Reeve Petersen was one of about 200 people stranded at Crystal Mountain on Thursday and Friday and he couldn’t have been happier.
“I heard the road might be open tomorrow,” Petersen said this morning after a powder run, “but secretly we’re hoping it’s not.”
Unfortunately for Petersen and fortunately for other skiers and snowboarders around the South Sound, State Route 410 was expected to reopen this evening. Downed trees forced the closure of the road between Federation Forest and Enumclaw early Thursday morning.
“It is awful,” Crystal Mountain spokeswoman Tiana Enger said, feigning distress. “All this powder and nobody to ski it.”
Those stuck at the mountain had what Enger described as a private mountain experience.
Enger lives at the mountain and said it was a little eerie seeing the parking lot so empty.
“It’s such a ghost town,” Enger said. “… But Mother Nature is in control.”
With the power out and the phones down but generators powering the lifts Enger and other employees were able to hit the slopes.
Thursday and Friday were particularly enjoyable days for Petersen who works as a waiter at the resort’s Summit House where he’s watched enviously all season as visitors on Friday and Saturday mornings have carved the first tracks.
“I’ve done a bunch of runs this morning and I haven’t crossed another (snowboarder’s) line yet,” Petersen said via cell phone. “It’s amazing.”
Crystal Mountain has received 18 inches of new snow in the last 48 hours.
Enger said the hotel offered discounts Thursday night to accommodate stranded skiers and snowboarder.
The road was briefly opened Friday morning so some skiers and Greenwater residents could be escorted past the downed trees. Greenwater was without power on Thursday and Friday.
Enger said Crystal Mountain plans to open with normal operations Saturday. However, multi-week lessons and its first tracks breakfast program will be cancelled.