Informal “Mountain Top” Place Names

A while back, Kim K. invited comments about names given to un-designated terrain features at Crystal.  The patrol has a name for most every one of the 300 or so avalanche paths at Crystal.  But more importantly, we have lots of names for landmarks and terrain features that help us find folks when rescue is necessary.  And we know that lot’s of different groups of "regulars" have their favorite names too.  So let’s share!

We’d like customers to know "our" names for times they need our help in odd places.  And we’d like to know "your" names so we can sort out confusion in emergencies.  For example, we know a lot of people use "Last Chance" as a name for an area we call "Last Scream" because our "Last Chance" is somewhere else.  And don’t even get me started on Ho Chi Minh Trail!  You wanna know where the Ho Chi Minh Trail is?  I’ll tell you where it is.  It’s in Southeast Asia, that’s where!  Yeah, yeah, yeah, everybody knows it comes FROM the North.  And yeah, yeah, yeah, everybody knows it goes TO the South.  But those are the same thing!  Everybody’s right…Let’s move on! 

(Explanation:  For some reason, people get over-the-top passionate telling me about their-and-their-buddies’ version of where Crystal’s Ho Chi Minh Trail is located.  "Inaccurapedia" details about the Laotian original can be found here.)


Anyway, I invite anyone interested to share names and descriptions that you think are more popular than Patrol’s!  All I ask is that 3 names remain sacrosanct:  Kemper’s, Rockface, & Waterall refer to Permanently Closed Areas.  They are designated that way because they have been, or easily could be, deadly.  To reduce the chance of "crying wolf" or causing confusion, we don’t use those terms lightly.  I hope you won’t either!

So what follows are names, followed by descriptions of locations, for places we have names for, off of what we call "Mountain Top", the summit of Crystal Mountain itself, and areas accessed mainly by the Rainier Express and Green Valley Express chairlifts.  I’ll soon be posting lists for the Northway area, and for Campbell Basin (Forest Queen, High Campbell, Quicksilver & Gold Hills chairlifts) and South Backcountry.

  • The bold names refer to other definitions on the chart.  (A few may be on the forthcoming Northway or Campbell charts.) 
  • The non-bold names are shown on the current Trail Map
  • Left and right refer to SKIER’S left and right.



For safety, we recommend you stay on groomed trails.  If you make the choice to venture off the beaten path, please keep the following in mind (and spread the word)

  • The places listed below are NOT designated Trails or Runs.  Unmarked hazards, including pockets of avalanche hazard, can exist at any time.  These areas may not be patrolled on a regular basis. 
  • Some terrain features are deceptive and visibility can deteriorate within minutes.  Travel with someone familiar with the area until you know your way around.  Keep each other in sight and steer clear of  tree wells.  Make a plan about when/where to rendevous if you get separated and stick to it.  Keep cell phones & radios with you, keep them turned on or make a plan to check-in with each other at pre-established times, and save each others’ numbers.   Keep the Ski Patrol Emergencies Only number, (360) 663-3064 with you.
  • The snow surface may not be continuous and walking may be required.   
  • In steep icy terrain, taking off metal edged skis & boards may increase your risk of long uncontrolled slides into places from which you cannot extricate yourself. 



Angle Point

Prominent point at the top of Right Angle, just past the Spook Hill gate #7

Art’s Slot

Skier’s right exit to bottom of Sled Face at the bottom of the Gap Road.

Banana Chute

Only opening along Rock Face, left at the bottom of Powder Alley. Traversable from the top of Middle Ferk’s.

Berry Patch

Broad open area below the switchbacks under Rock Face

Bill’s Face

Gully area on the Green Valley side of the top of Middle Ferk’s

Blazing Elk

At Elk Pass, straight down to the lake at the bottom of the bowl.


Under Rainier Express towers 9 or 10 to 15

Cold Face

Steep face behind the the maze at the bottom of C-3; skier’s right of West Face

Dick’s Face

Steep face between Exterminator and Berry Patch

Doc’s Clean Butt

Narrow swath downhill off Lewis Lane, just before (South of) Stupid Hoover’s

Doors/Tree Run

Steep area through trees below front traverse to Lucky Shot.

Eagle’s Drop

End of Exterminator Ridge ropeline when open, dropping into to Berry Patch.

