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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    47

    Stevens Pass vs. Crystal Mountain

    Hey guys,
    I need some help. I'm looking to buy a seasons pass, even though I should've done it months ago, for one of my home mountains. I have the choice between Stevens (499+tax) or Crystal (999+tax). I'm aiming to do a lot of ski touring this year and have a lightweight set-up ready to go. I want to ski the best backcountry for my money. i've been skiing for two years at stevens so it's not like i'm running out of terrain there, but on the other hand I need something new. What do you think

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
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    5,494
    Crystal has better inbounds, Stevens has better backcountry. Thats the limit of my knowledge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Seattle
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    29,816
    You should ask someone from CO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  4. #4
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Have you not skiied at Crystal? I'm baffled by this

    But you should really get a pass at Whistler.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Posts
    6,185
    Easy answer is Baker.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tall trees, cold seas
    Posts
    273
    Well, were are you located? Is Baker too far for you? If you really want good BC, Baker is by far the best and there passes are $725. Both Crystal and Stevens are great...its really hard to choose between the two.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    Maybe ask your BC partners where they're going to buy passes?
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Posts
    6,185
    Red boots or blue boots?

    Answer to this will confirm where you should buy a pass.

  9. #9
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    In the umlaut equivariant colimit of PNW ski areas, with proper Corinthian Crenillations, the pan-ecospantastic Zamonian lizard suckers admit a decomposition of the Unitarian Universalist Poincare' Church.

    While the Squareheads have their punitive Lutherian lutefisk and despite having lost Ballard to legions of omnisexual social climbers, the Scottish Presbeterians have threatened to move their Scottish Rites from their nests on Capitol Hill down to their Haggis Factory in Burien.

    Meanwhile, the Catholics dodging lawsuits from victims of thir preyers have insisted that no Episcopalian excuses for divorce will sumperimpose their rancor for the most devout yet victim free absolutions, independent of tithes.

    The resulting conflict regarding which ski area is the best is a m00t issue until these more fundamental orthogonal vectors can resolved into nontrivial inner products.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  10. #10
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Red boots or blue boots?
    If you wear one red boot you'll find yourself boinking carrie fisher.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alpental
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    3,503
    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    Crystal has better inbounds, Stevens has better backcountry. Thats the limit of my knowledge.
    hahahahahaha
    I have a responsibility to not be intimidated and bullied by low life losers who abuse what little power is granted to them as ski patrollers.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    If you wear one red boot you'll find yourself boinking carrie fisher.
    Very well played.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Posts
    6,185
    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Very well played.
    I had to google it...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Posts
    5,494
    Quote Originally Posted by snoqpass View Post
    hahahahahaha
    Glad to see someone around here has a sense of humor... it took THAT long?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Highyak
    Posts
    282
    Why are you riding a chairlift if you want to ride outside of resort boundaries? There's quite a bit of access to great backcountry terrain in the winter throughout the Cascades if you're willing to earn it.

    Strictly-speaking, for lift-assisted terrain, Crystal's got the upper hand. Both the North- and Southback are incredible. But, that terrain's within Crystal's boundaries and therefore is subject to closure due to conditions.

    Steven's has a different view on backcountry terrain. Unless the ski resort or DOT are doing avalanche control that could impact folks leaving the boundaries, they consider what's on the other side of the ropes true backcountry where you can go at your own risk regardless of conditions. Uncontrolled and unpatrolled, there have been a number of accidents, some leading to fatalities. You really need to know what you're doing should you leave the boundaries because once you are out there, you are much more on your own than you would be in the designated backcountry zones @ Crystal.

    I know the Steven's BC very well. It's got great hike-to terrain, so I'm biased towards it. On the whole, Crystal tends to get less snow than Stevens. Crystal's usually in the rainshadow of Mt. Rainier and doesn't get any convergence zone snow, so a great day at Crystal tends to be an absolutely epic day anywhere else in the Cascades. That said, Crystal has the highest elevation around, which means they get less rain and generally dryer snow. But if you are worried about riding in the rain and the density of the snow, you wouldn't ski in the Northwest to begin with.

