Wax and prepare these skis and snowboards. After more than a week of delay, one of Washington’s ski resorts is preparing for a limited opening this weekend.
Crystal Mountain Resort near Mount Rainier welcomes season pass holders and kids taking ski and snowboarding lessons on December 4 and 5.
The resort’s Ski & Ride School lessons will be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Subscription holders will have access to certain tracks from 2 p.m.
The limited access comes from the fact that colder temperatures allowed artificial snow. Typically, the resort opens around Thanksgiving.
“We anticipate the distinct possibility that subsequent start-ups will continue to occur,” said Frank DeBerry, President and CEO of Crystal Mountain.
DeBerry attributed the delay in warmer-than-usual temperatures this fall to “atmospheric rivers” that hit the Pacific Northwest last month.
“We are producers of snow, aren’t we? So like everyone who depends on the weather, climate change has a huge impact on the business, ”DeBerry said.
DeBerry said the delays could also impact sales.
“It’s nothing that we don’t think we can get over at this point in the season,” DeBerry said.
The resort has around 600 employees and COVID-related labor shortages were not an issue, according to DeBerry, who said the recruitment efforts and the offer of higher wages and ski benefits improved have attracted enough workers.
“The people who come to work here, they do it because we all love being in the mountains,” DeBerry said.
Employees like Jake Doepker, a senior lift operator at Crystal Mountain, echoed the desire to get back on the slopes.
“This whole season is going to be great. I just know that. I think it’s going to be great. This coming La Nina is really going to help us and I look forward to the deep powder days ahead,” Doepker said. .
The station will close Monday and post a reopening date based on snow forecast.