Crystal Mountain, WA

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31 thoughts on “Crystal Mountain, WA

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  2. pasogjoi November 2, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    I’m really glad Crystal didn’t go the cheap route by installing a yan detachable in 1988. The Poma detachable may have bankrupted the original company, but it surely prevented an accident like the Quicksilver one, considering how steep the lift line of REX is.

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    • Raj Thorp March 4, 2020 / 7:58 am

      Yes, but Quicksilver was only one incident before all Yan detachables got retrofitted. If it was installed, it most likely would not have had issues, and then a better company like Doppelmayr would have refurbished the grips

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  3. Aidan June 7, 2020 / 9:07 pm

    Why was the Bullion Basin lift removed without a replacement? It doesn’t sound like Crystal to abandon a good amount of terrain for a smaller expansion.

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    • pbropetech June 8, 2020 / 1:29 pm

      It was removed in ’82 or ’83, if I recall. The decision was driven by a combination of low skier numbers and poor snow coverage on the bottom of that pod. Others have noted the poor financial condition of CMI before the sale to Boyne, which is why it was never replaced. Of course, skier numbers rebounded and then skyrocketed, and although I haven’t skied there in a few years, I don’t recall seeing bare patches there much before the rest of the area if at all. When I worked there in the 90s we used to hike the pod from the Gold Hills road. Solid intermediate skiing- would be fun to lap off of a lift.

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      • Utah Powder Skier September 29, 2020 / 5:33 pm

        So Crystal Mountain had 2 lifts from Mt. Pilchuck and they didn’t install any of them at Bullion Basin after the triple was relocated? I would think that with a Riblet on a mountain with more Riblets there would have make one of the lifts from Mt. Pilchuck a great fit. It wouldn’t have been too hard to re-install one of those lifts there because If I’m correct, the footings from the old Bullion Basin are still there.

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        • pbropetech October 1, 2020 / 8:13 am

          Not sure why that didn’t happen. By the time I started there everyone from that era was either retired or had moved on. As far as the footers go, Riblets were direct-embedded towers in those days so modifications would have had to happen to use them.If CMI wasn’t keen on spending the money to install one they probably wouldn’t have wanted to add to those costs.

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  4. Vintage Chairlifts August 15, 2020 / 7:01 pm

    A couple of CM’s old lifts are still spinning at other areas. Iceberg Ridge is now at Antelope Butte, WY and the Midway Shuttle is now at Loup Loup, WA. Probably others I’m forgetting…

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    • reaperskier August 15, 2020 / 10:03 pm

      Rendezvous was relocated to Big Sky as Cascade.

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    • pbropetech October 1, 2020 / 8:15 am

      Chair 5 went somewhere as well. I know when we replaced 9 with Forest Queen, the removal crew was very careful pulling out both lifts and the foreman told me where 5 was headed. I vaguely recall that it was Antelope as well, but I could be mistaken.

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  5. Vintage Chairlifts September 11, 2020 / 9:01 pm

    Old photo of the Iceberg Ridge lift:

    Crystal Mountain Ski Resort April 1963

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    • Joe Blake February 27, 2021 / 8:35 pm

      Chair 2. Iceberg Ridge was just a dumb marketing name. Better by quite some many degrees than Forest Queen, but still. That is an awesome pic, though, irregardless. Wait. Apple thinks “irregardless” is a word. WUT

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  6. Cascade Concrete February 22, 2022 / 11:51 am

    Before my time, but my parents both claim C-5 (Campbell Basin) briefly had a bubble on it when it was first installed. Can anyone corroborate that, or are they crazy? Can’t find any mention of it online.

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    • pbropetech March 7, 2022 / 8:17 pm

      No. My first recollections of chair 5 were when it was already ten years old, but there were no bubbles then. By the time I worked on it (in its truncated version) I can definitely tell you it had no way to attach bubbles. Unless it had some test carriers and they were removed like the original Flyer at Copper. It did have footrests, which were both unusual in that era and necessary on a 7000′ lift.

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      • Cascade Concrete March 7, 2022 / 8:25 pm

        That’s what I figured, the whole story didn’t pass the smell test for me. My dad claims it was only one season, either the ‘74-‘75 or the ‘75-‘76 season.

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        • pbropetech March 8, 2022 / 4:19 pm

          Like I said, they might have had some test carriers. Those seasons were right before I was born so I definitely wouldn’t have seen them.

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    • pbropetech March 7, 2022 / 8:24 pm

      First glance, probably not. The terrain in that area is alternately too flat to ski, or too steep for beginners. It’s the runout for a fair amount of lines in the South Back, and as I recall there were some places where you had to strap out and walk as a snowboarder. The upper part of your line lies on the lower part of the ridge between A-basin and Silver Basin and both sides are steep. Parts of it may work, I’d have to put it into Google Earth 3D to jog my memory.

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      • Myles Svec March 7, 2022 / 8:32 pm

        This lift line probably works a bit better after looking at the topography some more.

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        • pbropetech March 21, 2022 / 7:46 am

          That one might work. As I recall that area would produce some steeper greens, similar to lower Queen’s run or upper Tinkerbell.

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  7. wjmerriman March 10, 2022 / 11:57 am

    Were Miner’s Basin and Iceberg Ridge connected at one point (with a midstation?). The trail maps from the 80’s make it look like this is the case

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    • pbropetech March 21, 2022 / 7:41 am

      No, but the top of 1 and the bottom of 2 were immediately adjacent. One had to get off 1 to skier’s right, then skate or herringbone to get under tower 2 of 2 and around to the maze. It was an awkward setup. The redesign of ’88 when 10 and 11 were installed was light-years better.

      Crystal did some questionable lift locating when they installed their first generation of lifts- the bottom of 1 was across the creek to the west of the lodge (requiring a walk); 4, 5, and the T-bar were uphill of the lodge (requiring a walk or riding the rope tows); original 6 (7 between ’80 and ’82) wasn’t even in the base area but in upper C-lot, downhill from the lodge about half a mile and unconnected to the rest of the ski area save by a service road. I never rode it (I was 6 when it was relocated) but I’d have to imagine that the Crystal Inn served as a sort of day lodge for just that lift and its trail pod. When I started working there the Inn was already a sit-down restaurant.

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      • pbropetech March 21, 2022 / 7:53 am

        The bottom of 2 was right behind the top shack of 1 in this photo. You can barely see the service road to the old drive vault in the corner of the picture (the vault was used for many years as a grip bay for chair 10).

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    • Cascade Concrete April 22, 2022 / 11:21 pm

      That’s the original Green Valley lift!

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      • pbropetech April 23, 2022 / 10:05 am

        I miss old chair 3. I have yet to actually ride its replacement, actually, as it went in after I had moved away.

        I might have been skiing there the day this photo was taken. It would have been my junior year, so I was a parking lot attendant on the weekends. Crystal wasn’t crowded on weekdays then so I suspect this photo is from a Saturday or Sunday.

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