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Crystal Mountain, Washington questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Anyone have any experience at Crystal Mt in Washington State? Slopes, conditions, good place, lousy place, places to stay, etc.?


I hear the term "Sierra Cement" is the new snow there real wet and heavy? Does it matter if it is? Anything at all would be useful.  Thanks!

post #2 of 13


Originally Posted by theconz View Post


I hear the term "Sierra Cement" is the new snow there real wet and heavy? Does it matter if it is? Anything at all would be useful.  Thanks!

Don't worry.  You won't have any trouble with Sierra Cement at Crystal Mountain.  However the snow could be of "Cascade Concrete" consistency.  The new snow at Crystal can be pretty much any consistency from blower powder to mashed potatoes.  You take your chances.  Does it matter if it's wet and heavy?  To some people it does, and to some it's just fine.  Does it matter to you?


Crystal is a great hill.  It would be a major destination resort if it didn't have a lack of lodging and wasn't in the coastal Cascade Mountains, which means unreliable weather.  Catch it on a good day and you'll wonder why the whole world isn't there with you.

post #3 of 13

Yeah Crystal is a good destination.  Their new snow last week was pretty great.  Lots of advanced/expert terrain too, and you can generally get away from the crowds pretty easily.  Lodging isn't great, and there's a chance it could rain on you.  Great views of Mt. Ranier from the top of Rainier Express lift - on a clear day.  Do you have any other options?

post #4 of 13

Xstal is a skiers mountain. Great steeps,good slack country and beautiful views of Rainer.

post #5 of 13

x2.  The terrain at Crystal is truly world class & is as good as the best that North America has to offer.  But, the snow is generally heavy (except for some strange reason in Novembers of recent years) and the weather is unreliable (including rain).  You don't want to book a trip in advance, but if you can be flexible and catch it when its going off, you will be blown away.   Not much in the way of accomodations.  You can stay on the mountain, but food and lodging are limited.  Crystal is not a destination resort.  You also don't want to visit on a weekend if you can help it.  Long lift lines and crowds are the norm and the place will be lousy with ski school kids from January to mid March.  If you go, bring your beacon, shovel and probe--the best stuff is in the backcountry (which is somewhat avvy controlled) or beyond.nbsp; Also, you can buy a guide book to the goods at the sports store on mountain. 

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys. As far as choices I can go pretty much where I want. The reason I am looking at Crystal is that they are supposed to get  close to a foot of snow over the next 3-4 days and its near a major city. I don't see snow forecast in the next week to ten days for anywhere in the US other than the Pac NW and Canada. If I am missing somewhere tell me!

post #7 of 13

You should go to Whistler.  The forecast there looks pretty great, too.  Massive amount of terrain.  Lots of last-minute lodging deals and the U.S. dollar is strong against the Canadian.  It's a destination resort, so there's abundant apres activities.   


Don't get me wrong, I like our local hills (Crystal, Alpental, Stevens, and Baker), but if you're coming from out of town, go north.  You can fly into Vancouver airport and take a bus to the slopes. 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Still waiting on passport. The new travel regs stink. As far as I can read no passport no Canada, or rather no out of Canada.

post #9 of 13

I agree with Acrophobia on all counts.  Crystal's nice, but if you're flying all the way out here 'cause it's the only place in North America that it's snowing this week, you should be at Whistler instead.  And the forecast does look good up there for this week too.


Edit: Nevermind, just saw your passport post after I replied.

post #10 of 13
I'm almost positive that you can cross back into the US on the ground without a passport until June. Fly to Seattle, rent a car, and drive to Whistler. Bring your driver's license and birth certificate to show when you cross and you'll be fine. If I was coming from SC I would do it for sure.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thought about that Pos. Or ground transportation cause a car is useless at Whistler it would just sit there. I should see if there is a shuttle or bus or train from SeTac to Whistler. Someone has to do something like that.

post #12 of 13

Do the boarder at your own risk, and take lots of money, you may need it up there till US Customs lets you back in without a passport.  Go to Crystal, the weather may be a bit sucky right now but that is why we have gotten over 9 1/2' of fresh this month (over 40" in last three days).  About 2 hours from the airport, great groomers, lots of bowls, lots of trees and world class back country. 


Whistler has it all, Crystal missed the masses.  Kind of like Bridger and Big Sky in MT.

post #13 of 13

There is no shortage of snow there now.  Crystal has had over 9' of snow this month so far.  Lots and lots of loose.  To call it all powder now is a bit of a stretch though.  The terrain absolutely rocks, kind of a minnie Jackson Hole hiding out in the north woods.   Do the weekdays, this close to Seattle on the weekends you will not be lonesome.  There is lodging at the area but not a lot, similar to Alta.  Try it you'll like it.

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