7 - 8
FATMAP difficulty grade
When it comes to terrain around Crystal Mountain it doesn’t get much better then Goat Lake Basin but make sure to bring a tent because the approach is simply brutal.
Once in this zone it is stacked with chute after chute that could keep you busy for days riding a different chute each time but sticking to the same skin track.
Now that this gem is in the guide books it is time that we start talking about why I always kept going back to Goat lake Basin. Before starting make sure you have everything you need from a stove to a sleeping bag to keep you warm as you are in the middle of nowhere.
Leaving from Crystal Mountain ski resort head lookers left up the Gold Hills Groomer until you hit the Bullion Basin Summer trail.
From there it is time to climb as if you were heading towards East Peak.
I know your bag is heavy but make sure to stay in the tight trees as you make switchback after switchback before being just below the ridge.
Now it is time for the longest traverse in the area heading north past Norse Peak and Big Crow Basin than you have reached your destination Goat Lake Basin. Standing on top you will see numerous gullies which all go but be warned that you are riding into avalanche slopes and won’t be on safe ground until arriving in the flats of the valley.
Choose your line with caution but once in the valley don’t think of slowing down until you’ve rode a ways down valley and you can see a low col to the west, this will be your ascent line.
You worked so hard to get here so make the most out of the daylight until it is time to get into the tent for the night.
Once it is time to head back you need to retrace the long ridge all the way back to East Peak before your final descent with a heavy backpack.
While the last run isn’t going to be that great it was well worth what you experienced the day before. Click here for a trip within the area and much more photos https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/crystal-mountain/titans/