Crystal Mountain by Norse Peak / 靠諾爾斯峯的水晶山

We first saw Crystal Mountain from the top of Norse Peak. Because the mountain is part of the ski resort, we’ve stayed away for many years. But the ski season is now over. So the pup and I went to check out the mountain midweek.

Crystal Mountain Silver King from Point 6725
Crystal Mountain Silver King from Point 6725

See more trip photos here.

Crystal Mountain at Glance

Access: Crystal Mountain Resort
Round Trip: 13.5 miles
Elevation Range: 4320′-6998′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Crystal Mountain Resort

The trip was my first time going to the resort. But for years, we’ve stopped short of the ski area at mile 4 to climb Norse Peak. Most parties would go in from Sourdough Gap via Chinook Pass. But the highway was inaccessible until early June.

I scoured through reports online. Then I found one by Redwic going in from the ski basin. The resort had just closed for the season two weeks ago. So the timing was perfect. After arriving into Lot A, we then started walking at 8:30 AM.

Peak envy
Peak envy

See more trip photos here.

Through Ski Runs

I used microspikes for traction on firm snow. Then we went up the slopes on Lower Arvine. Later, we crossed Broadway and then continued through Lower Magoo and Lower Chappell’s Run. The Forest Green Express ski lift was operating as we traveled underneath it.

After crossing Queens Run, I then switched to snowshoes. Later, we left the road and went up into the forest. Soon, we made our way up to Point 6725 from the south. It gave a full view of our goal towering above. We also saw Elizabeth Lake nestling in the basin below.

See more trip photos here.

Crystal Mountain East Ridge

The snow had been in the morning sun for a good while. So now the top few inches were slushy. We carefully avoided open terrain on the steep terrain. At the same time, we stayed in the trees. Then we went through the steepest section from 6200′ to 6400′.

Along the way, we followed several pairs of recent boot tracks. They looked like the ones from the climbers past weekend.

A closer look from Crystal Mountain
A closer look from Crystal Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Crystal Mountain Summit

Higher up, cornices were noticeably hanging over the northern cliffs. So we stayed on or south of the ridge crest. Then we powered through the last 200′ of wet snow up to the top. The nearly treeless summit offered enormous views of peaks both near and far.

We haven’t spent much time inside Mount Rainier National Park. So I only knew Norse Peak and Mount Aix. All of the volcanoes except Mount Baker were visible. I could see the eastern parts of the Tatoosh Range, including Unicorn Peak, from here.

Stuart Range backing Norse Peak
Stuart Range backing Norse Peak

See more trip photos here.

Outro

On the way back, we dropped into the upper Elizabeth Creek Basin via the northern slopes. Then we followed days-old tracks down to Elizabeth Lake. Crystal Mountain backing the lake made for a dramatic landscape.

Later, we hiked down to the ski slopes. Then we used our tracks to go back to the parking lot. It was windless while we were on the summit. The late morning temperatures rose to the mid-60s.

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu