If you’re hoping to ski this weekend, Crystal Mountain is probably your only option.
Thursday’s record snowfall closed the Snoqualmie, Stevens, White and Blewett passes, also shutting down Seattle-area ski resorts that rely on the passes. Crystal Mountain Resort, meanwhile, remains open and anticipates a busy weekend – for those who already hold tickets.
Extreme weather conditions knocked down trees and closed the 410 freeway leading to Crystal on Thursday, but the road was opened on Friday morning, clearing the only path to the tracks this weekend. Before you go, there are several caveats to consider – here’s what you need to know.
Ticket holders only
First, thanks to unprecedented ticket demand this year, which created headaches for ski areas in western Washington, Crystal is no longer selling day passes on weekends. This means that you will need a season pass, an already purchased reservation or a multiresort. Ikon Pass to ski this weekend.
The point is, if you hadn’t planned to be at Crystal this weekend last month, you’re probably out of luck.
Set your alarm
If you had the good idea to ski Crystal with the other ski areas closed for the weekend, you are not alone.
“We plan to have normal operations in the next few days,” said Tiana Anderson, director of sales and marketing for Crystal Mountain. “The caveat about this is always ‘weather permitting’ of course,” she said. “We advise people to get up early and get to the station – we’re expecting a lot of people this weekend.”
She reiterated that with the passes closed until Sunday, Crystal is one of the few options available to skiers this weekend, and visitors should anticipate the crowds.
The biggest capacity challenge, Anderson said, is parking on the mountain. From January 15, parking reservations will be required at Crystal, but for this weekend, parking remains on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
You can avoid the parking rush by booking the free resort shuttle bus from the Enumclaw Expo & Event Center to crystalmountainexpress.com.
“Once the parking lot is full, the only way to get to the mountain will be on one of these buses,” Anderson said. Buses will move if possible, but the resort “cannot guarantee”.
The shuttles are “luxury coaches” that run from the Enumclaw Expo & Event Center North Lot to the resort from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and then depart from the resort between 2:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., Anderson said. Masks are mandatory to take the shuttle.
The Enumclaw Lot, which hosts the annual King County Fair, can hold 1,000 or more cars, Anderson noted.
If you go to the mountains, however, the weekend conditions are shaping up to be a powder lover’s dream.
“The temperatures are dropping, we are still expecting 6 to 8 inches of snow [Friday], and persistent flurries throughout the weekend, ”Anderson said. Temperatures are not expected to drop low enough to create icy driving conditions, she stressed. “In this case, the snow is going to stay higher in the mountains where it belongs,” she said.
The high mountain was closed due to high winds on Friday, according to the resort’s website, but Anderson expects it to reopen. For off-piste skiers, the resort’s routes are closed and climbs are strongly discouraged due to the risk of avalanches.
Check out the latest information on mountain conditions and closures at st.news/Cristal or on the station Facebook Where Twitter accounts. To verify the latest news from the Washington State Department of Transportation to be sure.