The past week has been a roller coaster ride for ski areas in the Northwest. A series of storms delivered two to three feet of snow last weekend, followed by heavy wind and rain on Monday and Tuesday. The resort was able to salvage some of the snow pack in Green Valley and along the upper ridges by packing it down with a snow cat. Yesterday afternoon the freezing level dropped and it began snowing heavily just after 3:30 p.m. The resort picked up 16-18″ at mountain-top (6,872 ft.) which was just enough for John Kircher, General Manager, to strap on his skis and climb to the top of the mountain to evaluate the coverage and conditions. After taking a closer look and even making a few turns, he decided it was time. “That wait is finally over,” he said. “We were lucky to get just enough snow overnight to make this happen,” added Kircher.
Crystal Mountain will open on Monday, December 1st, 2014 with limited operations. The Mt. Rainier Gondola and Green Valley chair will be open for access to intermediate and advanced terrain only. Skiing and snowboarding will be limited to the Green Valley area. All skiers and snowboarders must download on the gondola to return to the base area.
Lift tickets will be $30 for all ages and the two lifts will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. until further notice. Resort officials are keeping a close eye on the forecast and plan to get more lifts and terrain open as soon as possible, but that will require more snow.
There will no lessons or rental equipment available this week. The Mountain Market and Summit House will be open for food service.
Crystal Mountain would like to remind everyone that early season conditions do exist and to watch for unmarked hazards.
Last year Crystal Mountain Resort opened and closed twice in November before opening for daily operations on December 2, 2013.
Stay tuned to the resorts website for updates: http://crystalmountainresort.com/the-mountain/about/current-conditions/
Take a live look at the webcams here: http://crystalmountainresort.com/the-mountain/about/webcams/