[R124R, Crystal Mountain] added a new backcountry ski and snowboard tour service this winter. International Mountain Guides, operators of the service and guides on Mt. Rainier as well as 8,000-meter expeditions in Nepal, offer single day and overnight trips in the backcountry surrounding Crystal Mountain.

International Mountain Guides is an accredited guide service certified through American Mountain Guides Association. Their ski mountaineering trips tour the Crystal Mountain backcountry, which is comprised of bowls, steep chutes, and glades between Three Way and Bullion Basin. The terrain can accommodate strong intermediate to expert skiers and split-board riders.

Single day tours begin at 7:30 a.m. with introductions of the tour plan over breakfast at the Alpine Inn. Guides review basic transceiver skills and backcountry travel before heading out for the day via lifts or hiking. One guide is assigned for every six participants on one-day trips.

Overnight backcountry tours include a night of winter camping and two days of skiing or split-board riding in Morse Creek Basin. Participants learn avalanche hazard assessment in addition to winter camping techniques. A minimum of two guides leads the trip with a maximum of four clients per guide.

Single day tours cost $500 for 1-3 people and $125 for each additional person. Overnight trips cost $600 per person with a two-person minimum required. Reservations are needed at least 48 hours in advance of a trip.

More information. Or call 360-569-2609.