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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 09:11 PM
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The $5 cat rides are not worth it. You can hike to that terrain in Just a few minutes. Also the easy accessibility also means it's pretty skied-out. Either way you take from there has a long flat runout (North or South Bowl). The run out for North Bowl is flat and through some trees so it is not very wide. The runout from South Bowl is a wider trail but very flat. There is a lot better hike-to terrain in Keystone but it requires more work. The Windows are fun if you like trees and can hold a lot of good snow long after the last storm but the lower half of the Windows can get pretty dense. The hike up to Independence, Bergman, and Erickson Bowls starts from behind the lodge on North Peak and can be pretty steep and long but has some of the best snow at Keystone at times. I have never been down Independence Bowl because it requires a hike back up the mountain to get out. Bergman and Erickson are pretty good. Erickson is steeper than Bergman. I have been up there 4 or 5 times this season. Right when they opened Erikson bowl this season there was waist deep powder to be found there. Last time I have been up there was last week on Wednesday or Thursday and conditions deteriorated some. Above the treeline was a breakable crust with softer snow underneath. Below the the treeline was still pretty much powder. If you enter Erickson through the lower gate to shorten your hike and hike up some you can still make a few good turns before getting to the trees.
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