December through April
Seattle, WA, is only 2 hours away
Beginner to advanced
Reliable snowpack and terrain for all skill levels — Crystal has it all
Nestled in Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Crystal offers not only marvelous vistas over Mt. Rainier from the surrounding slopes but some amazing ski terrain as well. With over 3000 feet of verticals, numerous options for all skill levels, and easy access to the snowy mountain tops, Crystal Mountain is the perfect place for a backcountry adventure. Use this opportunity to learn new skills and explore the phenomenal terrain with a guide who will take care of your safety and tailor the day according to your wishes. Ski the untouched powdery snow and discover some of the many wide open bowls, chutes and glades Crystal has to offer.
Most Popular Itineraries
Private Intro to Backcountry Skiing
Still trying to figure out all the quirks of backcountry skiing? Let the guide show you all the tips and tricks, and learn about backcountry safety from a friendly expert guide. The amazingly diverse terrain of Crystal Mountain offers plenty of options for all skill levels! Let your guide plan out the perfect day, and fall in love with the freedom and adventure the backcountry provides.
A Customized Day of Private Guided Backcountry Skiing
The endless amount of ski tours will make you wonder where to start, so the best choice would be to go with a local guide and let them guide the way. Discover the beautiful chutes and tree skiing, and try out destinations like Cement Basin, East Peak, Sheep Lake and beyond. Whether you are looking to upgrade your skills or explore the exciting runs that Crystal Mountain offers, the guide will tailor the day according to your wishes and get you to the best places in the area. Make the most of your day in this snow-perfect destination!
Lift Accessed Backcountry Skiing
Crystal Mountain is the perfect getaway destination for all those who don’t prefer skinning up the mountain, as it offers a total of 11 lifts leading to 57 named trails. Join your guide and head off to the boundless backcountry terrain with various runs well suited for all abilities. Put your goals for the day in your guide’s hands and let them plan out the perfect adventure, taking into consideration both your safety and fun.
Advanced Tours & Ski Mountaineering
Arguably the steepest terrain for expert skiers in the Northwest will provide you with an epic day of adventure on the slopes. Let your guide take you to the best powder stashes and steepest chutes that would satisfy even the most adventurous appetite. Crystal Mountain offers terrain for advanced, expert, and even extreme backcountry skiing with open alpine and sub-alpine terrain, tree skiing, and various features that make it even more epic. Go out with a guide and make the most of your day on this challenging but extremely rewarding mountain!
Guides we recommend
Things you need to know
Covid measures in Washington
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Mt. Baker, please refer to the official Washington State website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- A full day of backcountry ski touring
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Trip insurance
- Food and snacks
- Lift tickets
How fit do I need to be?
In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels at Mount Baker, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blur or black level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.
What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?
Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with challenging blue or black level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.
What equipment do I need to bring?
For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:
- Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
- Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
- Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
- Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
- Lightweight snow shovel
- Avalanche probe
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
- Sunglasses or ski goggles
- Gloves and hat
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Down jacket or vest
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
- One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
- Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
- Water bottle and 1L of water
- Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- First-aid kit
- Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
- Camera — optional
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
- Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe from REI
- Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented from Crystal Mountain Resort or REI
- Splitboards can be rented from REI
REI is in Seattle and Crystal Mountain Resort is at Crystal Mountain, WA. Rentals should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
What can I expect from skiing with a guide?
A certified ski guide will take all of the guesswork out of your time in the backcountry. From tour planning to route selection, terrain management, avalanche safety, and gear knowledge, your guide’s expertise and backcountry experience will ensure you have an unforgettable ski touring adventure.
It doesn’t matter your skill level, whether you’ve never backcountry skied or you’re seasoned on the slopes, skiing with a guide has its advantages. Your techniques will sharpen, you’ll learn how to navigate terrain safely, make smart decisions, and most of all, you’ll remain safe in unfamiliar terrain.
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
What about group sizes and pricing?
For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1.
The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to backcountry ski with friends and family.
Ski touring at Crystal Mountain can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
What is the minimum age requirement?
- Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this backcountry skiing adventure.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to ski with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What about bad weather?
Mitigating avalanche risk is paramount for any excursion in the backcountry — that’s why it’s best to tour with a guide! Rest assured, your guide will set objectives that are attainable for the weather conditions on that particular day. Of course, inclement weather can always get in the way of backcountry skiing, but your guide will know the best course of action to take if the weather takes a turn.
On the rare occasion of truly bad weather, your guide will present you with suitable, safe alternatives. The most common practice is to move to a nearby location if it exists, or to reschedule your backcountry ski tour to a more favorable day.
If backcountry skiing is not possible on your scheduled day and no options presented are viable, you will be issued a full refund.
Do I need an insurance policy?
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Moderate Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations fourteen (14) to twenty nine (29) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations zero (0) to thirteen (13) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to Crystal Mountain, most people fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service. Crystal Mountain is only two hours away.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.