Place Names at Crystal

So I have this idea.

I want to compile all the place names at Crystal.  I want to compare new and old names; I want to share the source of these names.  For example, many of you can probably guess why the gully in Memorial is called Gregg’s Gulch.  (If not, see earlier post about said Gregg trying fat skis for the first time.)  But how many of you know why it’s called Reynold’s Chute, Kemper’s or Penny Dawgs?  I’m checking with my sources about all these little names (hint: most of them are named for people that got caught in avalanches back in the bad old days before hand charges).  But here’s where you all come in.  What place names do you have?  For example, I just found a sign in the trees along the new gondola line pointing to Dan’s Way.  I’d heard that called Double D’s before, but the sign is new (at least to me).  I also overheard someone referring to Outer Ferk’s.  Is that Snake Pit or Rightberg?  Anyways, give me your names, and the history behind them, and I will put something together that all can see and read.  Of course, some of you want to "protect" your place names.  You don’t have to give away any secret stashes, here. 

10 thoughts on “Place Names at Crystal

  1. Great idea. I’ve been wondering about names for a long time. Since I post about my ski exploits, and use a lot of names me and my ski amigos have made up over the last 40 years, I created some of my own name maps.
    “In the old days”, Crystal had a lot more names on the run map. As they were removed, we’ve tried to keep some of the old names alive and added our own to fill in the gaps so we know were to go. Talking to ski patrol and hearing that they have names for every nook and kranny, it would be nice to get the names they use posted.
    I named Outer Ferk’s the year Iceberg became Ferk’s. It’s the gully west of Bear Pits and before the trees off Luckyshot. One of our snowy/foggy day favorites.
    I look forward to hearing the stories behind the names and correcting my made-up names. Another nice update would be to update the N&S backcountry map showing the terrain changes from the Northway lift. A lot of the trees have changed and many areas not skiable in the past, are now open.
    Thanks, Ken


  2. Steve Ruggiero

    Dan’s Way – which was uncommonly good all last week!- is in memory of good friend and ski buddy Dan Rush of Gig Harbor who passed away much too young in August of 2003 at the age of 40. It’s a line we skied together countless times. I had the sign made and a group of friends and I hiked it in that September and with harness and help placed it as a tribute to his love for Crystal and the great times shared there. It’s no coincidence that we got the first snow of the season that day and there are pictures to prove it. The sign is still looking good but the Grateful Dead stickers finally threw in the towel this season.
    Steve Ruggiero


  3. Bob Grubb

    Penny Dawgs was named after Penny Ehle, the first women patroller back in the early 70’s.
    Dan was a great guy that skied all the time and died a couple of years ago of a bee sting.
    Kempers was named after Don Kemp, a patroller in the early 70’s. He still skis almost every day.


  4. StormLady

    I recently heard the story of Dead Cat Gulch. It seems there was this cat that was a fixture around the Ski Patrol bunkhouse. One day a patroller (who shall remain nameless) came out and saw the cat had died…and frozen stiff. Being a quirky sort of character, said patroller lassoed the dead cat and spent the morning skiing around with this dead cat dragging along behind him. After several complaints from clients, the manager radioed the patroller and told him to ditch the cat – it was offending patrons. So, patroller headed out to one of his favorite(?) notches where he proceeded to hang the cat from a tree branch. Cat was there the rest of the season, and the gulch obtained a name.


  5. R. D. Reed

    Does the face near the top of Forest Queen Express, skier’ right of Magoo, skier’s left of CMAC have a name? This face has a flat bottomed runout that joins CMAC on the flats.


  6. I just found this post… through a FB post of your lovely early season pics of Crystal today and loved to see this. I can explain one of the signs — it was (rather infiormally) put up in honor of my brother, who died in 2003… details of the story behind it coming. It was a tribute from a great group of ski buddies that my family loves…


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