This past weekend I headed up to the Pacific Northwest for my first ski trip. After years of Molly Baker and Re Wikstrom raving about Mt. Baker, and abandoning the canyons of Salt Lake City for the illustrious Shuksan Arm I headed North and landed squarely in Crystal Mountain. My heel click may of been misplaced, but Crystal was worth it’s own weight in exploring.
The Crystal Ball is a Marmot event for REI employees, just to say thanks for all their hard work selling Marmot products throughout the year. We filled the day with ski lessons, sidecountry adventures, lunch, raffles, pizza, and just a little bit of apres fun on the deck.
It was snowy and low visibility when we arrived on Saturday, but after a delicious 12 oz. Rib eye at the Alpine Inn (yes, I ate the whole thing), the skies cleared and we were welcomed with fresh snow and sunshine on Sunday morning. Our first sidecountry hike was breathtaking, with views of Mt. Rainier, Crystal mountain, and the Cascade range folding valleys in and out of the ridge lines. It was absolutely stunning. We didn’t end up skiing anything too gnarly, we weren’t there to scare people after all, Crystal definitely has lots of potential for some really fun lines!
Plus, the Junior Freeskiing Tour was competing in Crystal at the same time as the Crystal Ball. I may not of won a gold star for coaching this weekend (I have to freeski at some point, right?) but the Alta-Bird team killed it! Jacqueline Pollard, Jess Sterret, Tasha Heidwell, Perry Martin, Mackenzie Eperson-Vallum, Andrew Pollard, Grant, Howard all took home medals. Yeah team!