Backstory and Context
Crystal Mountain is a popular ski resort in Washington state however it was originally not a ski resort first it was a hard rock mine. this was both a gold and coal mine. In Fact, there are still some open mining tunnels that you can go into. Both the highway leading up to crystal 410 highway and crystal mountain boulevard were built with the purpose of getting to and from the mine. There are still cabins lining the road and up near the mine that was once home to miners and builders when they were building the road and while the mine was still in active use.
After the mine was inactive there was some infrastructure leftover and it was eventually decided to attempt to build a ski resort in 1955, and a deal was made with the forest to let them build a ski resort there. The ski resort opened in 1962 and held the national ski championships in 1965 which got crystal a bit of attention early on. However, this success wouldn't last long and for the next couple of decades, the resort grew very slowly not getting very little attention. But in 1988, Crystal was the first resort in Washington to put in a four-seater detachable high-speed chairlift. Yet again the extent was short-lived due to a few years with limited snow. This put the resort deep in debt and that would only get fixed in 1997 when Boyne USA purchased Crystal Mountain which helped the mountain tremendously with Boyne putting 15million dollars into the ski resort immediately after buying it.
Crystal mountain was sold once again in the fall of 2018 to the Altera Mountain Company. This made the crystal part of the ikon pass which is a large collection of mountains all under one pass which has its pros and cons. Crystal joined resorts such as Jackson hole and mammoth mountain on the ikon pass. As a crystal mountain local but also someone who travels a lot to ski being a ski racer it is very beneficial for me to have the ikon pass but it does make the resort more crowded especially during peak times such as Christmas. This last purchase of crystal is a piece of the mountain’s history that I have been able to experience wich feels special to be able to be part of somethings hist
Scott, Douglas, and Douglas Scott. “A History of Skiing at Crystal Mountain.” SouthSoundTalk, November 8, 2018. http://www.southsoundtalk.com/2017/12/12/history-skiing-crystal-mountain/.
“Crystal Mountain - A Brief History.” Black Diamond NOW. Accessed June 1, 2020. https://www.blackdiamondnow.net/black-diamond-now/2015/12/crystal-mountain-a-brief-history.html.
crystalmountainresort.com. Accessed June 1, 2020. https://www.crystalmountainresort.com/discover-crystal/about-crystal/our-story.