Crystal Reopens Tomorrow: Conditions Report

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John and Scott give two enthusiastic "thumbs up"

John and Scott give two enthusiastic “thumbs up”

Thanks to the new snow we received in the past 24 hours, Crystal will reopen tomorrow. This morning, when John, Scott and a few other patrollers and I headed up the Gondola for a look, I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as I was last Saturday. That time I had a feeling about the snow. My instinct was telling me it would be good, and it was.

This time I wasn’t so sure.

Green Valley covered in snow was a pleasant surprise

Green Valley covered in snow was a pleasant surprise

It rained hard last night at the base, and the telemetry wasn’t showing any new. I was a bit skeptical. But we headed up into the fog nonetheless, ready to ski down or ride back down on the lift or do whatever was necessary.

I was pleasantly surprised. The fog lifted and we found up to 6″ at the top.

The rain line made it up to about the elevation of the bottom of Green Valley. Above that is all new snow. It is thick and “buttery” as ski patroller Michelle Longstreth put it. Classic PNW base-building snow. The top portion is really good skiing.

Once John made the call to reopen, off-duty patrollers Michelle, Christina, Peter and I felt we had to do our part too. So we skied a few laps in the valley, then headed over to the cache run just to make sure it was fit for public consumption.

Christina and Peter survey the goods

Christina and Peter survey the goods

And it is.

Green Valley Bowl itself offered up 6″ of chalky powder, while the lower valley was a bit thicker. However, we didn’t run into a rain crust until we skied Lucky Shot to the base. I wouldn’t recommend breaking any closures and skiing to the base. As Michelle described it, the conditions below midway were “character building,” and from our most enthusiastic patroller (hell, our most enthusiastic employee) at Crystal, that’s saying something.

So come up tomorrow and make some happy laps in the valley. The forecast is calling for sun the next few days, and the conditions are pretty darn good for pre-Thanksgiving turns. I, for one, will be up here enjoying the sun and the lift-served skiing.

Green Valley looking good

Green Valley looking smooth and buttery

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8 responses »

  1. YOU people are amazing. One of the pleasures of being a long time Crystal skier is being a beneficiary of the enthusiasm and commitment of John and the staff. True core skiers.
    But as Bert and I noted last night, we’re too old to be rock skiing on steeper terrain for a first day of the year. I’ll wait until Forest Queen opens, and I can rue the reality (as I always do) that I did not hit the gym enough.

    • There’s nothing like skiing to get you in good skiing shape. But I hear you. Better not to overdo at the start of the season when the conditions are still rocky and a little questionable.

  2. you at Crystal are making us jealous here in the Swiss alps! the rain just washed away a few gorgeous powder days.
    and we are lacking an enthusiastic owner like John to make spontaneous last minute calls.

    keep up the great spirit ! here on the old continent we have lots to learn from you !

  3. Thanks for the very wonderful news we received. It only means that it will gonna be another great winter season for everyone! Winter is here, and we are ready to splash all day! :) So excited! :D

You people are amazing. Thanks for commenting.

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