Tag Archives: Skiing/Snowboarding

Weather Report: The Four Ws

Storm Crystal

All Quiet on the Rainer Express

It’s been a wild 24 hours here at Crystal. According to the telemetry, we’ve picked up 3.7 inches of water in the last 24 hours and most of that fell as snow above the base area. John and I drove in a snowcat this afternoon up to the Campbell Basin Lodge and found 36″ of new snow. The snow was quite dense–great for base building, but not necessary for skiing. Now, the temperature and wind have spiked again. It’s raining in the base and gusting to 100mph at the Summit. The power was out for a while but has come back on.

We call it the Four Ws: Wild, wet, windy and wacky. It’s the perfect Cascade storm. My fingers are crossed that we wake to cooler temps by morning.

If anyone is wondering when to come skiing, my bet is on Friday. Temperatures are supposed to cool tomorrow and another storm is set to arrive on Thursday. Friday provides a break between systems, so I’ll see you on the slopes. And a much improved slope it will be–this snow has already packed in around the rocks and creeks. We’ll be up to full operations in no time.

Weekly High Five Report: High-Fives Foundation


The mission of the High-Fives Foundation, based in Truckee, CA, is to “raise money and awareness for athletes who have suffered a life-altering injury while pursuing their dream in the winter action sports community.”

Started in 2010 by Founder Roy Tuscany, who injured his spinal cord while skiing at Mammoth in 2006, High Fives has raised funds, secured alternative treatments and aided in the recovery of over fifteen athletes.

The Push to the South Pole, an expedition including two adaptive skiers, is sponsored by High Fives.

Also included in their programs is the very cool B.A.S.I.C.S. (Being Aware Safe In Crazy Situations) program, headed by the very rad J.T. Holmes. Check out the video here.

The foundation also offers REAL ANSWERS, a place to ask questions of athletes who have suffered injuries, as well as meet these personalities who have all chosen positivity in the face of hardship.

The Winter Empowerment Fund is an opportunity to help recovering athletes with the financial support necessary to get back in the game. Previous recipients include K.C. Deane who suffered a C-2 injury in 2010 while filming in the Tahoe backcountry. High Fives supplied the financial means for him to return to a professional level through physical therapy with Scott Williams, PT, OCS.

On August 10th, 2011, the High Fives Non-Profit Foundation opened the CR Johnson Healing Center as a service to commemorate the professional skier and beloved Truckee resident’s birthday.

The CR Johnson Healing Center is replete with physical therapy equipment used by healing professionals that High Fives works with.  Along with the Healing Center’s workout facility the Johnson family has generously donated an infrared healing sauna.

You can donate to the High Fives Foundation and make a difference for these athletes. Check out their website. These guys really do deserve a High Five.

Bravo guys.

The Evolution of an Opening


Last week grass poked up through the snow in Green Valley

In just a few days, the slopes at Crystal Mountain went from little snow to epic powder. We opened the ski area on Friday, based on the forecast. And how lucky we were!

Saturday it snowed very hard. At closing time, as my husband likes to say, it was “snowing ten-year-olds.” We picked up nine inches of snow in just two hours. It snowed so hard the visibility dropped to almost nothing. I took a photo of the Campbell Lodge at sweep.

Looking at the radar that afternoon, the only precipitation falling anywhere in Western Washington was right over our heads. We were the only ski area to get much snow.

snowing hard at Crystal Mountain

Saturday it snowed ten-year-olds at Crystal

By Sunday morning, we had doubled our snowpack and we woke to pristine blue skies. The skiers must have thought the snow was packed out, because we didn’t have much of a crowd. These are rare days in the ski world–a foot of fresh snow, sunny skies and few lift lines on a weekend.

Only the third day of the season, and we already enjoyed a bluebird powder day. This is why I love my job. The mountains are capricious and the weather is fickle. Sometimes we get lucky. Very lucky.

John Kircher skiing Green Valley

Skiing Powder in Green Valley on Sunday

Opening Day



Not a bad way to start the season!

Crystal to open tomorrow



It’s official. Crystal will open tomorrow. Still very thin snow cover, and early season conditions exist. By that I mean rocks, creek beds and unconsolidated snowpack. Bring your rock skis and enjoy this fresh snow! Woohoo!

Fingers Crossed for a Crystal Opening on Friday


The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch starting tomorrow morning. Right now, the NWS is predicting a few FEET of snow to fall at Crystal Mountain by Thursday night. If that forecast materializes, Crystal will open Friday November 18th.

And what a great opening day it will be. We currently have a little over a foot of good base in Green Valley and elsewhere. Add two feet of fresh snow, and we’ll be skiing.

Remember that early season conditions exist. Those rocks and creeks are now only buried by a little snow. Stay on groomed trails and runs.

Have fun and be safe. Let the 2011-12 season at Crystal begin! And pray that the forecast holds.

Memoirs from the Mountain: Opening day at Brighton Resort


“Memoirs From The Mountain” is a weekly short video series that features the winter of professional skier Julian Carr. In this first episode, Julian and friends head to Brighton Resort’s opening day on November 10th, 2011.

These guys look like they’re having a good time. That’s what it’s all about.