With a series of snowstorms in December right up until Christmas, Northwest skiers and riders are flocking to the mountains to slake our thirst from last winter's drought. And the slopes haven't disappointed.
It's still dark when we leave Seattle on a freezing cold morning. Gonna be really cold up there in the mountains I think as I scrape heavy frost off the windshield.
Even in the predawn, Rainier looms large on the eastern horizon. I snap a few windshield shots en route at 60+ miles per hour. (No I wasn't driving.)
|The world is a little fuzzy this early on New Year's morning. From Interstate 5.|
|30+ minutes later, from Enumclaw|
Even though we arrive before the lifts open, a steady stream of cars has already half filled the lower B lot at Crystal, and people are crowding onto the parking lot shuttle. Wait, isn't everyone else supposed to be nursing their New Year's Eve hangovers?
So we get our tickets (sigh, no reloading your card online anymore for that discount and bypassing the ticket line) and head on up.
After a few warm-up runs over on Forest Queen, it's time to go up to the top. Because of that view.
And of course the great skiing down the upper bowls.
|Probably one of the most popular photo spots in the state of Washington.|
|Looking back up Green Valley.|
Nothing makes me feel quite so alive as an excellent day skiing under blue skies in the mountain fresh cold air. What a way to start the year.
I hope your year is off to an equally good start.
When You Go
Crystal Mountain is about 70-80 road miles southeast from Seattle (depending on where you start from in the city) on the northeastern edge of Mt. Rainier National Park. Check out their website for details on lift pricing, hours of operation, etc.