A couple of new royals have been crowned here at Crystal Mountain. Congratulations to Tara Simpson and Nate Markquart for becoming our 2014-2015 Dirtbag King and Queen. Some of you often ask, “what does it take to become royalty.” The short answer: it isn’t easy. Just take a look at all that Tara and Nate as examples.
Tara has skied at Crystal for 28 years, and most years she skis 120+ days every season. That’s more than some of us on the patrol! When the lifts close, she keeps skiing all year on the mountains and glaciers of the PNW. For five years in a row, she made turns all year (that’s skiing at least once every month of the year).
She lives full time in Greenwater with her husband Carl, who she regularly skis with at Crystal. She’s lost count of how many first chairs and first gondola cabins she’s been on. She has even worked her professional life into 40 hours on the weekends so that she can ski Monday through Thursday every week.
Tara says it best when she explains why, “My happiness and freedom is found in the mountains. It’s what fills me up.”
Nate Markquart has had a season’s pass at Crystal since 1998. He stays in his 1968 Airstream trailer with his wife Kate and their two labs. He’s also lived in the clubs, and in Steve Fratella’s trailer over the years, but finally purchased the trailer four seasons ago and they haven’t looked back.
Nate is known in B Lot as the host with the most. He and Kate regularly host dinners and after-ski parties at their cozy trailer complete with a wood stove. Nate is known all over the mountain as a generous and positive force.
While Nate has many favorite runs at Crystal, when the snow is light and powdery down to the road, he loves to ski Left Angle Trees. Even this season he had one great run in Left Angle that he claims made the entire season worthwhile.
Look for Nate and Tara next season in their Wapiti Woolies Dirtbag hats. Our members of the royal class often act as informal liaisons between patrol and the public. So feel free to reach out our King and Queen if you have any questions or concerns. They deserve your respect. These two are certainly the real deal. Welcome to the Dirtbag world you two.