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 Post subject: Out of sight, out of mind Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 529
Gas money to get to the carpool meet up point.....................................................................................................................................1.97$
Coffee at Auburn Mcdonalds...........................................................................................................................................................2.12$
Employee pass at Crystal...............................................................................................................................................................5.00$
Getting first tracks on sunnyside,Green Valley, Northway Peak and Morning Glory Bowl....................................................................................Priceless


It’s that time of the season where the lifts are running and the powder is accumulating. With the limited opening of Crystal Mountain Joe, Chris and myself decided we would take advantage of the resort terrain which at the time was inaccessible for the lifts all while traversing in a northerly direction.

There was a general feeling of stoke throughout the crowd as they anxiously waited for the gates to open for there first chair of the season and hopes of getting those well coveted first tracks. It was obvious it was going to be a mad frenzy once the resort opened so with that in mind we got a 30 minute head start skinning up to the top of Chinook Chair merely minutes before the chaos ensued. To our surprise Upper Mountain had not been groomed leaving us with no option but to break trail in the 6 inches of new snow that had accumulated over night.
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We kept a fast past climbing the switchbacks as hoots and hollers echoed from below us from people celebrating there first turns of the season. As we climbed through the deep untouched snow we were pleasantly surprised by the conditions, Blue bird and powder with great coverage which is insanely rare considering how early in the season it is.
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Joe skinning with Green Valley in the distance.

It took us around an hour and a half to make it to our first destination which would be the wide open untracked slopes of the south aspect known as Sunnyside. We strapped in basking in the brilliant sunshine knowing that we had merely minutes before the sun affected the Southern aspects we intended to ski. After a quick moment we dropped into our first run of the day making fall line turns down the ankle deep pow with no obstructions(and no rocks) to slow our progress for our 45 seconds of pure bliss.
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My first resort run of the Season


We rode down to our skin track and quickly switched back to skinning as we noticed a few like minded individuals heading towards the goods a few hundred feet below. We took advantage of the now groomed track as we skinned up Ice berg ridge in awe in the fact that not a single track had been placed in Green Valley, it seemed as if it was ours for the taking. As we climbed under REX (high speed quad chair) it started moving and as we had feared there were people on it, if we wanted first tracks we would have to pick up our pace. There was a sigh of relief when we realized it was ski patrollers (who did an amazing job that day) roping off potentially harmful terrain whom had no intentions of dropping into the bowl.
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Once on the top of Green Valley we were stoked in the fact that we would be putting in the first tracks of the season (resort wise) as the sun glistened upon the open powder slopes. With no hesitation I dropped in gaining momentum and with one big turn I was coated in powder that flew above my head. Since I had dropped in first I was well aware that the only way to make it back to our skinning trail was to straight line the lower half of the bowl, luckily I was able to make it within 30 feet of the trail.

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Now thats a rooster tail

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First turns in Green Valley
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My line down Green Valley

In the distance I could see Joe dropping in first leaving huge rooster tails with every turn and before long Chris was ripping down as they shared turns down the wide open slopes hearing people hooting from the ridge as they were skinning up. By know it was around 11:00 and the groomed track was now bustling with activity as people both skinning and boot packing emerged from the top of Ice berg gulch to look at three glorious tracks down Green Valley. We took a moment to rest and transition to skinning as we chatted with a few hikers giving them beta on conditions before heading out to our next destination.

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Joe Dropping in Green Valley
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Those are some clean lines

We skinned up to the summit of Green Valley and followed the groomed slope out to the snorting Elk bowl before climbing the ridge to our high point the summit of Northway peak. We took in the panoramic views while snacking on some much needed food and rehydrating as the clouds started coming in from the horizon. Our next objective was the main chute heading down Northway peak which was both wind loaded and North facing, while rocky in some areas we were well aware of what areas were safe and what areas were not. While we weren’t too concerned about avalanches we decided to play it safe and cut a cornice which caused minor sluffing but nothing unexpected.


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Looking down Northway Chute before we drop

After a quick ski cut Joe dropped in first and within a split second it became obvious that this run would be the best powder I would experience all day (and within the past 7 months). With a quick shout up from Joe letting us know it was good, I dropped in yielding face shots with every turn only hitting one minor rock along the way. As Chris meet up with us down bottom it became obvious that he was stoked yelling with every turn before jumping around and giving us high fives for the next few minutes as we transitioned to skinning.

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Joe Drops in first
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Then I drop in
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The Lower Apron of Northway Chute

The terrain in the Northway bowl still lacked coverage as rocks were jutting out of the snowpack so we came to the conscious decision to check Morning glory bowl which would deliver low angled north facing slopes. We carefully skinned out trying to minimalize our exposure to Avalanches by both staying in the semi dense trees and leaving space between each other. Soon we were on the ridge climbing to our high point the top of morning glory bowl.

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Looking back at our lines as we skin

By know it was 2:00 and while tired we made a group decision that this would be our last run before heading back to Lucky shot for our final decent . Since the angle of Morning glory bowl was so mellow we had to keep speed on the flats before dropping over a steep roller yielding by far the driest turns of the day. When we reached the flats below and our stopping point it was obvious we were all ecstatic as we all grinned with a fresh dusting of powder on our beanies.

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Dropping into Morning Glory

We broke trail through the deep snow traversing out to the low saddle between Northway and Morning Glory. Before long we were heading back on the Northway road which was still covered in what seemed like a foot of wind deposited powder before reaching groomed slopes of Snorting Elk. We quickly followed the trail up towards the lucky shot traverse and to our surprise 4 skiers zoomed past us ducking a rope and heading out towards Northway. We quickly figured out that upper mountain was now open and as we reached our final high point we noted the stark contrast between what Green Valley looked like earlier in the day and the skied out conditions it was now in.

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One last look at our tracks down Northway

We felt very fortunate to experience such great conditions in early November and celebrated what was in store for the 09/10 Season as we rode down Lucky shot all the way to the base and celebrated another great day with great friends at the Bullwheel.

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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:44 pm
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Location: san diego
epic...

:bow:

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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:43 pm
Posts: 310
Location: Mill Creek, WA
A snowboader gets first tracks at Crystal!! You're must have pissed some people(skiers) off, dude!......schweet!

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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:58 pm
Posts: 102
Location: layton utah
sdmarkus wrote:
epic...

:bow:


what he said.
Let's just say im jealous


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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Posts: 444
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
wow. thats incredable

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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:20 pm 
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chase_e wrote:
sdmarkus wrote:
epic...

:bow:


what he said.
Let's just say im jealous


what he said :thatrocks:

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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:16 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Kelowna, BC
sick lines and great terrain....

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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm
Posts: 4938
Location: California
Noooooooooooo, now Kyle is just putting up a couple pics and linking to his site. :nononno:



Looks fun regardless. :thumbsup:


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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Location: Alaska
Those conditions look unreal! Way to slay it Kyle! Send somma that snow out to Utah would ya?

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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:05 pm
Posts: 14
:scratch: I'm leaving Mammoth for the Good's. Sweet!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:39 am
Posts: 352
Location: Durango, CO.
That didn't look like it sucked at all. NICE.
Didn't click the link though.


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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
Holy crap dude, Crystal is pretty much that raddest ski area ever when the freshiez are totally deserted!!

Mmmmmmm Northwaaaay Gaaaaaaaahhhhhh..... :guinness:

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 Post subject: Re: Out of sight, out of mind: Crystal opening day 11/11
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Very nice Kyle!....but I am protesting blog links myself :mrgreen:

copy/paste ftw


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