I received an enticing email solicitation from Hank and decided to join him at Crystal Mountain. I have been pretty limited in my snowboarding recently and am determined to make a comeback this season. Hank is an absolute weather fiend and when he says it is the perfect opportunity, you had better believe him. The previous days had dumped plenty of new snow and the coming days promised sunshine and crowds. Wednesday offered cloudy skies, cold temperatures and perfect snow. We arrived early enough to get a primo parking spot in the free lot. Walking to the lodge served as our warm up. Ticketing was smooth and soon we were on a lift.
I am a tall camper and I have a long board. It features a Polynesian mask, which is consistent with the Bavarian theme of most ski lodges.
The face of snow ?
It was my first (and only) boarding trip of 2010, my first time to Crystal, as well as my first time with Hank. Hank took me straight to the steeps and the virgin snow. We got off one lift and took another to the top of the mountain. We proceeded to hit every diamond and double diamond run Hank could find; and he found them all. Temps were cold and there was some wind on the ridge. We traversed to find clean lines and proceeded to carve it up.
Despite some glimpses of blue, the clouds never gave up and by about 12:30 it was snowing lightly. We caught some lunch and returned to the slopes only to face white out conditions..
Time to get your chill on...
I found Crystal to be a wonderful mountain, and by staying on the upper slopes we avoided most of the crowds and never had to wait long in lift lines. The snow was about as perfect as you could wish for, and by the time we left most every patch of new snow had seen skiers and boarders. Stevens Pass is my usual haunt and I would say the mix of skiers to boarders there is two skiers to every three boarders. At Crystal it looked to be about three skiers to every one boarder. We knuckle draggers were clearly the minority.
As the witching hour approached, my legs were getting wobbly and I had reached my limit of yard sale head over tea kettle experiences. Hank deserves accolades for showing patience as I kept crashing and getting up, or he deserves punishment for trying to kill me on the steep cliffs and bowls of the mountain.
The war wagon cloaked in white at the end of a long day..