Elephant Balls

Skier’s left and below Snake Pit

Elevator Shaft

Chute off Front Traverse to Lucky, just past Tree Run, and above Last Scream

Elk Pass

Saddle behind Grubstake Peak with trail signs, Northway Gate #1 & beacon checker

Front Traverse

Traverse to SOB that runs along Tree Run entrances,BELOW traverse to upper SOB

Greg’s Gulch

Gulch between Sunnyside & Memorial Forest below Sunnyside Road

Hole in the Wall

Skiable notch in Hunter’s Rock, through the trees that are left off the Kelly’sGap Roadafter the Rick’s Face switchback

Hormone Alley

Steep chutes & cliffs on the Snorting Elk side of Grubstake Peak, above Rinky Dink

Hot Rocks

Thermal vents ≈ 100 yds below and slightly skier’s left of Rick’s Face


Prominent swath right of Upper Skid and left of Mel’s Madness

Hunter’s Rocks

Cliff’s running from skier’s left of Berry Patch, left to below Rick’s Face. Above & roughly parallels Kelly’s Gap Rd. Interrupted by Hole in the Wall

Jeremy’s Road

When cut by cats, from Elk Pass toward Paradise, to Otto Bahn aka Rd. to Paradise

Kookie Ridge

Ridge creating skier’s right delineation of Snorting Elk Bowl.

Last Chance

Northern-most chute of Lower Chance; often confused with Last Scream

Last Scream

Last “chute” toward Lucky Shot off SOB, before 1st face. Down-road of Elevator Shaft

Leo’s Rock

Big rock skier’s left bottom of Bull Run.

Lewis Lane

Apparent “road” from top of C-1 to the Gap Road

Lower BS

Below the tree island downhill of Upper BS; Gap from top of Gandy’s towards Mel’s

Lower Chance

Prominent cliffs climber’s right of tower 4, C-3

Lucky Shot Chutes

Skier’s right of the 2rd face of Lucky Shot, leading to bottom of Bear Pits.

Lumpy Lane

Little “road” from Tinkerbell down to Lower Skid Road, below Forest Queen base

Mel’s Madness

Face at and below tower 4 of REX

Memorial Forest

Tree-ish area between Middle Ferk’s and Sunnyside


Broad area around towers 14 & 15, Rainier Express

Middle Skid

Skid Road areas North of Midway; behind top of Chinook lift shack

Mine Shaft

Between Bull Run and Middle Ferk’s; Above Snake Pit

Neanderthal Rocks

Cliff band below and left of Snag Chute, towards Dick’s Face

Paul’s Face

Fall line below Angle Point; steep often-roped area just above the Gap Road

Pope’s Gulch

Smaller gulch skier’s left of Breakover

Powder Alley

Glade skier’s left of the Rock Face rope line; Ends at Banana Chute

Powder Pass

Pass (lowest point) between Crystal Mt. & Silver Queen

Pucker Bung

Through trees hard right of Sluiceway

Rick’s Face

Steep face on Right Angle just above the 1st Kelly’s Gap Road switchback


Steep “face” on right side of Middle Ferk’s

Rinky Dink

Wide chute low on Kookie Ridge, dropping into Snorting Elk Bowl

Road To Paradise

Road (when cut by cats) from Elk Pass toward Paradise, to Otto Bahn aka Jeremy’s

Rock Face

Permanently Closed area between Exterminator Ridge and Kelly’s Gap. (Area from Banana Chute to Kelly’s Gap is informally named Pucker Bung)

Scar Face

Skier’s left of Bill’s face, below trees skier’s left of Pro Course.

Sled Face

Last skier’s right Gap Road switchback; merges with Lower Exterminator


Steep “bowl” at Kelly’s Gap, right at start of Kelly’s Gap Road

Snag Chute

Steepening roped-off “bowl” ½ way down the middle of Upper Exterminator

Snake Pit

Between Bull Run and Middle Ferk’s, below Mine Shaft


Area above Powder Pass; Windy Point and above


Face skier’s left of Grubstake on the Green Valley side of Kookie Ridge

Stupid Hoover’s

Narrow swath downhill off Lewis Lane, just before (South of) Lower Exterminator

Sudden Drop

Big dip skier’s right of tree island, right side of Lower Skid Road; below Lumpy Lane

Sunnyside Road

Early-season road from top of Middle Ferk’s, down to Little Shot.

Upper BS

Opening from bottom of Little Shot (bottom of 3rd face) toward the top of C-1

Waterfall Line

Permanent closure starting at 2nd skier’s left Gap Rd switchback; continuing past next switchback

Willie’s Run

Tribute to Mr. Grindstaf, hard right off Otto Bahn, between Gates 6 & 7.

West Face

Back side of Bull Run dropping into Green Valley; up-valley (skier’s left) of Cold Face

Windy Point

Above Powder Pass on road to Lucky Shot at SOB; often wind scoured





4 thoughts on “Informal “Mountain Top” Place Names

  1. Sea Cucumber

    You forgot my three favorite runs! Upper Sediment going from the hot dog stand to C-lot, Middle Sediment going from the front parking lot to the middle lots, and Lower Sediment going all the way to the sledding area off to the skier’s right.


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