[R124R, Crystal Mountain Resort] may just have opened the highest shop in Washington State. The new RDL Test Center, located at the summit of the resort, just opened for skiers and riders to test-drive equipment.

The location of the RDL Test Center — below the top station of the Mt. Rainier Gondola — provides a demo service not found at too many resorts. Skiers and riders can lap the Mt. Rainier Express or the gondola, stopping at the top to swap out gear for the next run. The convenience means more time on the slopes and less walking to a base area shop.

Crystal Mtn RDL Test Center

You can test-drive snowboards at Crystal's new RDL Test Center. Photo courtesy of Crystal Mountain Resort.

Several departments at Crystal vied to use the space below the top gondola station. But the RDL Test Center won out. At 6,856 feet in elevation, it is the highest place to test out gear in Washington.

The name of the demo center comes from the primary companies that are featured in the shop: Rossignol, Dynastar, and Lange. The close working relationship between Crystal Mountain and those companies will benefit those demoing gear in a unique way: “We’ll even be carrying some equipment not available on the market yet,” said RDL Test Center Manager Martin Rand. “You might even be able to test prototypes for upcoming models.”

Crystal Mtn RDL Test Center

Crystal's RDL Test Center plans to demo prototypes for future ski models. Photo courtesy of Crystal Mountain Resort.

To demo ski or snowboard packages costs $60 per day. The packages include skis, boots, bindings, and poles or snowboards, bindings, and boots. Skis and snowboards are available to demo with your own boots for $48. To demo ski boots only costs $30. You can swap out the demo gear as many times as you like. Those demoing gear can pick up boards from the Mountain Shop at the bottom of the gondola, but trade in skis or snowboards at the RDL Test Center during the day.

The RDL Test Center also carries retail items, such as goggles, helmets, and other accessories.

Find more information here.