6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
This trip is all about timing as the trip is insanely long but if you are willing to go the extra few miles it is almost guaranteed that you will have this place to yourself.
Imagine a ski tour that is more of a cross country ridge climb with a few lines here and there and then you have the Big Crown Basin ski tour. This tour starts similarly to the Norse Peak route but this time around I will describe the faster route as time is what you need.
The ascent below is a very dangerous way and can only be climbed if you are 100% sure that the slopes are stable.
Why is it soo dangerous you ask?? It is a wind loaded slope with trees below so just use your imagination on how this could go wrong soo now back to the route. Starting at the base of Crystal Mountain look hard lookers left at the Gold Hills slope and you will find a groomer that goes through the woods.
Before long you will hit the Bullion Basin Summer trail and follow it until you arrive at the first switchback right below the west ridge of East Peak.
Start heading lookers left AKA north of the ridge and start climbing up the convex roller.
This slope is steep for a long time but once in the flats just below the high ridge start doing a ridiculously long traverse towards Norse Peak. Soon enough you will be on top of Norse Peak and noticing the gentle slopes on the Northeast side.
This is a stress free and open slope all the way down to Big Crow Basin where once in the valley just retrace your tracks back up to Norse Peak.
If the time is good and you are craving more follow the long ridge north where there are some short but nice slopes within the basin where you can descend before linking back up with your original skin track. By now you are once again on top of Norse Peak and you need to think that the exit can take around 2 hours so be smart with this.
Needing a semi quick exit the best thing you can do is to ride down the southwest ridge towards Scouts Pass then switch back over to skinning to get to the high point dividing Lake and Cement Basins.
From here you can drop into the Crystal Mountain Valley but make a hard skiers left traverse until you are near the west ridge of East Peak and start descending.
This is a great exit but once you are past the west ridge make sure to start traversing once you see your old skin track to get back to the summer trail as below you is a painful exit nobody wants to take.
Soon enough you will be back at the ski resort and happy to have ticked off this ski tour. Click here for a trip within the area and much more photos https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/crystal-mountain/big-crow-basin/