So.. I went up to Crystal today with a group of friends. The weather was incredible and the 4-feet of new snow over the past 2-weeks was a welcomed addition.
I have a little bit of a grudge against Crystal.. not a bad one, but I get the same feeling every time I'm there. I would never deny that it has the best and most accessible terrain in WA. state.... and maybe I'm just tough to satisfy... but the terrain doesn't quite sell me.
Here are a list of things that rub me about Crystal:
+ That drive.... its not even a "Long" drive... but the problem is that you are stuck doing 35mph for the bulk majority of it. And, in the few places where the speed limit exceeds 35, there are no passing lanes.... which means you're always stuck behind the minivan doing 45mph, at best.
+ The crowds... if any mountain in WA. is guaranteed to get crowds, its Crystal. The runs are generally pretty narrow (this is true of all of our mountains), so, you can't really open up with all those people. Despite having the "Most" terrain in WA., there are actually very few legitimate runs.... so everyone gets funneled into the same 4,5,6 runs. The lift lines.... really, this is the only mountain in WA. were lift lines are not uncommonly 15-20minutes.
+ The wind.... Maybe its the altitude.... or the lack of coverage... but Jeezuz... I cannot remember a time that I have been there and haven't been absolutely molested by 30-50mph gusts on the top-half.... not to mention the effect if has on snow conditions.
+ The parking..... What a shit show.
There was a brief moment during the winter when I toyed with the idea of getting a pass there next season. That moment came as quickly as it went. In the grands scheme of things, Stevens' still provides a better experience, pound-for-pound.
I work in Software M&A. This is a personal / business blog.