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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-06-14||Route: Combo Helen/Father Dyer/Crystal
Info: We went up Helen traversed to Father Dyer then to Crystal and descended something close to the standard route for Crystal. Snowshoes were helpful on ascent of Helen in spots... and very helpful in the valley by Crystal lakes. Spikes/Crampons/Ice Ax were required on the descent from Crystal, as well as many spots on the traverse from Helen --> Father Dyer. Be prepared for a long wet day, we summited Helen before 7am, by the time we were done with the traverse and descended Crystal the snow was slushy and there are still a few snow fields that could see a wet slide. When we finally got below the lakes we walked a 4-wheel drive road that was a creek with water shin-high.
|2014-10-25||Route: Crystal/Pacific saddle
Info: Did Roach‘s "West Winds Classic" starting from the Mayflower Gulch upper TH. Gained Crystal via Crystal/Pacific saddle. Couldn‘t completely avoid the snow, but there wasn‘t too much. Did more snow on the ascent closer to ridge, but descended on more rock. See 2nd pic. Keep in mind today‘s weather moving in could change all this quite a bit.
|2013-09-24||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Hiked up to Lower Crystal Lake. Some snow patches across trail up to that point. Patchy, melting snow looked to continue on up the surrounding peaks.
|2013-07-05||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Road up to lower Crystal Lake clear. Crossing Crystal Creek just before lake no problem. Route can be done without crossing snow except one 30 ft (?) section on switchback. I am a rookie hiker and had hiking poles. The section was icy and this was the first time I had to cross ice at a place were a fall would have been bad. It will be there awhile so perhaps microspikes would help the faint of heart.
|2013-06-08||Route: East Face
Info: 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.
|2013-06-02||Route: East Face
Info: Crystal‘s east face is in good ski condition. We hit it a bit late, but I think around 10am would have been primo. Continuous snow on the 4WD road down to about 11,000‘. Gorgeous day.
|2012-04-08||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: NE Ridge - from Peak 10. Snow was generally supportive the whole day. I carried my snowshoes but never needed them. That likely won‘t last if it stays warm. Ice axe came in handy in a couple places but you can probably avoid most steep snow if you need to. It got pretty slushy on the descent but there remained a nice layer of supportive snow underneath. Made for slick conditions in a few places. Good luck.
|2012-03-31||Route: Combo Helen/Father Dyer/Crystal
Info: Pk 9 > Pk 10 > Crystal > Father Dyer > Helen. Pics: https://picasaweb.google.com/105978537438093356597/TourDeCrystal03312012# Basically the same as andyouseeme‘s report, ‘cept drier. Used snowshoes briefly on descent - no other technical gear used. Road dry to gated winter TH on Spruce Creek outside of Breck. Packed snow to Francie‘s. Snow in the basin, but no snowshoes needed in the morning. Essentially dry up the Wheeler Trail to Pk 9 (class 1+), though some snowfields to cross up high. Dry up to Pk 10 (class 2). Mixed snow and rock to Crystal (c2). Dry to Father Dyer (c2+). Dry to Helen (c3 with a couple spots of c4. Bypass on south ledge systems if needed). Helen‘s E slopes have snow down low. Snowshoes highly recommended for the short section to back to the packed Wheeler/Spruce Creek sections. Ski: Big avy scar on the NE bowl off Pk 9. Pk 10 had turns on the NE aspect. Crystal had a group skiing mostly continuous snow of the E face. Somebody downclimbed about 20‘ and skied an East couloir off Father Dyer. Helen is not skiable except near treeline.
|2012-03-10||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Climbed/skied Crystal from the Crystal Creek drainage. Snow was firm and we skinned to 12,500‘ before booting to the summit via the summit route. Continuous ski from summit to the trailhead on chalky snow up high and firm, consolidated snow down low.
|2011-06-05||Route: East Side
Info: Snow the whole way. We came up the Spruce Creek drainage and returned down the drainage closer to Peak 10, and saw almost no ground at all.