What’s the meaning of this strange “CLOSED” word I keep seeing?

We’re working our butts off to get terrain open as quick as we can!  Here’s a couple things I want to make everyone aware of.

At Crystal, when we say "closed", we mean it.  We close terrain for a variety of safety reasons that those familiar with ski area management will understand, and others likely might not.  When we catch poachers in closed areas, we have to pull passes and revoke access to Crystal Mountain services, and bill people when we incur charges.  Already this year we’ve had a couple closure-poachers suffer severe (not catastrophic, but definitely future-lifestyle-altering) injuries.  Then last night, a 17-year old guy with a 14-year old girl (duuuude!) intentionally broke the Northway closure, got disoriented, then exhausted, and cellphoned for help. 

(Confidential to the 14 & 17 year olds:  Good thinking calling for help before it got too late, but bad form duckin’ lines that were put there to keep you from getting in over your head…and then getting in over your head!)

Seth and Sara got called out of the Snorting Elk just as they were about to take their first sip of that night’s draft special–Full Sail’s "Wreck the Halls" winter ale, which I must say is decidedly tasty–to join Brent and Ben who’d gone out searching when the first call came in around 5:00 p.m.  If you see the 4, give ’em a pat on the back for finding the kids and finally getting them to safety–and out from under some increasing avalanche hazard as it was pukin’ snow–about 8:00 p.m.  (And if you see the kids and you’re feeling generous, you can contribute to help defray the hefty bill they’ll be receiving for after-hours rule-breaker rescue!)

None of us enjoy pulling passes but we know it’s a part of ‘enforcement’ that helps us keep our less-wise guests from injuring themselves.  When we have to stop working on getting terain open to chase down violators, everybody loses!  So please help spread the word!  Encourage your more-aggro buddies to simmer down a notch; we want to help keep THEM from becoming a statistic too!

6 thoughts on “What’s the meaning of this strange “CLOSED” word I keep seeing?

  1. very stoked everyone is ok to a degree venturing beyond those closed signs. also very stoked is just snowed a whole bunch and conditions are looking ripe for some washington pow! thanks to the crystal ski patrol for working so hard to get the great terrain open –

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  2. Charlie

    Hey there, fun blog, keep ’em coming! re: “closed” areas… I’d love to hear what is involved in opening your backcountry, where it ranks in priority, etc.
    Also, I’d love to hear some of your stories about the filming of ‘Ski Patrol’ (last season?)… was it cool or a pain to have that crew around? How did you guys feel you were portrayed compared to the East Coast folks?

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  3. spenm181

    does anyone feel it necessary to put others at risk for their own accomplishments? Going OofB should be left to the pro’s who have sponsor money and support staff for their endeveours. Get skills in bounds, support your mountain making terrain parks, and earn your turns in the powder when they open it, and remember we’re all human.

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  4. dave

    Great Blog!
    Closed/rope policy question: I understand the arrival of the new Northway chair created some patrolling challenges. Has there been any thoughts or ideas considered about reviewing last years rope line policy between Left Angle and Niagras? The issue was the absence of gates through popular access points. Even when Niagras was posted open, it was necessary to duck a rope to access Old Faithful from upper Left Angle. This resulted in an ambiguity to the ‘no-rope-ducking’ rule. One was forced to wonder when they encountered a rope line elsewhere if it really meant closed. Not good…
    Suggestion: Add gates and/or increase signage if necessary to string rope across open terrain.

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