of that trip, but what a nice tour with lots of options (ascents of the Throne, Snorting Elk, and Northway Peak all beaconing too).  Especially good now with the great snow coverage and on  a sketchy weekend for avy conditions. 
« Last Edit: 04/28/08, 10:39 PM by Paul_Russell » Logged
Lowell_Skoog
Member
Offline

Posts: 2041


WWW
Re: April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet
« Reply #2 on: 04/29/08, 10:31 AM »

There's a nice aesthetic bonus when you get to the summit lodge after skiing the other three peaks. In the foreground you see Silver Queen, then behind it and a little to the left is Silver King, and behind and a little to the left again is Threeway Peak. The north sides were untracked when I skied them Saturday morning, so it was nice to look back at the three descent tracks, all in a row. I can't think of another tour quite like that, off the top of my head.
« Last Edit: 04/29/08, 07:10 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
jhamaker
Member
Offline

Posts: 252


Re: April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet
« Reply #3 on: 04/29/08, 10:54 AM »

Saw your tracks on Sun.
As soon as the sun hit Silver Basin the top 6" of snow started pinwheeling.  Skiiers set off sluffs 6" down to the last wet crust.  Heavy skiing.
S face is melting off fast but only has 3" snow over the wet/icy crust.
Logged
wolfs
Member
Offline

Posts: 634


Re: April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet
« Reply #4 on: 04/29/08, 11:01 AM »

Bean Creek and Beverly Creek have some nice summit-chaining options. You can go Earl-Bean-Marys-Judys without too much trouble. Or Marys-Bills-Genes-Iron. I've done the former but we did it "wrong" by doubling back for Earl @ end of day rather than starting there. The Crystal Quartet does have the notable advantage that you're touring in the sun and descending on the north sides so getting the best of the snow; that's harder on those Teanaway tours which have lots of south facings. There is no summit lodge in the Teanaway of course but I'm perfectly happy with that  Smiley
BTW Lowell you weren't kidding about your "billygoat" skintrack on Threeway. I used your track to the left gap later that morning but didn't think I had the skinning skilz to get up that little bulge; that thing was steep with some airy kickturn spots!
Logged
Lowell_Skoog
Member
Offline

Posts: 2041


WWW
Re: April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet
« Reply #5 on: 04/29/08, 11:49 AM »

Wolfs, was that you in the parking lot when I left in the morning? If so, nice to meet you. We'll have to actually introduce ourselves if we bump into each other like that again.
Logged
CookieMonster
Member
Offline

Posts: 522


WWW
Re: April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet
« Reply #6 on: 04/29/08, 05:32 PM »

I did that tour this year - with a detour into Crystal Lake Basin - had a great time. Some photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/87385602@N00/page3/ - Wish I'd known about this forum sooner or I'd have toured more when I was in Washington.
Logged

olallaskibum
5Member
Offline

Posts: 6


WWW
Re: April 26, 2008 - The Crystal Quartet
« Reply #7 on: 05/01/08, 08:20 AM »

"I climbed toward Silver Saddle, passing a group of climbers descending on foot.  They were apparently a class, since they were roped up on terrain that didn't require it. "

Today is the first I have checked TAY in a bit and I found your post.  The group of climbers descending was indeed a class.  I am teaching a bunch of boy scouts basic mountaineering techniques and doing physical training for a planned climb of Mt. Rainier in July.  We all admired your tracks coming off Three Way and I kept waiting for you to descend into Silver Basin from The King.  Nice to hear the rest of your tour.  If was a fantastic morning to be in the mountains.
Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.