It seems that the West Coast is a little jealous of the early skiing in the East.
Crystal Mountain, WA (Tuesday, November 1, 2005) -
A groomer was hard at work today in Crystal Mountain's Green Valley to pack snow into a usable base. The Washington State ski and snowboard resort announced this evening that it will open for skiing and riding on Friday. (photo: Crystal Mountain)
Washington State's Crystal Mountain ski and snowboard resort announced this evening that they will open for skiing and riding on Friday, Nov. 4 for its earliest opening in the past 28 years.
The announcement comes one day after Whistler Blackcomb in southwestern British Columbia announced that it would fire up its lifts on Blackcomb Mountain on Saturday. With a one-day head start on its northern neighbor, Crystal is signaling that it, too, is hungry to shake off the negative image created by last winter's dismal Pacific Northwest snow year.
Crystal's Chinook Express, Rainier Express and Green Valley lifts will run daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. No beginner terrain will yet be available. Food services and ski/snowboard rentals will be offered, but the resort's Ski & Snowboard school will remain closed until the lower area opens. Lift tickets will be reduced due to limited operations but those rates have not yet been set.
Mountain staffers are reporting already 28 inches of snow at the top of the mountain, and 14 inches at the base. A fleet of snowcats are currently working to pack down the snow to establish an early-season base. Forecasts are calling for more snow for the rest of the week and into the weekend, and Crystal plans to open more lifts and terrain as soon the snow permits.