|Peak:||Crystal Peak A (13er)|
|Date of Information:||06/08/2013|
Are you still wanting to ski/snowboard down a mountain, with easy access, great views and little to no crowds? May I suggest Crystal Peak then. I hiked up and rode down the East Face of Crystal Peak on Sat, 6/8. It is still possible to ski/ride off the summit and make it to ~11,700 (with clever route finding on the snow).
With a proper 4x4 vehicle, you can drive to just over 11,000'. I pulled into a side spot on the road that is perfect for a vehicle to be out of the way. Snow blocks the upper part of the road at ~11,100'
I did not use snowshoes. I used microspikes in the morning to walk over the multiple snow mounds on the road. I used crampons to make a direct ascent from the basin towards the normal summer trail. Kept crampons on the whole way to the summit, just for better traction.
Rode off the summit down the East Face, and the snow was in great shape. Cool temps and partly overcast skies helped the snow conditions on this day.
Picture 1: Climbing up a snow field, using crampons, towards the normal summer trail.
Picture 2: A view of the summer trail, still covered in snow.
Picture 3: Looking back at my track coming off the summit.
Picture 4: Snow coverage on the headwall in the basin. Snow was still good in this section, but there were more rocks showing here than anywhere else on the ride down.
Photos (click for slideshow):