Thursday, March 24, 2011

Snowcrest/Kratka Ridge 3-12-2011

Last Saturday Cary and I skied the old, abandoned ski resort of Snowcrest also known as Kratka Ridge.  Snowcrest is just a couple miles down from Mt. Waterman in the San Gabriel Mountain Range.  We started climbing up the old ski runs and were quickly intrigued by the rustic feel this old resort had to it.  The runs were in decent shape with a few new trees popping up, but the thing that was really interesting was seeing the old run down chairlifts and operating booths.  Windows were smashed out, wires were pulled out, a little graffiti, and some of the roofs were caved in.  Snowcrest is also home to the single chair lift, which is one of only two in the US.

Cary and I climbed up the ridge about 700 feet and found the summit register. Yay, our first ski climb summit!  Yes, I know it's only 700 feet but I'll take it.  After taking in the scenic views and exploring the abandoned ski lifts we took off our climbing skins and prepared for some down hill skiing.  We skied down a blue diamond run that had some new trees popping up.  The snow was still icy and made for fast skiing conditions compared to the fresh powder on San Jacinto.  Cary being very patient and helpful helped pick out lines for me to ski down.  I am getting more and more comfortable on skis and want to push myself to ski steeper slopes.  This run was a little steeper than San Jacinto and I looked forward to the challenge.  The first half of the run was steeper than the second.  I fell a few times and got frustrated by my slow and inconsistent path down the mountain.  After the first section I got a better feel for turning without relying solely on snow plowing.  Cary and I climbed the mountain 2 more times and I skied the entire mountain much more comfortably and confidently.  I think I only fell one more time and picked up my speed as well.

Skiing Kratka Ridge was an absolute blast!  We had the ski area all to our selves except for one other backcountry skier we saw at the end of the day.  I can't wait to get back out there and try some of the other runs, hopefully a little more challenging, but not too crazy!

Jump for joy!

Rare:  A single chair lift

Old ski lift

No I didn't jump through the window

Upper section of the mountain.

Our first ski mountaineering summit....yes it was only 700 feet but who cares:-)

Captain Morgan

Cary's Photos

View Kratka Ridge/Snow Crest BC Ski 3-12-11 in a larger map


Holly Teetzel said...

Great photos Todd! Loved the leaping shot and the one through the broken window - it does look like you dropped your skis and leapt through it! What a cool place to practice your skills - at an abandoned ski run. Looks like your skiing skills are improving markedly. Keep at it! Nice that you can ski so close to home and this coming weekend you'll have a ton of new snow!

Katie D said...

Lookin' good! But I have three words for you...come to Colorado!!

Erik said...

Hey, it looks like you're getting more comfortable on your skis... care to go back and try Jackson again?

Todd said...

@Katie-Next year we are FOR SURE coming and hopefully I'll be able to ski by then!

@Erik- If only Grandpa still had his place there! I think we should make a trip out, I never got to try the blues or blacks.

By the way, I just got a helmet cam with a 170 degree view. Be ready for more exciting video footage!

Holly Teetzel said...

Only a 170 degree view? Why not one with 360 mounted dead center on the top of your helmet? Kidding... looking fwd to more killer skiing videos - don't fall on the camera!

Richard Mendell said...

I used to ski at Kratka back in the 90's. It was cheap, uncrowded and home of my single best powder day ever (because I had a whole hill with 14" of untracked powder, blue skies and 4 people total on the hill).

All of that said, as ski resorts go, it was pretty crappy.