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Trip Report    

Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Radio Mountain

Due to low snow conditions at Snoqualmie pass, we went to Crystal instead. Snow and weather condions proved unexpectedly enjoyable.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Snow conditions quite enjoyable, even though with lot and lots of tracks on every slope in the area just east of the permit boundary.   Boot top soft snow on top of a rain crust on the north aspect slopes we skied.

New procedure with ski patrol this season.   Once per season, check-in and sign liability waiver.   No more daily check in or check out.   They have an app for the ski area that shows which uphill routes are open and the ski patrol's snow report (Android version https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.resortstapped.CRYSTAL&hl=en_US)   The number of ski tourers has vastly increased -- so daily check-in and out would require several people.   

Besides my mini-horde we saw roughly 15  other people out touring.

We ascended via the Quicksilver designated uphill route in the ski area.   Just outside the ski area permit boundary we stopped at Hen Skin lake and did a beacon search practice session.   From there we toured to the next set of lakes above Hen Skin and tested snow stability on some mini-rollovers on the south side of the ponds.   The micro-slopes are quite a bit steeper than the slopes we planned to ski.    We climbed to the flattish area @6200 ft  1/4 mile NE of Threeway Peak.   

We then split the group with the two Co-Leaders descending from that point with self-selected "blue run" skiers and the "black run" skiers ascending  with me another 150 vft and skiing some slightly steeper slopes.    We regrouped in the meadow at 5720 elevation and then split the group again with the "blue" group heading for the "Bullwheel"  and the "black" group skiing up 250 ft up the slope SE of the meadow.   We climbed to the were the slope steepens for the last  bit before the ridge.    We then skied out,  shortly joining the ski area outrun for the "Southback" area within the permit boundary and quickly rejoined the "blue" group in the "Bullwheel" after dodging many lift skiers on the Quicksilver lift served run which had quite firm snow conditions.

 

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