Skiier's mountain, Challenging hike to terrain, & Light crowd even on MLK weekend
Not as expansive as it looks on trail map, & Zero support businesses
My brother, finance & I went to Crystal Mountain on the Saturday of MLK weekend. We stayed with my brother at his apartment in Seattle, which was a good thing because there are no support businesses near Crystal Mountain. While I can't stand what these mega-resort companies have done to mountain towns all over the US & Canada, Crystal Mountain has nothing within at least 30 minutes of the mountain except for the small on-site hotel. No gas, No local restaurant, Nothing. Realistically, you need to stay in Seattle & do the 2 hour drive. On the flip side, this is definitely a mountain were skiing comes first & all that resort bull is left behind.
The mountain is well laid out. Adequate beginner runs for my fiance & plenty of challenging terrain for my brother & I. Running laps on Chinook Express w/ my fiance & then running up Rainier Express w/ my brother to go through one of the gates under the chair when my fiance took a break was perfect. We were also able to do the same split time combo on the Forrest Queen Express & High Campbell Chair. Only had time to run over to the Green Valley & Northway chairs a couple of times, but there seemed to be some good challenging runs over there.
The best part of this mountain for me is the hike-to terrain off the High Campbell chair. For me the traverse & hike was fine once the make your way through the icy entrance under the chair, but it was a little challenging for my brother on his snowboard. The snow was definitely adequate considering the poor snowfall so far this season & the fact that we had to stay in the Campbell Basin to get back to my waiting fiance.