Today I surveyed the avalanche damage near our house at Crystal Mountain. The
debris is visible from the back window (that is, if the windows weren’t completely encased in snow from our deep snowpack). So I took a picture from the side deck. The debris is just visible in the far end of the photo. Looking
back at the house from the edge of the debris also gives a sense of just how close this was.
The slide started in Employee Housing and ripped through the gladed terrain just to the right of Niagra’s. Those who’ve skied the glades marked “E” in the Left Angle trees might remember seeing very big timber, up to three feet in diameter.
Now those trees are strewn across the slope, sometimes
under piles of debris, other times visible on the surface. This photo shows the full path, which is a few thousand feet of vertical from top to bottom. This new slide path was never really skiable until we limbed the trees a few years back. A small sliver (called Pencil Dick Gap) was the only slot through.
Now, as Gregg Ross would say, “it’s a whole new world.”
As I scouted the debris, I noticed that the left flank extends nearly to Lower Spook
Hill–the run below Scree Field that takes you to Parking Lot E. So next year, once the downed trees are chainsawed, you won’t necessarily have to ski to my house. You can also hook up with Lower Spook and exit the traditional way. Not that I’m saying you all shouldn’t swing by after a run. Although, sadly the hot tub died last year, and we didn’t replace it. Perhaps that had something to do will that last time we found a pair of errant long underwear frozen to the deck beside the open lid. Could someone have poached our hot tub? Things like that never happen at a ski area, do they?
In addition to the lack of a poachable hot tub, another reason to avoid the house route might also be the ending. It gets a little tight in the driveway, and the transition from slope to dirt across a bank of plowed snow can be a bit of a doozy. But forewarned is forearmed. So next season, I might just see you all on the runout of my now ski-in ski-out housing.