CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN – The line for the gondola Wednesday morning at Crystal Mountain wrapped around the base lodge, but after the hour wait skiers and snowboarders were rewarded with a valley full of fluffy snow.
“It’s pretty good for opening day,” said Tiana Enger, Crystal Mountain’s spokeswoman.
Enger said the ski area was taken by surprise by the number of people who turned out early for the first day of ski season. Ski area crews scrambled to open a second chair lift to shuttle visitors to the upper mountain and by 11 a.m. the base area lines were virtually nonexistent. Statistics for opening day visitation will not be available until later this afternoon.
Only Green Valley and the terrain below the Rainier Express lift were open for skiing Wednesday. While skiers and boarders found enough snow to cover the tops of their boots, the lower mountain still has exposed rocks and shrubs.
Crystal plans to open more terrain today.
Lift tickets will be $50 today ($58 including gondola access). Enger says operations beyond Friday will be weather dependent.