The area is a large patch of terrain along the north side of Crystal Mountain's designated permit boundary. The lift will provide access to approximately 1,000 new acres and increase Crystal Mountain's 1,300 acres of lift serviced ski terrain by 77 percent to 2,300. It's the first new lift-serviced terrain to open in Washington in almost 20 years.
The likely name for the new lift is "Northway" and it will deposit skiers at the top of Northway Peak after a ride of just under 10 minutes. From there, skiers can choose between Snorting Elk Bowl, Northway Bowl, Paradise Bowl and Bruce's Bowl, following Right Angle Ridge to a variety of expert glades and chutes or heading farther north to drop into places like Morning Glory Bowl and Brand X.
Northway is a double chairlift that will move along at a faster-than-standard rate of 550 feet per minute but will limit skier capacity in the new terrain to 1,200 people per hour. This will increase the existing 19,110 people per hour lift capacity to 20,310.
"It's about the skiing," said Crystal Mountain General Manager John Kircher. "I'm sure people appreciate the big high capacity lifts that we have on the front side of Crystal. We have a job to do handling the crowds here but we all see how fast the snow gets tracked out. The new lift in the Northback is designed to provide access but keep the snow quality higher."