North-facing delivers! Pow waiting in the hidden stashes.
After the drop in temps and snowfall of last weekend, this week saw clear skies and cold temperatures at Crystal Mountain. The high pressure broke down yesterday with the arrival of a new storm front bringing 3-5” of new snow and the threat of rain.
3” reported, but it definitely stacked up better in sheltered areas. From crystalmountainresort.com
Since any skiing is better than no skiing, the call was to go see what the weather brought to Crystal. Pulling into the parking lot around 9am, the temps were hovering around 30*, much better than expected! The classic choice was to head straight to the upper mountain where the temperatures dropped into the mid 20’s.
The new Chair 6 was the perfect spot to see what the week of sun had done to the snow conditions, offering quick access to steep North and South facing slopes. South facing slopes were solid and crunchy beneath the new snow. Catching airtime on Southern aspects was pretty sketchy. On the plus, even after the week of sun the coverage was still stellar at higher elevations.
Scouting chutes into Powderl Bowl, diggin’ the views.
North-facing stashes held out. The cold clear weather from the week before left snow from the previous storm in good condition. Topped off with the snow from the night before it skied smooth and confidently. Far traverses off of Chair 6 delivered untouched chutes and tucked away powder stashes, an unexpected find this far out from the last significant storm.
Coming down off the arm from Chair 6, all the groomers leading back to Forest Queens and Rainier Express were in prime condition. Even at lower elevations the temperatures stayed cool into the afternoon, keeping the snow smooth and edge-able. Prime groomer ripping conditions, linking together side hits and rollovers for a roller coaster runs.
Jumping over into Green Valley the coverage was still prime, and snow conditions were solid. Traverses to north-facing slopes held out some quick pow turns back down to the chair. Runs down the gut were quick, smooth, and well groomed.
Overall the conditions were stellar. There is still a bit of pepper and rock to be found up high along ridge lines and in entrances to chutes up high. Coverage was in, South Faces had been smoothed out and compacted by the sun and could could use a refresh. North faces were full-on and delivered thanks to low temps and low humidity throughout the week. Fingers crossed the weather conditions hold out for Washington skiers!
Conditions are looking a bit… wet… for the next 2 days. From NOAA.com