The weather gods finally delivered snow to Crystal. Over the past four days the ski area picked up nearly 12” of snow. Not a lot over four days (for Washington), but this year that makes up nearly 7% of the total snowfall.
Conditions and coverage up high have remained fairly good for the past few weeks, surviving the June-uary warmup that baked the snowpack. The new snow was all that was needed to get Chair 6 and Forest Queens spinning again, opening up Campbell Basin, Powder Bowl, and the hikes to the Southback slack country. With that the amount of terrain and aspects skiable shot through the roof.
Since Southback was planned to open mid-morning, it was laps on Chair 6 until the rope was dropped. While the snow was relatively dry and consistent, the Friday crowds had done their best to ski it out, leaving patches of powder and patches of cut up snow.
Chutes into Avalanche Basin, North Face of Silver King (yes, that is the freezer) beyond.
Once the rope to Southback dropped it was straight to Silver King, the nearly 7,000′ tall peak just South of Campbell Basin and still inside the resort boundaries. Due to strong winds over the past 24 hours ridgelines in Avalanche Basin and Silver Basin were scoured and South through East aspects were wind scoured near ridges.
The best snow was stashed on the North Face of Silver King, where wind deposition piled the snow nearly 2′ deep.The snow was slightly wind affected but dry. Not Utah Blower, but February in Washington dry. Thanks to the aspect and low air temperatures the snow stayed in the freezer all day long, delivering good turns until the end of the day.
The goods stayed good. 3pm turns off of Silver King.
After weeks of little to no snow accumulation the most recent storm was like winning 10 grand on a scratch ticket. Pretty much the best news. Even though the conditions were stellar, the lift lines were non-existent by late morning thanks to the Junior Freeride Competition and patio (with a Rainier) weather. While the groomers were fast with the most recent refresh, the only reason to ski them was to get back to Chair 6, because Southback had the goods. By the end of the day we had totaled 3 laps on the King, with a few on Chair 6. For those willing to hike for it, the good were well worth it.
The forecast for the next week is dominated by high pressure and warm temperatures, meaning that it is back to the corn harvest in Washington. Hopefully the new snow is enough to keep Chair 6 spinning until the next storm rolls through the region.