Blog Crystal

Ski Patrol Crystal Mountain Washington

Ski Patrol Benefit Hosted by Two Beers Brewery

Posted in Events and Activities

Two Beers Brewery is hosting an event to benefit the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol. They’re calling it “Snow Angels” (Ah shucks.) It looks like it’s going to be a fun night. Many of us will be there. Here’s more from their FB page:

You can’t miss this fundraising event for the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol at Two Beers Brewery in SODO.

Join fellow skiers and boarders, loyal to Crystal Mountain and their ski patrol for an evening of fun, friends, beers, raffles and silent auction. Ski patrol members will attend, as well as our sponsors from PNW organizations, to talk about all things cold and snowy as the season revs up!

Bring your cash! Items from sponsors will be raffled and auctioned throughout the night, with all proceeds from the night benefiting the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol. Items include skis, boots, poles, goggles, and helmets from K2, snowboards from LibTech and GNU, ABS backpacks, avalanche beacons, probes, shovels, and backpacks from BCA, Deuter/Ortovox/Darn Tough Socks, and Mamuut, and shells, gloves, and hats from Outdoor Research. Many sponsors will be available to talk gear.

A portion of the proceeds from each pint of “Chair 6 Amber” or a glass of “Boondoggle Cider” goes directly to Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol.

Hallavah Falafel will be dishing up their famous Falafel and Shawarma.

Representatives of the Northwest Avalanche Center will attend, as well as the “Grand Poobah” of Powder, Larry Schick. Celebrities everywhere.

Come on out and get your head back in the hills.

Re-grading Improvements

Posted in News, Photo of the Day, Place Names

Ed’s link.  Nob removed between Queens Run (to the left) and Chappelle’s

So much is going on this summer, not only do we have two new lifts being built but there are several areas where the re-grading will improve your favorite runs.  Two areas here are located off the Forest Queen lift.

Looking across Broadway. ”Cutting the corner” between Side Burn and After Burn (bottom of Downhill) where it merges onto Broadway



Photo updates from the new relocated Quicksilver Chair

Posted in News, Photo of the Day

Looking up Quicksilver.

Looking down the new Chair lift line.

  • Bottom terminal












New lift shack, bottom terminal




Check out the new Quicksilver lift!   It’s moving along with the Quicksilver run re-grading now completed, concrete tower footings are in, new top and bottom lift shacks are installed.   Towers and both bull wheels are in lot B waiting to be installed.

Photo updates from Bottom of Chair 6

Posted in News, Photo of the Day

Snow removal continues on Queens Run

It’s been an amazing summer in the Pacific Northwest, hotter and drier than normal.   (Though what is normal, huh?  Guess that’s another topic.)  You’d think the snow would be long gone here at Crystal!  Not on Queens run near the bottom of Chair 6 though.  In-fact there are still several feet siting on the ground.

At the top of Chair 6, the new bullwheel is installed, rock work around the top terminal is well underway and the lift shack has been remodeled.  The concrete footings for each tower are in place, as is the footing and wiring for the bottom terminal.

Looking forward to seeing the final results!

What’s So Cool About Gazex?

Posted in Avalanche Hazard, Events and Activities, News

Exciting, new avalanche control technology is coming to Crystal this season. Three Gazex exploders are currently being installed in Powder Bowl, and if you’re not familiar with the technology, you’ll have to trust me on this one. Gazex is cool.


Because nothing says all-caps AWESOME like a fiery ball of gas setting off an avalanche. That’s two Hollywood-style special effects for the price of one. Let’s call it the Powder Bowl Two-fer.

Gazex Explosion

So what is Gazex?

Here’s the official marketing speak from the maker’s of Gazex (T.A.S). website:

Gazex is a powerful, permanent remote avalanche control systems. Gazex operates without explosives: the blast is caused by the detonation of a propane and oxygen mixture. The exploders are connected to a central gas shelter capable of storing sufficient gas reserves for the entire season.

Essentially it breaks down like this: a few squirts (and by “squirts” I mean a highly scientific mixture) of propane and O2 are blended in the exploder tube and lit on fire. This is the kind of thing ten-year-old boys’ dreams are made of. A blast of fire explodes from the tip of the tube and points straight down at the snow. This, in turn, will start an avalanche if conditions are right. If not, just like with explosives AC (Avalanche Control), the slope is deemed safe enough to ride.

These exploders are permanent installations. For this reason, Gazex isn’t going to be replacing the ski patrol avalanche teams anytime soon (phew!). Instead, our goal is to use Gazex in places like PB and possibly Rock Face–avalanche paths that overhang heavily trafficked pistes. The Gazex exploders are triggered remotely, which means that the patrol can fire them off quickly and if the hazard ramps up during a storm.

Our Powder Bowl Gazex exploders won’t necessarily mean that Southback is going to open anytime sooner. But they will help us expedite our “in-area” Avalanche Control, keep our snowcat drivers safer and help to mitigate avalanche hazard in Powder Bowl.

Most importantly, Gazex is simply going to be cool to watch.

Blaine in Powder Bowl preparing for concrete



Chairlift Graveyard

Posted in News

Crews are hard at work on the early stages of some of the changes coming to Crystal this summer.  Come up and see what’s going on.  It sounds like there’ll be some new snow on Saturday, and some sunshine on Sunday!


Chairlift Graveyard

What’s opening tomorrow?

Posted in Closures, Conditions, News


With 12 inches of new snow on the upper mountain over the past five days we came in today to do avalanche control work.

Lifts running will be the Gondola, Green Valley and Rainier Express.   Terrain open will be Snorting Elk, Green Valley and Middle Ferk’s and the rest of the frontside over to (and including) Lucky Shot.  The lift-served terrain is all “blue square” More Difficult terrain, and above.

Kelly’s Gap will remain closed, as is the rest of the lower area below the bottom of Rainier Express.

We hope you’ll come join us!

Look around

Posted in Photo of the Day


I know I have said this in the past but with only two days left of full operation I remind myself of the beauty this place holds. Today is no different as I look off in the distance at the cloud formations that are chaotic and breathtaking.

Next weekend Spring/Summer skiing begins weekends only.