Crystal Mountain Resort, WA: The Freeride Capitol Of The Pacific Northwest

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Silver King. Image: Crystal Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain Resort: The Place For Freeride Athletes

Ever wonder why some big mountain athletes like Drew Tabke, Tyler Ceccanti and Morgan Hebert call Crystal Mountain Resort “home” each winter? Take a look around. Crystal Mountain spans 2,600 acres of skiable terrain, is Washington’s largest ski resort, and even hosts three freeride events including the Northwest’s only Freeride World Qualifier 4-star competition.

The King from another angle. Image: Crystal Mountain Resort

From Northway to Southback, there’s plenty of steep and technical terrain to progress your skiing or riding to become a better overall athlete. What’s even better is most of it is accessed easily by chairlift and requires very little hiking.

The king looking down the main spine. Image: Crystal Mountain Resort

If you’re looking to progress off-piste, Crystal Mountain is the place to spend your winter! Start by exploring terrain off of the Green Valley Express and Rainier Express Chairlifts. There’s plenty of steep and treed runs accessed from these chairs that will challenge you, make your legs burn and push you to the next level. Once you’ve got your legs under you, head out to Northway to explore Brand X, Teddy Bear Chutes (don’t let the name fool you) and Employee Housing. If your legs burned before, these runs will redefine the definition of “leg burner.”

“Crystal Mountains is freeride to the core because of the terrain first and foremost. We have such varying terrain. The steep chutes, large cliffs and Alaska Style spines create a playground like some of the best in the world, inspiring creativity and exploration. A freeride athlete can challenge themselves in so many ways. Just look in any direction and a new line will present itself. The runs and off piste areas at Crystal Mountain are what, ‘nourish and energize the freerider’s soul,’” said Chuck White, Technical Director and Head Coach of the Freeride Program

Athlete from the IFSA Junior Nationals competition on the Silver King. Image: Crystal Mountain Resort

It’s the diverse and large terrain at Crystal Mountain that makes Crystal such a great location for the IFSA Junior Regional and National Competitions, as well as the Crystal Mountain Freeride World Qualifier 4-star competition. With support from Smith Optics, Rossignol, Clif Bar, Nikwax, Dakine, Oneball, Flylow and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Crystal has been able to put on top-notch events for freeride athletes for almost decade.

Treylin Steele on the Silver King during the IFSA Junior National Freeride Event. Image: Crystal Mountain Resort

This year the Freeride World Qualifier 4-star competition presented by Sierra Nevada is taking place March 21-24th, 2018. So if you’re near, head on up to see these world class athletes compete on some of Crystal’s most difficult terrain.

“Crystal Mountain is a Freeride Event Legend amongst the world’s best. We have five venues to choose from, the Silver King, the Throne, Bear Pits, Northway Bowl and Snorting Elk Chutes. Some of these venues offer north facing slopes; others offer long vertical descents; the terrain features on all the venues inspire creativity and high energy riding. Plus, there is great spectating and judging at all the venues. All of these locations are close to the central resort, making the logistics of the event easy,” said Chuck White, Technical Director and Head Coach of the Freeride Program.

Snowboarder competing in the qualifications of the FWQ in 2017 on Northway Peak. Image: Crystal Mountain Resort

So, if you’re looking to progress off-piste, explore new terrain, and challenge yourself, spend some time at Crystal Mountain Resort next winter! Better yet, pick up a 2018-19 Season Pass before prices increase on May 31st and use it the rest of this season.

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