Looking for a good mountain to knock off in early winter. Often many of the mountain are limited because November can be an in between season. Crystal Mountain via Silver Basin from the Ski Area is an excellent early season snow climb and usually has consistant snow. The biggest plus here is that the road up to the mountain is usually in great shape even when the ski resort is closed. Few people climb to the true summit of Crystal Mountain during the November so it be true solitude when you go up there.
This way up Crystal Mountain (Silver King) must be attempted while the ski resort is closed. When it is snowshoeing on the ski lift track is not aloud. It can also be attempted in summer as well though the terrain is more grassy then in winter with a fresh coating of snow, and the glissade will not be avaiable either.
Getting ThereVIA THE CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN SKI AREA: Take 410 east from Enumclaw and stay on the road 40 minutes until Crystal Mountain Blvd, which is just past the Alta Resort. Once on the Crystal Mountain Blvd. stay on it all the way to the end. When you are at the ski area you hit the right place.
Route DescriptionDistance: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2700 feet
Roundtrip Time: 6 to 8 hours
Equipment Needed: Depending on snow; snowshoes, ice axe, traction devices if icy
From the Crystal Mountain Parking area you must head up the low grade lift hill that is heading southwest will a low to moderate grade (see map). There is a road heading half way up the lift hill. Once up at the top of the lift hill continue heading in the same direction towards the slope of Crystal Mountain (Silver King). This slope will be at first flat and then generally ascending.
Soon you will come up to Silver Basin. Once at Silver Basin head up all the way to the gap between Silver King and another summit. Once up to the ridgeline make a right. You will first go over a short false summit then take a dip. After that you will then be heading to the true summit. Return the way you came.
The map I have put up on this page will definitely help out on the route.
Essential GearIn summer just trekking poles and normal hiking gear. In snowy conditions though an ice axe and snowshoes will be important for making a winter ascent.
External LinksFor webcam and local conditions here is your best bet.
For trail conditions as well as trip reports here is another good website.