Crystal Mountain, WA to OPEN on Monday! | Details:

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John Kircher skinning to Summit 11-19-14
John Kircher skinning to Summit 11-19-14

Crystal Mountain ski resort in Washington state will open for the 2014/15 season on Monday, December 1st, 2014.

Washington has been waiting for the right amount of snow to acquire a deep enough base to open and stay open.  They’ve had a few highs and lows this pre-season with new snow falling before rain came in and washed it all away.

That all changed Friday evening when Crystal got 16-18″ of new snow giving them enough to pull the trigger and call out their opening day as Monday.

“That wait is finally over.  We were lucky to get just enough snow overnight (Friday Night) to make this happen.” – Jon Kircher, Crystal Mountain general manager

Crystal Mountain averages 486″ of snow per year and they have two new chairlifts for the 2014/15 season.  Game on.

Top of Crystal 11-29-14
Top of Crystal 11-29-14


– Lifts:  Mt. Rainier Gondola & Green Vally Chair

– Hours:  10am – 3pm

– Tickets:  $30

– Acres Open:  782

GM) and Scott Bowen (Mountain Manager) thumbs up 11-29-14
GM) and Scott Bowen (Mountain Manager) thumbs up 11-29-14

Crystal Mountain Opening Day Press Release:

Last Updated: 11/30/14

What does “Limited Operations” mean?
It means we are not 100% open and hours and services are limited.  We plan to remain open daily and add more lifts, terrain and services as we get more snow so be sure to stay tuned.  All operations are always weather and conditions permitting.  See below for a complete list of lifts and services offered at this time.

Special Notices:
– We do NOT have any beginner lifts or terrain open at this time.
– Lessons, rentals and demo equipment are NOT available at this time.
– We will NOT be doing any grooming until the snow pack gets a little deeper.
– Rock skis/boards are strongly recommended. Do NOT bring/use new equipment until there’s better coverage.
– Ski/ride with caution as unmarked hazards do exist.  Keep it slow, play it safe and you’ll have fun out there!



Mt. Rainier Gondola & Green Valley: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm
Please keep in mind that everyone must download on the gondola. Last download is 3:30 p.m.  Skiing and snowboarding to the base is not allowed at this time.  You will need to walk up the summit ridgefrom the top of Green Valley so please allow yourself 5-10 minutes.  Foot-passengers are welcome to take a scenic ride on the gondola anytime it is open this winter!  Scenic gondola rates apply.

Summit House Restaurant: 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Summit House is located at the top of the Mt. Rainier Gondola.  We will start the week with an extremely limited menu (burger, salad, soup, chili and expand as more food is delivered and prepped.  Last seating/walk-in is 2:00 p.m.

Mountain Market: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Mountain Market is located at the base of the gondola and sells snacks, beverages, grab-and-go items, beer, wine and an assortment of sundries.

Mountain Shop: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Mountain Shop is located in the base area to the left of the master staircase.  Looking for some new gear this winter?  The shop is full of new skis, boards, boots, binding and more from all of the top brands at competitive prices.  Stop in and talk to our friendly and knowledgable staff.  The shop also offers custom boot work and foot beds, and not is a great time to get your gear dialed in for the season.

Right Angle Sport Shop: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Sport Shop is located in the base area the top of the master staircase, and is full of new clothing and accessories including NEW Patagonia, Outdoor Research and Marmot outerwear!  Come check out the great selection and get some Christmas shopping done while you’re here.  All season pass holders save 10% on regular priced merchandise!

Guest Services: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Guest Services is located in the base plaza to the left of the ticket kiosks.  This is where you’ll want to go to for questions about season passes or to inquire about lost and found items, parking passes, seasonal lockers etc.

Snorting Elk Cellar & Deli: 12:00 p.m. to Close (TBD by business)
The Snorting Elk Cellar & Deli is located across the foot-bridge in A lot.  They will have a limited menu and a few beers on tap starting Monday.  This property is not owned or managed by Crystal Mountain Resort.


Gondola & Green Valley Lift Tickets (ages 7+): $30, (ages 6 & under): $5
Valid for unlimited rides between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
As more lifts and terrain become available rates will increase and can change without notice.

Mt. Rainier Gondola Scenic Tickets (ages 16+) $20, (ages 7-15) $15, (ages 6 & under) $5
Valid for one round-trip ride on the gondola.

All Season Passes with complete records have been mailed out.  If you haven’t received your pass we’re either missing photo or your terms and liability waiver haven’t been signed.  Please stop by Guest Services upon arrival and they will get you taken care of.  Please allow a little extra time as it will be very busy for the first few weeks.

Yes.  All season pass holders will be allowed to ride the gondola since it’s the only way up.  As soon as Chinook Express & Rainier Express open you will need to have gondola privileges to use the gondola.  All Gold passes include the Gondola.  The gondola can be added to your Bronze pass for the season for $125 at Guest Services.

All Big S Gold pass holders from the Summit can use their 5 free midweek visits anytime Monday-Friday between now and December 25th.  Simply stop by any ticket window with your season pass in hand to activate your 5 days.  If you with to add the gondola for the season you must do so upon activation for a $40 fee.  See theSummit’s website for restrictions and more info.

Crystal today at 10:45am
Crystal today at 10:45am

Additional Words from our General Manger, John Kircher:

Fortunately for Crystal customers we got only a fraction of the big rain that the rest of the Cascades received in the past 36 hours.
At Crystal we have a motto that goes like this: “if you are able to skin up and ski down and enjoy the run, we probably should be open”. When we drove in this morning, A Lot was half full.

That snow now sits on our previous hard-work: track-packed snow that made it through the first big rain event early last week.

It’s a good thing that we track-packed because that rained-upon layer will freeze under this new snow and become a solid base layer. That’s why you do it. Like it sounds, track-packing is using only the snowcat’s tracks to pack the snow rather than the normal front blade and rear snow tiller doing the grooming job. It’s tedious work. You have to double up on each pass because there’s a gap between the two tracks And it’s usually a very rough ride. I buckle in because I’ve hit the windshield several times when hitting a rock or log.

But this season the snow is firmer and the ride better, the snow cats are happier and so are we now that we can announce plans to spin a couple of lifts.

With all those folks touring up the mountain to get the goods, I knew I had to follow our own motto. It’s good enough to skin and ski, so it’s good enough to open.My wife Kim and I skinned up to mountaintop to inspect the overnight storm total.  We were not alone. The usual suspects were up there long before us, among them a certain President of K2 Sports, our Retail Manager/multi-podium standing cyclist, a couple of internationally noted mountain guides, an unlimited hydro driver/pilot and others–all people without any known  “off” switches. They were having a great day.

So come on up.  Rock skis and boards in the rack and a big dose of “be careful.”

I watched as all those guys peeled off into Green Valley. Deliberately and with care they descended. I realized that all these people got where they are because of a great ability to keep their heads on very straight. Cool.

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