The Legendary RV Culture of Crystal Mountain, WA’s B-Lot

Chris Wallner |
B-Lot at Crystal Mountain! PC: Crystal Mountain
B-Lot at Crystal Mountain. PC: Crystal Pixel LLC

Brought to you by Crystal Mountain, WA

When you think of Crystal Mountain, WA, you probably think of the steep terrain, deep powder days, and athletes like Ingrid Backstrom, Tyler Ceccanti, Blair Habenicht, and Morgan Hebert that call this place home. What you might not think of is its community that fills the slopes and the motorhomes in Crystal’s B-Lot every weekend.

Christmas spirit isn't lacking in B-Lot! PC: Crystal Mountain
Christmas spirit isn’t lacking in B-Lot.  PC: Crystal Mountain

Ingrid Backstrom, a professional skier, grew up in B-lot on the weekends with her two brothers while her parents were volunteer patrollers. The mountain was her babysitter. Many families have been packing up their kids, skis, and dogs into motorhomes and pull-behind trailers for decades to stay the weekends and holiday breaks up in Crystal’s B-lot. Many have become close friends over the years and join together at bonfires after Christmas dinners.

Crystal Mountain B-Lot in 1965! PC: John Kochevar
Crystal Mountain B-Lot in 1963! PC: John Kochevar

There are now 72 RV slots with power hookups along the right wall of B-Lot. The lot has changed since 1965, but the memories and relationships that are made there have not! Some may see it as a parking lot, but it turns into a neighborhood of skiers and snowboarders waiting for the next big pow day in the winter. No need to reserve a spot; spots are first-come, first-serve, except during the Holiday period in December, in which you need to reserve a spot.

The community that fills B-lot every weekend is forever welcoming and, at times, a bit rowdy, which we won’t complain about. 

“One Christmas Eve when I was an instructor and my parents were up for the holidays, we were having dinner when someone knocked on the door. It was our neighbor inviting us out for drinks and a bonfire. My dad being the socialite that he is grabbed a bottle of Tequila and headed out to meet everyone. From the trailer,  I could see the silhouettes of everyone around the fire. They were talking about the forecast and how they were going to “get pitted” in the days to come. When I finally joined them, I realized that our neighbors were my bosses, our freeride director and other rippin’ locals that I had been admiring for years out on the hill. They welcomed my parents and myself with open arms and open beers.” – Brianna 

This is a common theme; the B-Lot community is full of powder hounds, ski-everyday locals, families, and those looking for a weekend getaway in the mountains. 

A snowy evening in B-Lot! PC: Cheryl Kochevar
A snowy evening in B-Lot! PC: Cheryl Kochevar

Kristen Kochevar, for example, has been a regular in B-lot with her parents since the day she was born. Her family had spent every weekend at Crystal since 1974  before B-lot was ever deemed the land of RVs. During Kristin’s first winter, she was often spotted tucked into the coat of whichever parent was on “baby-duty” while skiing. Her second winter, she was plopped in a backpack, yelling, “Go faster!” At two and a half, she refused to be carried and began her skiing career. She raced for ten years before deciding that powder was better than race gates, and she hasn’t looked back.

B-Lot community showing their Seahawk pride! PC: Cate Farrell
B-Lot community showing their Seahawk pride! PC: Cate Farrell

Kristen speaks of the B-Lot kid gang from her earlier years as if they were family. After skiing, they would be building massive snow forts and getting in trouble for trying (and sometimes failing) to jump the creek out back. They were all semi-professional snow-shovelers at a very young age, as that was the “chore” that most B lot kids had to do each day. They have celebrated holidays together and even hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for 23 people and an unknown number of dogs in her family’s RV a few seasons back, one of her favorite Thanksgiving to date.

She and her parents, John and Cheryl Kochevar, are still B-lot locals, but now with a more official title, B-Lot Hosts. They are there to make sure you are all cozy in your RV and answer any questions but don’t count on them to be there at 9 am on a powder day. They are just like the rest of us powder junkies; we have to get our fix. Some things never change.

R.V. Host is an official title at Crystal Mountain! PC: John Kochevar
R.V. Host is an official title at Crystal Mountain! PC: John Kochevar

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13 thoughts on “The Legendary RV Culture of Crystal Mountain, WA’s B-Lot

  1. I have a camper van that is self contained with 12 volt house battery and heat and do not need electric hookup. I am planning on skiing at Crystal for a day or two. Will I be able to park at any parking lot for overnight for a night or two? If so, which lot and where?


  2. Spent a few nights there and never felt the community. We’re Alpental lot 3 people now. Way less expensive and very friendly people.

  3. Make Crystal great again, have them expand their RV Lot so it can be for all of us not just the good old boys. Help open it up to more people.

  4. First photo should be photocredit to me. Since i took it. Not Crystal Mountain. I did not authorize them to take photocredit away from my business

    PC: Crystal Pixel LLC
    (First photo with the RV line up in the snow)

  5. FYI, it’s no longer ok to sleep in your car/truck in B-Lot. In the past, the first two rows were fair game, and you didn’t have to pay if you weren’t a camper that plugged in. THIS YEAR, you’ll get a concrete bucket chained to you with a $100 fine… Minimal signage, no warnings, and no forgiveness. Just another way Crystal management is ruining the culture and making this place clearly an elitist “resort” that only exists to take as much money from you as possible.

    1. Thanks for the tip. I’ve always wanted to take a trip there but not going to pay for services not rendered. No thanks, I’ll pass.

  6. I met Bill Marcoe in A lot as a Ski Patroller. In 1981 we spent our honeymoon there to open the season. Our retirement was based in B lot Tuesday through Friday with Frosty the snowman lighting our site.

    1. Hi Sharon! How we have missed seeing you two strap and unstrap Frosty into your RV each week! You guys were iconic.

      1. Thanks. I miss Crystal B lot a lot, but it wouldn’t be the same without Bill. I sold the RV after he died in 2011 and only get up for the day once or twice a year. I miss it and all the friends we made there. Sharon

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