With 6 inches of snow reported on top of a rain crust it wasn’t easy to motivate ourselves to go touring. Soon I received a phone call from Justin???? A who was in the area for a few days, wanting to see what the backcountry had to offer and with that we were on our way out to Crystal to take advantage of a scenic tour and marginal conditions .As we climbed up the Bullions basin trail it seemed the further we went the better the conditions became until finally reaching the sunny southern slopes of Crown Point. One by one, we dropped into the not yet sun affected slopes finding conditions far better then expected on a day in which we were sure conditions were less then marginal proving that you don’t know until you go.
Wanting to take advantage of seamlessly sunny skies Jason Hummel and myself went to tackle something big, isolated and infrequently visited. Are plans quickly came together and soon we were off driving up highway 2 towards the beast known as the Chiwaukum Range. The Chiwaukums is a group of mountains situated between Stevens Pass and Leavenworth with a high point of over 8,000 feet. We dealt with Icy climbing conditions on knife ridges, brutal cold and firm exposed runs before returning to our car over 4000 feet below unable to tackle the Big Chiwuakum and settling on point 7460 because of low snow pack and short days.
Once arriving at home I received a phone call from a friend Joe who was looking for a touring partner. I knew all to well that are only chance of riding something good was to take a chance and head out for corn on the South facing slopes of Mt Rainier. Wanting to visit a area other then the standard Muir tour we went out to Van Trump Park where we were greeted with conditions ranging from a few inches of windblown pow to thousands of feet of corn skiing.
Here are a few pics from the trip.
It quickly became apart that conditions were too cold for anymore multiday trips so it was time to head back to the resort and lap up some groomers until conditions inproved. After over a week of lapping the same groomers day in and day out we finally got slammed with front after front delivering over 3 feet of fresh. With avalanche danger through the roof it was a easy decision to ride at Crystal day after day lapping up the usual haunts.
Now once again the freezing levels have risen and the amazing snow has given way to soaking wet slush but fortunately the forecast is looking promising for next week.