Scrambled this from Crystal Lake along with Threeway. Came back another time to do Silver Queen and Grubstake from the ski area
From the ski area
Hiked up to Northway Notch Peak and then ran the ridge over Northway, Grubstake, Summit House, Silver Queen, The Throne, and Crystal. We then dropped down into the basin to access the saddle and east ridge of Three Way before returning to the ski area. I don't like this area very much compared to the other parts of Washington. Crystal was my 80th WA P2k.
Awesome views of the big guy
Pretty much every time I ski at Crystal and the south back is open, I hike the king.
From the ski area. Up Queens Run to just below Elizabeth Lake then up the east ridge to Silver King. Crux was a climbing over a cornice at Pt 6125. Used crampons for last 500 ft. Followed ridge to Throne and Silver Queen. Dropped down to Campbell Basin on the way out. Excellent chicken sandwich washed down with a beer at the Snorting Elk Cellars.
Followed alongside Quicksilver Run, and then headed into the South Backcountry and steeply up the East Ridge. The snow was mostly hard on the ascent, but was softening (worsening) during the descent... forcing me to enter Silver Basin earlier than expected to avoid steep avalanche-prone areas. This was my 95th USA P2K, and it was a good one!
It was a beautiful, crisp day with fresh snow. The most challenging parts of the day were the swarms of hunters at Sheep Lake on the way in and the swarms of hikers at Sheep Lake on the way out.
Started at Chinook Pass, went to Sheep Lake, Sourdough Gap and then on to Crystal.
Getting out that day was pretty decent. Managed to get a few clearings and such.
Shot down the idea a week ago only to try it again with EastKing, my brother and a new friend Cyohma as a snowshoe. Nice outting.
With hopefully get the others in the region before the ski resort opens
There are a few peaks on the ridge with 400 foot prominence. Winter trip from Jan 14, 1997 with pictures and map of all the routes: http://www.willhiteweb.com/mount_rainier_national_park/crystal_mountain/silver_king_190.htm
Nice hike ... ! Clear day, absolutely beautiful.
Overcast day with the summit alternating between fog and barely below the cloud layer. Occasional breaks in the clouds yielded brief views of some part of Rainier. Still an unbelievable amount of snow.
Weatherman said to bring a rain coat instead of sunscreen but he was wrong. But as errors goes that is one of the better ones that can happen. A nice day all in all on a fairly straightforward hike.
With the intention of just going to Sourdough Gap, I spied Crystal Mountain from the gap and decided to go see what the view from up there would be like. It was well worth the effort. A great hike.