Blog Crystal Ski Patrol Crystal Mountain Washington

Tour of Crystal through Patrol Eyes

Posted in Avalanche Hazard, Closures, Conditions, Employment, News, Place Names, Safety Patrol/Speed Control

Who here would be interested in taking under an hour to ski with a patroller and go through some of the ins-and-outs of Crystal?  We would like to offer a chance to ski with a patroller to our locals (you), in hopes to answer any questions you may have, share avalanche conditions, and ski some secrete stashes in hopes that you all spread the word. We could do orientations of place names,  look at Bear Pits and share what determines its status, check out the South Gates and show why the A-Basin gates stays closed sometimes, look at North and go through the signage at the gates, or we could do some speed control on Queens run and Lucky Shot to prove why these areas need to have a patrol presence.  I just wanted to put some feelers out there to see if there was any interest in this sort of mission around Crystal.  So, if you would be into it, leave some feedback here and say what you would like to get out of it.

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/spencer.lewis.james Spencer James

    I would love to do that sometime. I’ve skied with some patrollers at Alpental in their backcountry and it’s been a pretty unique experience. I particularly would like to learn more about the factors that affect whether you will open Southback, since it seems like you have to balance the positives of having skiers cut and pack down the snow to reduce avy danger with the negatives of having relatively inexperienced skiers in dangerous terrain. 

  • Gil Markham

    I’ve always thought about stopping by the patrol hut and see if I could shadow a patroller just to see what it’s like. I’d be totally into it if it’s a possibility.

  • Ben

    That would be very interesting to ski with a patroller and gain insight on avalanche conditions and why closure decisions are made! Great idea and I would definitely participate!

  • Dennis Opacki

    I’d love to shadow a patroller on a closing sweep out north or south, to understand more about how you determine everyone made it home safely.

  • Joestutz

    I think it would be great! I have done sweeps at other mountains and there is nothing like a patroller for a guide. I have wanted to “explore” but don’t want to by myself or with someone else who does not know the area.

  • Lori Richardson Davies

    Yes, absolutely.   Any additional knowledge is helpful in making safe decisions.  I would like to have “problem areas” pointed out and why they are a problem.  It’s also nice to get to know different routes to ski or “patroller’s favorite runs”.   (if you would divulge such info…!)

  • Meaghann G.

    I would definitely be interested in the daily life of a patroller… hoping to become one! I’d be interested in avalanche terrain, how the patrollers determine hazard in different terrain, and learning some good new stashes!

  • Bill

    You want to have some real fun with a Pro Ski Patroller, hike the King with them,  now we’re talking some real fun, like a heart rate of 300BPM and by the way they Will do that from the top of 6 to the King in about 13 min. Don’t forget to ask some questions on the way up, they will be able to answer them in a calm voice because their heart rate will be about 60 BPM. Some of these folks hike or skin to Mt Top after work, just to get a little fitness in. On their day off they often are skinning everywhere 3k just for the fun of it. They are all the best of the best and I hope you all have some fun, I will be going  at my pace (slow). Christina great idea.

  • Bill Brosseau

    You want to have some real fun with a Pro Ski Patroller, hike the King with them,  now we’re talking some real fun, like a heart rate of 300BPM and by the way they Will do that from the top of 6 to the King in about 13 min. Don’t forget to ask some questions on the way up, they will be able to answer them in a calm voice because their heart rate will be about 60 BPM. Some of these folks hike or skin to Mt Top after work, just to get a little fitness in. On their day off they often are skinning everywhere 3k just for the fun of it. They are all the best of the best and I hope you all have some fun, I will be going  at my pace (slow). Christina great idea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fuzzypete Peter Wickersham

    Whoa! Would I ever?!? That would be awesome.. My son is constently asking stuff like “Where is Banana Chute?”, “Is that XXXX”, etc… I have no idea about local names, new names, etc… Not to mention any ideas of where to looking for leftover stashes.

  • Kirk Swanson

    What a great opportunity!  I’ve always been curious about what it takes to get certain areas ready for the day depending on conditions.  What areas open before others and what is done to assess the dangers?

  • Kirk Swanson

    What a great opportunity!  I’ve always been curious about what it takes to get certain areas ready for the day depending on conditions.  What areas open before others and what is done to assess the dangers?

  • CMSkier

    My wife and I would really like to tag along. Maybe see some nooks and crannies we’ve missed over the years. And learn the real names of some places where our gang has just made up names ourselves.

  • Larry Ward

    Sounds like a great opportunity. How can this be arranged? I patrol at another area and my son is an OEC candidate and it would be fun to compare protocols and duties.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=561230444 Philip Grin

    I would LOVE IT! I’d love to know the names of some of the features of the mountain. Learn how to tell if the snow is avalanche safe. I’d love a tour of southback, I’ve never ventured out there but it’s always been on my list. Crystal is such an amazing place, and knowing some of it’s secrets would be awesome!

  • amnesiak

    Sign me up. I’m just starting my backcountry adventures and would like a bit more orientation around northway and stuff ‘downhill’ from there. Bear pits would be cool too. I’m mostly an alpental skier so I don’t get much time at crystal and I haven’t done much BC apart from southback and the routes I know around northback… It seems there are some crazy cliffbands to get into if you’re not careful in northback.

  • Scottgraversen

    What a great experience and opportunity to share about safe ski and ride conditions. Especially helpful on the big pow days when the crowds push us regulars out toward the ropes and steeps in search of freshies. I have been skiing at Crystal for 25+ years and barely have the lift names memorized, forget sharing the names of the secret stashes just share where the goods are and I promise to keep quiet. Learning about what goes into avi prep would also be cool.

  • Skooks

    We would live to. We are regulars up here and would love to learn more.

  • Jonathan

    I would much enjoy that. How about this weekend? I’m there both days.

  • Joe

    My wife and I would love to do this! How do I sign up?

  • Erin

    Awesome idea! Thanks so much!!! Sign us up!! Erin, Andy & Tanner Stines

  • Alex

    I would love to take a tour around the mountain with a ski patroller! I ski at Crystal every weekend and am always finding more areas that I’ve never discovered. I am currently learning about avalanches and would be most interested in what the patrol does to keep the resort safe and how they deal with the avalanche danger. I would also like to learn a bit more about the avalanches last spring in Bear Pits and Niagras. This would be awesome! Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Reflexdoc

    I’m ready! Where do I sign up?

  • Jeanne584

    Great idea-how about something for intermediate skiers as well?  There needs to be more patrol presence period. Speed control is & has been an ongoing problem-particularly on Thursdays.

  • Ben

    I’m new to the PNW (arrived in March 2013 from Australia) and have fallen in love with Crystal. Sadly I’m usually riding solo and every visit is a constant balancing of the thrill of exploring vs. staying safe. Staying safe always wins out given the dangers of going somewhere unknown alone. I would love to do something like this next season (given this one is practically over) and would be more than happy to pay for the experience.