Summit elevation: 7,012 feet. Vertical Drop: 3,100 feet. Skiable Terrain: 2,300 acres. Average Annual Snowfall: 340 inches. Lifts: Two high-speed six-packs, two high-speed quads, two triples, three doubles, one surface tow for children.
Crystal Mountain is 76 miles from Seattle, 64 miles from Tacoma and 205 miles from Portland. From Tacoma, exit I-5 at Hwy. 410 East. About 33 miles past Enumclaw, look for the signs to turn left onto Crystal Mountain Boulevard.
At the Silver Creek Lodge: Sourdough Sal's (360-663-2265; family-style fare, full bar). At the Alpine Inn: Alpine Inn Restaurant (360-663-7727; elegant fish, meat and pasta dishes, full bar); The Snorting Elk Deli (360-663-7727; fresh, homemade sandwiches and pizzas); The Snorting Elk Cellar (360-663-7798; microbrews on tap and pizza from the deli).
Crystal Mountain Hotels (Alpine Inn, Village Inn, Quicksilver Lodge): 888-754-6400 or 360-663-2262; website: www.CrystalHotels.com; email: reservations@CrystalHotels.com. Alta Crystal Resort: 800-277-6475 or 360-663-2500; website: www.altacrystalresort.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Crystal Mountain Lodging Suites: 888-668-4368 or 360-663-2558; website: www.CrystalMtLodging-wa.com; email: email@example.com.
Visit Rainier Rides Ski & Snowboard Demo Shop in the Alpine Inn building to rent snowshoes (half day: $21; full day: $26; 360-663-0182; www.rainier-rides.com) and pick up a map, then head up the Bullion Basin Trail, No. 1156. The trailhead is on a snowmobile track behind the Chapel. There is some cross-country skiing in Mount Rainier National Park; find out about open trails and rent equipment at Greenwater Ski ($18 per day for cross-country skis; $15 per day for snowshoes; 360-663-2235) in the hamlet of Greenwater, about 20 minutes west of Crystal Mountain on Highway 410.
TBD. For 2000-01, an adult lift ticket cost $40, ages 11-17 cost $35.
A GOOD DEAL
At Crystal, kids ages 10 and under ski for free. Also: During high season (Dec. 16 to March 18), chartered luxury buses ferry skiers from Seattle and other nearby towns to the mountain. A combination bus/lift ticket is $57.
Crystal Mountain, 360-663-2265; www.skicrystal.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. Snow report: 888-754-6199.