Constrictor Bowl Loop

Crystal Mountain

Mount Rainier National Park

Heading South of Crystal Mountain making a scenic loop

Ski Touring Difficult

11 km
1.2 km
1.2 km
5-6 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
2 km
Constrictor Bowl Loop Map

Routes evolve over time and the beauty about backcountry skiing is that it gives you endless amounts of options. While this trip is similar to other routes this is a tour I like to do if I get to a spot and notice there are already tracks in it. It’s funny how sometimes we have a bit of a powder snob attitude where if there are already a few people who dropped in ahead of you we can consider it tracked out. If this is the case here is the another variation of what I consider a classic tour in the Crystal Mountain Backcountry.


Starting at the Crystal Mountain base make your way up Quicksilver and into Silver Basin. Loosely following the groomed track make your way up to the eastern col of 3 Way Peak and descend into Morse Creek Basin. From here follow the basin up heading southwest towards Sourdough gap and keep climbing west until arriving at the top of Placer Peak. Dropping in make your first few turns on the southeast ridge before dropping into the wide open slopes before heading back to your skin track. With that out of the way it is time to head back up to Sourdough Gap.

Once on Sourdough Gap drop south into Sheep Lake basin but make a hard traverse skiers left until arriving at the base of a small ridge. Start skinning up and after you gain some elevation start a long traverse to the East. After a while you will reach a high point and be standing on top of a bowl that first goes northeast all the way to the valley. This run is not too steep but it is a huge terrain trap so play it smart while descending and don’t have everyone go at the same time. Keep riding down but right before the final drop off head hard skiers left in hopes of making it to the shore of Placer Lake.

Once at Placer Lake make your way over to the North shore and start heading north into the dense trees. This section can be quite confusing but do a low traverse north but make sure to wrap around a small ridge before reaching the base of Dogleg Peak. Once there it is pretty straightforward but make sure to climb onto the west ridge of Dogleg Peak as this is the easiest way to get to the summit. Standing on top of Dogleg Peak you have numerous options for a descent line but to keep this description as short as possible drop into Dogleg Bowl and ride it to lower Henskin Lake. From there make your way across the shores heading north and soon enough you will be on top of Quicksilver. From here on out it is a nice groomer all the way to the bottom.

Click here for a trip within the area and much more photos



Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between January and April


  • Bowl
  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Couloir
  • Ski Safari

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby