Crystal Mountain Conditions Report | Return of Winter?

Chaz Diamond | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

photo 4Top of Chair 6 looking into Campbell Basin.

Something strange happened this past week in Washington. It snowed. Sure, the accumulation only stacked up to 6 inches, but after weeks of high pressure any snow is welcome. Snow is snow, you can tell because of the way it is (and sticks in the trees). It didn’t rain, it snowed, and that’s all that matters.

Luckily stayed low through the end of the week, so the new snow didn’t immediately become part of the relentless melt-freeze corn harvest cycle Washington has been experiencing. The snow was much-needed, and gave conditions a refresh.

DCIM101GOPROSkiing steep terrain? That’s fine.

Conditions were firm wherever the new snow had been wind-scoured or hammered by the Saturday ski crowds. While they did their best, there were still good turns to be had for the price of a hike. Chair 6 has been closed for two weeks now, due to low coverage along the ridge of Campbell Basin. Since Powder Bowl is north-facing it collected wind blown snow and saved it from the sun. Even an hour before noon there were prime lines to be skied from the top of Powder Bowl. Ignoring the fact that the bottom 1/3 is a chunder field full of rollerballs and cornice pieces, the snow up top was smooth and bottomless. Not hero snow, but enough to ski (halfway) real lines and see how the mini-golf course is setting up.

photo 1Powder Bowl. Thanks to the snow it wasn’t frozen solid.

photo 2Lucky Shot cruising. The living is definitely easy.

photo 3Green Valley, you have ways of catching snow.

The groomers were in much better shape than past weeks. The low temperatures and new snow gave them a reset and they were hard (not bulletproof). Lucky shot was the prime cruiser today, softer than some of the Northern Faces in Green Valley with more rolling terrain. As an inescapable reminder of the state of this winter, by mid-afternoon the sun started baking Southern Aspects, turning the bottom of Lucky Shot into corn.

Things are looking up a bit for Washington. Heading into March the persistent high-pressure ridge will start to break down, letting some moisture move into the region. The past few days at Crystal Mountain were a reminder that winter isn’t over yet.


The snowpack hasn’t changed much, still upper mountain only. That being said, it wouldn’t take a lot more snow to re-open Forest Queen or Chair 6. Winter isn’t over yet.


Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...