The weather outlook for most of the U.S. for June is hot and dry. That is unless you live in the Pacific Northwest, where we’re in for a cold, wet month not too different from mid-winter conditions. If you like to slide on snow, look at the bright side. It’s actually snowing at Crystal, and the ski area is still open. There’s 100 inches of snow in Green Valley.
Cold temperatures and rainy days in the lowlands means more snow and a longer season at Crystal. That’s the bright side. So don’t put your skis away just yet.
Here’s what’s happening on the slopes:
- Rainier Express will run one more weekend. Middle Ferks is getting pretty thin, but there’s still enough snow on the right side to keep it open a little longer. Lower Ferks is free of snow.
- Chicken Shot is now bare, so there is no “easy way” off the top. For now, the easiest way (which is a moderate blue) is to ski Upper Ferks and drop into Lower Green Valley through the notch above Lower Ferks.
- Below Rainier Express, walking is required. On Tinkerbell, the snow runs out just below Quicksilver Chair, so you will have to take off your skis and walk the remaining few hundred feet. Alternately you can download on the Gondola.
- Snorting Elk is closed at the back traverse due a tree cutting project. You can traverse across Grubstake and drop in along Rinky Dink Ridge. However, be aware of trees and stumps and other hazards. This is for experts only.
- Bear Pits and Lucky Shot Chutes are still open and skiing well.
- The patio is now open for lunch at the Summit House; so if we ever get any more sun reserve your seat early.
- The airbag is up in Green Valley.
Many people have asked about skinning. As always, it’s okay to hike or skin into Crystal’s backcountry if you start at the bottom. Once you ride the lifts, you are required to adhere to the closures within the boundary. For the most part, we are keeping the hike up the Queen closed from Powder Pass due to avalanche hazard. If you want to hike into Silver Basin, you can do so using the normal route. We still recommend checking in with the ski patrol. Also, please do not hike up into the open part of Crystal and then expect to enter closed areas.
During the week Crystal is closed and no avalanche control is being done. Backcountry conditions exist; use safe travel techniques.
Crystal will remain open to skiing as long as we have enough snow in Green Valley to make it work. Thanks to everyone who has come out this Spring and kept the dream alive. If it’s going to act like January around here, we might as well keep skiing.