Skiing in Washington State on Crystal Mountain

September 8th, 2016

There are many reasons to visit Washington State but for the winter sports enthusiast what better reason could there be than to visit the challenging ski resort of Crystal Mountain? During the winter months Crystal Mountain is ideally placed to provide snow-capped peaks of over 7,000 feet, standing proud below the towering Mount Rainier which climbs to over 14,000 feet.

The months of November to April bring several feet of fresh powder snow to Crystal Mountain, this being a reliable happening thanks to the cold Cascade storms common to this area. This factor alone makes a compelling reason to visit this first class Washington State ski area.

There are breathtaking views of Mount Rainier from the summit of Crystal Mountain. The area positively bulges with 2,300 acres of fabulous skiing and here you will find every kind of skiing you can imagine, making this the largest ski area in the state of Washington.

Of particular appeal to advanced and intermediate skiers who will enjoy 87% of all runs, there are some 7 runs for beginners which amounts to a generous variety for all levels. Intermediates are best catered for with 57% of all runs and of all the runs the very longest is called Northway and stretches for 2.5 miles or 4km.

With a definite bias in the distribution of trails towards the more experienced skier, lift capacity runs at 20,000 per hour. There are 2 high speed quads, 2 high speed sixes, 2 triple chairs, 4 double chairs and a surface lift for children. Despite leaning towards the more experienced skier, lessons are available and it is possible to rent skis and other equipment as required. This is also useful in the event of losses and breakages.

There is a Kids Club that is open from 8am to 4pm each day for children aged four to eleven years old. They will be well looked after while the experts in the family explore the remainder of the resort and experience the thrill of skiing the black diamond runs. The Kids Club supervises skiing on the appropriate slopes for their charges and there is also snowboarding available for children aged 7 – 11 years old. Children will learn while having fun and being supervised on the slopes while the remainder of the party can enjoy the challenging terrain that this Washington ski resort offers.

For those who enjoy back country skiing, Crystal Mountain has two back country areas which can only be reached by hiking. This is extreme and unforgiving terrain and the ski patrol has specific rules for those looking to ski in these areas. Covered mainly in thick woodland, North Backcountry does have some trails which have been cut through the trees.

The season runs from the middle of November to the middle of April, when the best snow fall is experienced. There are many places to choose for lodging, meals and evening entertainment. After a day of skiing, you should definitely head over to East Peak Massage & Fitness to take advantage of the hot tub, sauna, showers and even the games room. Massages are available with a reservation. In the summer of 2004, Crystal built the Campbell Basin Lodge, a Cascade-style lodge serving pasta, pizza, soups, teriyaki, burgers, salads, Mexican food and more.

For a superb vacation skiing in Washington State this is a great place for the family. Everyone can have a great experience at Crystal Mountain, even though the slopes are more for intermediate and expert skiers. Novice skiers can have fun as well as long as careful attention is paid to the grade of slope attempted.

Kerry Devere is a great fan of holidays in the mountains and in particular thrashing the red runs. Before you plan your next ski safari, read more of her ski destination reviews.

Posted by Victoria Addington

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