Backcountry Skiing Crystal Mountain, Washington

Beacon Guide Books

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Crystal Mountain stands as the only ski area in Washington that was designed for skiers by skiers. Like the skiers and boarders today, miners in the 1800s came seeking their fortune. Traces of gold brought prospectors to Silver Creek, known as the ‘Summit Mining District. By 1949 the decline in the mining left behind their legacy through the colorful names for the landmarks we hike and ride today. Like the miners, skiers were looking for another place to ski and build a ski area after the failure of getting one started on Mt Rainier. Initial exploration included several ski touring trips to Corral Pass and Silver Creek to assess the terrain. They even suffered the first avalanche accident (no one died), finding enough snow and terrain to commit and by 1955 sent in a proposal. The lifts started spinning in 1962. Crystal Mountain first received national attention in 1965 hosting the National Alpine Championships. The event drew legendary skiers from Europe and North America including Jimmie Heuga, Billy Kidd and Jean Claude Killy. The skiing remained world class while the ski area languished due to lack of investment. New ownership brought excitement with better lifts, which brought more skiers out to North and South Back and the boundary lines. Small groups of locals continued to explore past the ski area boundaries and slowly images of dry, deep, pow in wide open bowls, glades and steep chutes drew attention to the place. Despite decades of touring and exploring, the sense of finding a run for first time continues with a tradition of not naming every rock, chute and open face.

In Store Pick Up Available December 17th

Available to Ship December 18th 


Category: Guidebook

Type: Books and Maps


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