Crystal: It’s Not Just For Winter Anymore

The New Gondola (if you can think of a better name, we’re all ears) is going be a game changer at Crystal.  How?  Well here’s the short version:  Summer sightseeing, early and late season access to skiing in Green Valley, making Crystal more of a year-round resort.  So yes, in answer to some questions, the Gondola will extend the ski season, since it will provide easy access to the areas that hold the snow longest.  One reader asked about mountain biking, which is a great idea.  As it stands, we need to revise our master plan in order for that to happen.  However, it is possible that we could see that down the road.  I, for one, would love to ride down the northway trail. 

9 thoughts on “Crystal: It’s Not Just For Winter Anymore

  1. Mary

    I find it interesting that you mention the possibility of extending the ski season. Really? For years I have always heard that the reason for early closure was a restriction put on by the length of the operating permit from the USFS. I’m all for a longer season, so that’s awesome.
    Corey Responds:
    Mary, I’ll try to post something soon that clears up this misconception. There are a bunch of common funny partial-truths in this business. Ski Patrol “holding” terrain opening is another. If the explanation sounds bogus, it probably is!


  2. That reader would be me 🙂 Thanks for listening to your readers !
    What about this: a passenger van + trailer loaded with MT bikes – to the top of Rainier Express = lot’s of $$$ and happy customers !


  3. Kyle

    I second the MT Bike request. I’ll be at Crystal every weekend of the year if there is biking in the summer. A lot of ski areas struggle with how to run the bike operation that is safe, profitable, and fun. Gravity Logic ( is a consulting company (which I have no connection to…I don’t even know anyone there) that knows how build the best bike parks around the world.
    Kim – you guys should call them.
    Kim responds: Kyle, out sister resort, Cypress built a biike park and used a great designer. The bike park only ran for one summer and then the build up to the Olympics began and with all the construction going on there, the mountain decided to wait to reopen. Hopefully they will do so this summer. I agree, we need to bring bikes up the gondola. Its not a matter of desire, we would actually have to get some permits changed and things like that. But you are right, it would be great, and hopefully we can make it happen.


  4. steve

    The Sunrise Gondola would be a great name. It gets you up the the mountain to see the sunrise and you have a view of Sunrise at Mount Rainier


  5. John

    Wow! This is shocking, and so cool! I have several family member who don’t ski well but I have long wanted to get them to where they could see the Rainier views. Perfect! I never thought of Crystal as a gondola type mountain, but the 2800′ of Vertical this baby will cover is certainly worthy! Only drawback is, Crystal is one of the best low-profile, highly awesome mtns in the country. Hope this doesn’t make it high profile, highly awesome.


  6. Chris

    But where will we get our espresso? I’d hate to trade off safety while driving down to Greenwater for a mere gondola!
    Kim responds: The plan for the market and the espresso stand is to simply move it to a new location across the plaza.


  7. Kyle

    I found this pic on TAY.
    If it’s blue (like the pic), I’d call it the “Bluebird” in hopes of many sunny powder days in our future.
    If it’s red, I’d call it “Firecracker”
    If if you want to call out a local reference I like “Tahoma”, but I would also consider “Greenwater”..which of course would be better if the gondola was actually green in color.
    Kim Responds:
    That link on TAY looks pretty good. Those are the right gondola cabins anyways. The cabins will be red, however. We are leaning towards a name like “Mt. Rainier Gondola”, because it’s self-explanatory and easily marketable. It will probably evolve into a more easily spoken derivative (not that I could find myself saying “let’s meet at the top of M-RAG”), but something like that. Construction begins as soon as Crystal closes in less than a month.


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