It’s spring in the northwest. That means lots of snow. And it’ll turn heavy shortly after the sun hits it. For us early risers, it was perfect.

I’ve mentioned many times how learning to ski at Crystal makes you a good, strong skier. Probably better than you think you are. Reference years ago on a cat skiing trip in Colorado powder with a cat full of pro patrollers and Aspen instructors. In the light Colorado snow, we were always the first down and took the steepest, tightest line. So today, we skied a morning of boot-top new that would send most skiers to the bar in their furry après ski boots. And it was great.

Especially Campbell Basin. Get it before the blazing sun bakes it. We worked our way skier’s right of the chair, dropping in when the untracked called. Chutes .5, 1.9, 3, Hamburger Chutes, Ropeline Chutes all succumbed. I’d already dropped a layer of warmth and by the time we got to Upper K2 it was really warm again. Ski with NW Authority in the untracked and it was great. Try to ski someone else’s track and it was work. Three of us down Old School Cisco was a hoot.

In typical Spring at Crystal fashion, there’s no spring corn snow. The continuing morning refreshers turn to glop after awhile. And then pack down hard. We compensated with momentum and power for a few runs and then turned to the long, fast realms of T2Bs. Berry Patch Right earned groomer of the day and Lower E won bump run of the day.

I had to pull the plug early as the unconsolidated mush took control of every run and the groomers turned hard as the soft, wet snow packed in. But early is relative when you’ve got more vertical before noon than most skiers get all day.

Go early (just not in front of me, please) and go often.



It’s spring and the weather is a tough call. Tuesday through thursday will have some precip. With snow levels either just above or just below Crystal, the type of precip could go either way. Friday looks warm and sunny. I was going to say the weekend looks sunny, but the updates say warm and light rain. Look one day out and be ready to go. There’s not much time left.