No two ways about it: [R124R, Crystal Mountain] is big.

There's 2,600 rideable acres - 2,300 of which is lift served - and a 3,100-foot vertical that includes steeps, glades, chutes, in-bounds backcountry, and cruisers. Crystal lays claim to being Washington largest ski and snowboard resort.

Crystal is also big on fun, as the weekend of March 27-29 can attest.

Check out the Mervin Snowboard Demo Day Friday, March 27. Bring a credit card (for just-in-case purposes) and an ID and you test out - for free - all the newest gear that's going be on the slopes next winter.

The Sturtevants Spring Fling Demo Day on Saturday, March 28, is the time for two-plankers to check out what's new in ski gear for 2009-10.

While you're testing out those new skis you might want to put them through their paces in the Crown Standard Citizen's Downhill that afternoon. This race, which started the year Crystal opened in 1964, is for amateur gate enthusiasts as well as first-time competitors.

After all that, you can chill out at the annual Dirt Bag Ball, a benefit for the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol. This year's theme is Cowboys and Callgirls and tickets are $25. Contact Lisa at for details.

Finally, you can help raise money for the American Cancer Society Sunday, March 29 - and maybe score some cool prizes - by participating in the Hope on the Slopes event. Individuals and teams of skiers and snowboarders can compete in two categories: Dollars raised for ASC or total vertical feet accumulated on that day. You can get more information or register online.