After an awesome time exploring Greece and Austria, it’s good to be back in Washington USA. It’s sunny and 65° right now in North Bend, but just a few days ago we were skiing powder — and I’m sure we will again — soon. The PNW is terrific like that.
I spent a day at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort last weekend. Yeah, yeah, it’s a ski area, but it was a good day to avoid unstable slopes and lap some lift accessed pow. I hadn’t skied the Crystal area until this winter, and I’ve been impressed with the lift-accessed side country, as well as the copious backcountry in the area.
We made up for our impiety the next day by enjoying a sunny tour up to Camp Muir on Mount Rainier. Muir is a fairly decent choice in unstable conditions, although there is one steep slope that must be ascended. Although the NWAC forecast was moderate, I felt uneasy about the recent snow, rain layer, and warming temps. Our suspicions were confirmed as we witnessed a few sizable avalanches on south facing slopes throughout the day.
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.