Pickhandle

Crystal Mountain

Mount Rainier National Park

This north-facing basin holds powder for days after a storm. It's straight forward pitch and easy uptrack make for a fun day.

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
1.6 km
Ascent
1 m
Descent
397 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.9 km
Gradient
40˚
VIEW ON MAP
Pickhandle Map

Description

Avoid traversing below avalanche slopes; this is true backcountry. Carry proper equipment and ski or ride with a partner. Once you arrive at the bottom of the basin, set your skin track on the climber's left side of the bowl in the small trees, attaining the ridge before it gets too steep. Watch for cornices along the ridge as you make your way to the top of the bowl. Multiple lines abound, getting more challenging on the skier's right. Early season, individual chutes are apparent, but with more snow the entire basin fills in. Watch out for avalanches, cornices, cliffs and tree wells.

Difficulty

Severe

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

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.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Features

  • Trees
  • Cliffs
  • Walk Required

Equipment required

  • Skins