FATMAP difficulty grade
This ski tour is not a lot of skiing and a whole bunch of touring but that being said it offers isolation in a region that is normally only visited during the summer months.
This was one of the ski tours I needed to tick off if I wanted to ski from Mount Baker to Mount Rainier.
Looking at the maps I wasn’t exactly excited about the route and after actually doing the trip I still fill the same way.
This trip needs to be done with a solid weather window of 4 days as it is quite confusing and if you get lost then you are in some real trouble.
So that being said let me take you on a journey from Crystal Mountain to Meany Lodge.
Starting at Crystal Mountain ski resort make your way up the groomer to the skiers left through the woods of the Gold Hills slope.
After gaining a few hundred feet of elevation hop onto the Bullion Basin summer trail and keep following it until you get to the first switchback under the west ridge of East Peak.
Make your way northeast over a convex roller (only if conditions are stable and if not do not attempt this route) gaining elevation until reaching the high point between Cement and Lake Basin.
From here drop into the northeast slope of Lake Basin and from here on out your are in a world of isolation for the next few days. Once you get into the flats of the upper Basin of Lake basin start following the drainage until it starts to drop into the lower basin.
From here you need to start heading north towards a low col between here and Big Crow Basin.
Descend the mellow slopes into Big Crow Basin and start heading Northeast towards the buried Pacific Crest Trail which you will be following for most of the trip.
The next few miles is a horrendous side hill before reaching the high ridge.
This whole area is insanely confusing so I high recommend bringing a GPS to make sure you are on top of the Pacific Crest Trail.
This route will be going through dense forests with the highlight being the open flats of Meadow Basin.
From here follow the Naches Trail road until with a quick climb you are on Forest Service road 7080.
The area quickly goes from Beautiful old growth forest to clear cut open slopes but at least there is a road that makes travel easy.
Before long you will end up on the Southeast base of Pyramid Peak which you need to climb up and over before descending down the north side then making your way through the forest until arriving on Forest Service road 7038. Follow Forest Service Road 7038 until it reaches the West ridge of Blowout Mountain then it is time to hop back onto the Pacific Crest Trail.
Heading north along the PCT soon enough you will need to climb up and over the ridges before descending down to forest road 4112-12.
When this road splits both left and right go to the right side and once this ends keep following the high ridge north before it links up with Forest road 4112-11.
Once on this road descend all the way into the valley staying on said road until it junctions with the main road 4110.
From here on it is a long slog on Forest road 41 wrapping around and all the way to the power lines above Meany Lodge.
Finally after numerous hours of flat land skinning you can finally ride all the way down to the Crystal Springs snowpark. Did you find this confusing? Welcome to the Crystal Mountain to Meany Lodge Traverse Click here for a trip within the area and much more photos https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/crystal-mountain/crystal-mountain-stampede-pass/