Little AK (aka A-Basin Buttress)

Crystal Mountain

Mount Rainier National Park

A prominent rocky buttress offering numerous lines, mostly requiring mandatory air.

Freeride Skiing Severe

Distance
240 m
Ascent
0 m
Descent
139 m
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.1 km
Gradient
41˚
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Little AK (aka A-Basin Buttress) Map

Description

A prominent rocky buttress offering numerous lines, A-Basin Buttress, which locals call Little AK for its similarity to large Alaskan spines, is for experts only. The top of A-Basin Buttress is guarded by a few trees, which protect the entrance from cornice buildup. The steep run falls away over the edge, with only the tops of small alpine firs visible from the entrance. In good snow conditions, its possible to ski vertical spines over this rollover. A narrow couloir runs diagonally along the bottom of the buttress, and can be accessed from the upper left. Access from either Southback gate along the Throne ridge bootpack. Traverse around the back of the Throne to Avalanche Basin (A-Basin). Continue along the traverse behind this prominent feature and sidestep or boot back through the thin trees to the top.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Features

  • Trees
  • Cliffs
  • Walk Required

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area