Crystal Peak A  
Report Conditions Information   Photos  Comments       
2017-02-20  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2017-02-21, By: jmanner
Info: Skiable from car to summit to car. Spring like snowpack depth and quality of snow. Some windloading on the headwall between the lakes. 
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2016-07-14  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-07-18, By: flyingmagpie
Info: Climbed Crystal from Lower Crystal Lake. Able to drive my Jeep up the 4wd road from the Spruce Creek trailhead just fine. Spectacular mountains and peaks surround the lake. Mt. Helen, Father Dyer Peak, Crystal, Peak 10. Beautiful place. This is a pretty gentle way to climb Crystal. From the lower lake, an abandoned mining road switchbacks at an easy grade up to the upper lake. Beyond the upper lake, I started climbing talus and grass to the ridgeline and the going was much harder and steep. A lot of snow is left high on the east slopes, but it can be avoided. The ridge itself running from the Peak 10/Crystal saddle is snow free--barely--up to the Crystal summit. This was an enjoyable climb on a good route. From the summit, could pick out the Cross Couloir on Mt. of the Holy Cross in the San Juans to the northwest. Close-up view of Pacific Peak was stunning. Got to climb Pacific and Atlantic soon! 
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2016-03-05  Route: Crystal Lakes/East Face
Posted On: 2016-03-06, By: AlexeyD
Info: Climbed/skied Crystal from the Spruce Creek trailhead via the Crystal Lakes route. Conditions were mostly similar to what is described in Bill's trip report from last weekend, with the exception of the steep headwall between the upper and lower lakes. We attempted this headwall directly, and soon encountered extremely deep, unsupportive snow of the Sierra cement variety, and were quickly forced to abandon this option. Instead, we made our way up the steep south flank of Peak 10 towards the summer trail that traverses this slope. Words and pictures do not adequately describe the sheer misery involved in flailing up this 40-degree mess of scree, krummholtz, and mashed potatoes snow - for anyone considering this option, I strongly suggesting gaining the summer trail much earlier (i.e. the way it actually goes). After the gaining the summer trail, there were a still a couple of steep-ish snowfields to cross; fortunately those were pretty stable; still, ice axes were a good thing to have. After these crossings, I switched back to skins for a while, but eventually switched to crampons for the upper east face of Crystal, which was steeper and firmer than expected. My friends were able to stay in their snowshoes the whole time (albeit with some amount of suffering). The east face of Crystal was a great ski descent and glissade - amazing to be able to ski a moderately steep line like this in early March! For the descent, we opted to take headwall, assuming (correctly, as it turned out) that the snow would firm up some as the afternoon sun dropped behind the mountains. The non-skiers had to switch to crampons for this portion, as the initial traverse onto the more open part of the headwall was rather steep and icy with a bad runout onto rock outcrops. Unfortunately for skiing, the snow was crusty and not very fun by this point. The ride out was similarly crunchy, but hey, beats walking! 
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2015-11-01  Route: West side - Mayflower Gulch TH
Posted On: 2015-11-02, By: uwe
Info: Crystal Peak - approach from Mayflower Gulch TH. Snow patches in and around the willows. Moving up and out of treeline, you‘re in snow. We left our snowshoes in the car - borderline conditions. Next good snow would make them a must have gear piece. No avy danger. The climb between the base of Pacific Peak to the point you ascend up the gully to the saddle was treacherous. Easy to drop in a rock moat and snap an ankle, etc. Once on the saddle, straight up climbing, no snow issues to content with. Give yourself a little extra time due to oncoming winter conditions. An average of 9 -11 hours will get you up and down depending on your speed. 
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2015-10-10  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2015-10-13, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Route is totally dry, and great conditions as of Saturday. Drove with relative ease to Lower Crystal Lake in a Wrangler, def need something with at least that clearance otherwise I wouldn‘t even try going up the road. Awesome area, beautiful peak. 
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2015-06-14  Route: Combo Helen/Father Dyer/Crystal
Posted On: 2015-06-14, By: Unknown
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. 
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2014-10-25  Route: Crystal/Pacific saddle
Posted On: 2014-10-26, By: mikemalick
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. 
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2013-09-24  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2013-09-30, By: aggiegeog
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. 
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2013-07-05  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2013-07-06, By: jorooh1
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. 
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2013-06-08  Route: East Face
Posted On: 2013-06-09, By: Grover
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. 
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2013-06-02  Route: East Face
Posted On: 2013-06-03, By: jbchalk
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. 
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2012-04-08  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2012-04-09, By: jeremy27
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. 
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2012-03-31  Route: Combo Helen/Father Dyer/Crystal
Posted On: 2012-03-31, By: Monster5
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. 
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2012-03-10  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2012-03-12, By: BillMiddlebrook
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. 
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2011-06-05  Route: East Side
Posted On: 2011-06-09, By: Nathan Hale
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. 
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