Who’s ready to eschew their manky long johns and worn-out Gore-Tex for some fun costumes, great music and pitchers of PBR? It’s that time of year again. The Dirt Bag Ball is just around the corner.
Ahow, me hearties! The theme this year is Pirates, Hags and Scallywags. So weigh the anchor and hoist the mizzen. This is the party of the season, and you do not want to miss it!
The Dirt Bag Ball is an annual fundraiser for the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol. Every year the patrol and members of the Royal Court of Dirtbags vote on the season’s biggest dirtbags (aka ski bums, lifers, first-in-liners, B Lot denizens, and overall rock star locals) and crowns the King and Queen for the following season.
Get your tickets at the ski patrol office near the base of the gondola or call 360-663-3060 to reserve yours. The raffle this year is filled with booty. Get your raffle tickets from a patroller to support the avalanche dog program.
Saturday night Crystal patrol crowned the Dirtbag King and Queen for the 2016-17 season. Every year, we vote on male and female candidates that best embody what it means to be a “Dirtbag.” In the parlance of our ski area, being a “Dirtbag” is a good thing. A very good thing.
It’s more than simply being a ski bum. You could be a ski bum at any number of ski areas with far more options–more couches to surf, more singles to date, more bars to frequent. At Crystal, you have to be dedicated to the sport. You also have to be dedicated to the lifestyle. To be a ski bum here truly means that you’ve given up other *ahem* amenities in favor of dedicating yourself to skiing at Crystal. But in my humble opinion, there’s no better place to be a dirtbag.
This season’s honorees are no exception. These two have both dedicated their lives to Crystal. Your new DB King is Arlington Ashby. You know him from the Snorting Elk, where he has either a) served you a drink at the bar with an enviable efficiency and/or b) showed you the door because you 1) danced on a table and tried to swing from the chandelier, 2) got a little too rowdy with the shotski or 3) let your dog come inside and drink from your beer stein. Either way, Arlington did his job with a thousand-watt smile and a generosity of spirit that demonstrates one thing: Arlington loves this place. When not slinging drinks at the bar, Arlington can be found snowboarding, alpine skiing, telemarking or touring in and around Crystal. He’s a man of many talents with true dedication and a kindness that pervades his every move. We on the ski patrol and within the royal court are so pleased to welcome Arlington into the fold. Congratulations Arlington on your dedication to this place. You’re going to make a great King.
Your new DB Queen is none other than the amazing Kate Markquart. You know her from her Airstream Trailer–the one with the wood stove–that can often be found in either B Lot or F Lot. Kate and her husband Nate spend most of their nights camped in that trailer (leaving only often enough to fulfill the USFS policy of 14 consecutive nights camped within the boundary.) Kate can also be found riding (or skiing) the mountain on any given day, that shy smile and blond hair carving a wake of beauty and grace. Kate has the face of an angel and a heart of gold. Just try keeping up with her. To know Kate is to love her, and she’s going to make a great Queen. Congratulations Kate!
We consider the DB King and Queen to be ambassadors for the patrol, and we take their role seriously. We honor their dedication to the sport we all love. It takes many years to become part of this Royal Court. For those of you that have ever given up something in your life–a mortgage, a better job, a girlfriend/boyfriend that just didn’t get it–in order to pursue your passion for skiing or snowboarding, then you understand a little of what it takes to wear the crown (or Wapiti Woolies Dirtbag Hat in this case). When you see Arlington and Kate out on the hill, throw them a high-five. They deserve it.
It’s that time of year again when the Crystal community reaches into its collective costume bin, dons wigs and top hats, scarves and mini skirts, and dances the night. The 15th annual Dirtbag Ball is happening this Saturday at the Bullwheel. This year’s theme is “Under the Big Top.”
Tickets are $25. Raffle tickets are $5. On sale now in the patrol room at the base area. We have some really great prizes this year. All proceeds benefit the ski patrol, allowing us to further our education in avalanche training, avalanche dog training and medical training. Plus, it’s the party of the year. Don’t miss this one.
Ever wanted to ski the hill like a local? Ever wished the tiny trail map in your pocket showed all the best runs at Crystal? Fatmap 3D trail mapping app lets you do just that. For every skier or rider who has tried to follow the new buddy they just met on the gondy into Left Angle Trees and lost their guide before Elk Pass, this app is for you. This trail map is also for those that know the mountain pretty well, but want to find all the nooks and crannies that locals allude to in the bar, but never quite explain how to find. For locals who already know everything there is to know about Crystal Mountain, this app will help you put your knowledge to the test.
Do I sound like a marketer? Maybe. But I know what I’m talking about because I wrote all the trail descriptions and (painstakingly) digitized the amazing satellite imagery used for these maps. (For those wondering why I’ve been absent from posting, this project has been a big part of that.)
Here’s how it works in a nutshell. You load the app on your phone. The free version shows all the marked runs plus the “points of interest” like restaurants and ski patrol locations (obviously the most interesting point of all *grin*). Just click on one of the marked runs and you will get a description of the trail. Click the “fly over” button and the view zooms to the top of the run then begins to fly over the run as if you were paragliding above it. It also follows you via GPS, so you can always figure out where you are.
For a few bucks more you get the pro version, which includes all the unmarked (and often hard to find) runs at the ski area. This is the real beauty of this trail map. Ever wondered how to find Damn Fine Forest? Just click on the list of freeride names and voila! You will find this this honey of a stash as well as how to access it. Never knew where S-Bend Chute is? Well now you can.
Fatmap started offering this amazing app last season in Europe. It’s just now coming on line in North America. This is the wave of the future in negotiating your favorite ski area. It’s also the very best tool in your kit for impressing the bar flies in the Snorting Elk, or that good looking guy or gal who’ve been hoping to chat up. Just pull out your phone and show him or her the app. You’ll have him/her at “loading”.
In addition to Crystal, they’re also launching a version of Whistler, Alta/Snowbird, Aspen, Big Sky, Jackson Hole, Squaw, and a bunch of others great resorts.
The 2014/15 ski season ended Sunday. While it may have been a tough season, it finished on a high note. We had a great turnout at Crystal, and everyone left with big smiles, red faces and memories that will last a lifetime. Many skiers and riders dressed in costumes, sporting tuts, wigs and even a seersucker suit.
Fortunately, many skiers and riders were also wearing bikinis. When Crystal Management decided at 1:30 pm to hold the Bikini Downhill, tweets went out and contestants arrived. As always, you had to show skin to win.
One snowboarder scissored his jeans into cutoffs, stripped off his shirt and went head to head against another equally scantily clad skier.
Stacy Steel and Caleb Cole each took home a 2015/16 season pass. Congratulations you two! No road rash and fun times by all.
Thanks again to everyone who came out Sunday! Also, a big shout out to everyone who continued to ski and ride this season, truly demonstrating the love of the sport. Even though the snow was skinny this season, the fun and passion still reigned.
We could use a few super heroes around here. I’m specifically thinking of Thor, who can summon the elements of a storm and travel through time. (If I were Thor, I’d take my Soul 7s back to 1970, conjure up a big storm and rip Southback all day long. Who’s with me?)
Get your entry tickets and be sure to get a couple of raffle tickets as well. Tickets available at RIGHT ANGLE SPORT SHOP, WAPITI WOOLIES and in the patrol room at the Summit House. In addition, you can email Lisa at lisamponcelet(at)gmail.com to purchase tickets. Good luck!!