Headed up skiing to Crystal Mountain with my dad yesterday. I’m guessing I hadn’t been there since some time before 2000 (the year). Um.
Here are some facts so that I can list here in order to break up the photos:
- It was a beautiful, sunny day.
- Got up to maybe the mid-30′s, warm enough to soften the snow, cold enough that it never turned to slush.
- Even though it hasn’t snowed up there in a week or whatever.
- It was really clear, no clouds in any direction. You could see Adams, St. Helens, the Olympics, and even Rainier.
It feels like the top of the world up there. It’s also a little windy.
So then I spent most of the day skiing Green Valley. There weren’t crowds anywhere on the mountain, but there were especially no crowds in Green Valley. They have an express lift there now. I don’t know how long it’s been there. I could probably find out on the Internet.
Presumably the caution was due to the presence of snow, a slope, and good visibility.
- It’s sort of funny what constitutes an Intermediate run here vs. Pennsylvania. A lot of Crystal’s blues are steep enough to be double-black at Seven Springs (probably just black at Blue Knob).
- And I sort of forgot how steep Crystal was just in general. Eastern skiing has already Stockholm Syndromed me I guess.
There’s also a gondola there now. It starts at the bottom (by the ticket booths, kind of below the lodge) and ends essentially next to the old #2 (Rainier Express to those living in the now). Here are three photos that include the gondola:
I’ve always been fond of those photos that make the gondola look like it’s flying at 30,000 feet.
The view looking up Middle Ferks.
The gondola seems kind of under-utilized from a skiing perspective. It makes for a very long run, though, going top-to-bottom. Plus it costs an extra $8 on the lift ticket. I dunno. Neither Stowe nor Whiteface charged extra for their gondola. It doesn’t seem like the resorts’ cost-benefit analyses should actually be different.
- I remembered Crystal having a lot more signs telling you what run you were getting on. There aren’t very many of them, which is probably fine, just that there are a few places where a person might get himself in trouble through lack of knowledge.
- It was fun re-visiting sites of childhood trauma (top of 2, middle of Deerfly).
- The walk in from the parking lot is still punishing.
- Not to say that Crystal is some sort of great vlue or anything, but it’s kind of surprising that this place costs so much less than Stowe ($74 w/ gondola vs. $92).
- The pizza slice was pretty small for $4.50 and $6.50 for a cup of chili seemed exorbitant. The $3 fries were a relatively good value though.
That’s probably good enough.