Crystal Mountain, WA Conditions Report: January Sunshine

Chaz Diamond | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

12415crystal4Levitation practice off Chair 6. 3 turns to the bottom. Repeat. Photo credit – Billy.

After a week of super wet conditions in the Pacific North West a high pressure ridge moved in, bringing sun and warmer temps. While June-uary can bring sun and good skiing conditions, Sunday brought a dose of spring-shred to January.

mandatoryrainierMandatory Rainier shot. Beautiful, but look at the wind ripping off the top!

After a downright frustrating couple of weeks that rain and a bit of snow, the forecast for sun was a much needed break. The precipitation had taken its toll on thinner areas around rock outcrops and ridgelines, melting away take-offs on some of the best launches off of Chair 6. Down low things were patchy, but groomers still had consistent coverage top-to-bottom. Northway was shut, likely due to low snow coverage, since the terrain in that area is much rockier and takes more snow to fill in.

While the temperatures never actually dropped below freezing level on Saturday night, the conditions in the morning were on crunchy side and definitely not fun. Early runs down Grubsteak in Green Valley found even Southerly aspects still crunchy, so the call was to lap groomers until the rest of the mountain softened up enough to rip. On the plus, the early morning views were stellar, the Cascade Volcanoes lined up, and you could see from Mt. Hood in the South clear up to Mt. Baker in the North.

12415crystal1Looking a bit like California… Who said it’s always gray in Washington?


12415crystal2Slush crushin’ off of 6. Rider – Billy

By 10:30 Lucky Shot off of Rainier Express had softened up a good amount, and the call was made to go see how Chair 6 was skiing. The answer was: good! The sun had softened everything up and it was go-time. While a lot of takeoffs had been disappeared and drops were looking much bigger than usual, there was a lot of minigolf to levitate off of. Landings were soft and smooth. A few turns later you were at the chair for more hot laps.

One of the coolest parts of the Crystal terrain is the range of aspects that are easily accessible. As the sun started to cook more Southerly slopes we followed the shade across Chair 6, finding snow that wasn’t soggy and totally fried. After a frustrating week of conditions spring shred in June-uary was more than welcome. While the forecast for the next week doesn’t have much precipitation in it, the temps should keep things soft until the storms return.

CrustalForecast1262015Warm temps, and (mostly) sunny skies.

While more snow would be welcome, the coverage up high is still good away from ridgelines. Down low there were a few rocky spots.CaptureWhat do you want, snow gods?

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