    Steven's definitely has a better vibe to it, as the financial bar for entry is much lower for passholders there. The crowd is limited by the availability of parking space and unless you really screw it up, you're always able to easily ski/ride back to your car and only face a few minutes of walking back to the base (vs. Crystal's satellite parking lots and shuttles).

    Source: I've been riding 50+ days in the PNW since I moved to Seattle in the fall of 2006. The past few years, I've bought both a pass to Summit and one to Steven's. Last season I took Boyne up on their Gold pass offer and got 5 days of riding in @ Crystal in addition to having a full pass to Summit and another to Steven's. Traditionally, I'd ride at Summit on midweek days after school/work and bag the occasional weekday morning when the conditions are good. Crowds in Snoqualmie Pass are tough on the weekends, so I'd head to Steven's, where a lot of my friends had passes and the crowds are better distributed. However, now that I've got a nice BC setup, I'm reluctant to continue to double-down on passes. I've already bought a pass to Summit, since it's nice to drive an hour on the interstate to ride, and I'm thinking if I want to get away from the crowds on the weekend I can head out with my other touring-inclined friends into the woods, conditions-permitting. If the conditions aren't favorable for being outside the ropes, I'm perfectly content to deal with the crowds inbounds because regardless of where I go, I'll have to, as it won't be safe to hike to a lot of my favorite zones in the Steven's BC.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    47
    I know that crystal is far superior but is it worth the price difference?
    also im in downtown seattle

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachc15 View Post
    I know that crystal is far superior but is it worth the price difference?
    Have you considered Alpental? I hear they have padded seats.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Stuck in perpetual Meh
    Posts
    35,376
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    In the umlaut equivariant colimit of PNW ski areas, with proper Corinthian Crenillations, the pan-ecospantastic Zamonian lizard suckers admit a decomposition of the Unitarian Universalist Poincare' Church.

    While the Squareheads have their punitive Lutherian lutefisk and despite having lost Ballard to legions of omnisexual social climbers, the Scottish Presbeterians have threatened to move their Scottish Rites from their nests on Capitol Hill down to their Haggis Factory in Burien.

    Meanwhile, the Catholics dodging lawsuits from victims of thir preyers have insisted that no Episcopalian excuses for divorce will sumperimpose their rancor for the most devout yet victim free absolutions, independent of tithes.

    The resulting conflict regarding which ski area is the best is a m00t issue until these more fundamental orthogonal vectors can resolved into nontrivial inner products.
    But what of the Animists? Gotta be a couple of them in those parts.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Big Sky
    Posts
    1,397
    Strictly considering the terrain:

    Stevens is great fun, but Crystal wins this round hands down IMO. You can tick lines off in south back alone for days after a storm. Right back to the lift.

    Weekdays FTW.

  20. #20
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    Sep 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipedream View Post
    Strictly-speaking, for lift-assisted terrain, Crystal's got the upper hand. Both the North- and Southback are incredible. But, that terrain's within Crystal's boundaries and therefore is subject to closure due to conditions.

    Steven's has a different view on backcountry terrain. Unless the ski resort or DOT are doing avalanche control that could impact folks leaving the boundaries, they consider what's on the other side of the ropes true backcountry where you can go at your own risk regardless of conditions. Uncontrolled and unpatrolled, there have been a number of accidents, some leading to fatalities. You really need to know what you're doing should you leave the boundaries because once you are out there, you are much more on your own than you would be in the designated backcountry zones @ Crystal. .


    This is inaccurate insofar as "NorthBack" and "Southback" @ Crustal are lift served areas, so by any reasonably well informed definition, not backcountry.
    Given any reasonable definition of "backcountry", Stevens and Crustal policies are similar with the exception being one avalanche prone zone at Crustal off the top of chair 6 (High Campbell) called Kempers which is under permanent closure.

    Anyway, asking for differences in Puget Sound ski areas is like asking a wad of religious k00ks whose religion is better.
    (excuse the omission of Animists and their Enumclaw sport facilities...)
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alpental
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    5,374
    Quote Originally Posted by beachc15 View Post
    also im in downtown seattle
    I'd be leery of seeking backcountry in downtown Seattle.
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  22. #22
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Mofro261 View Post
    I'd be leery of seeking backcountry in downtown Seattle.
    The Herpes Triangle hasn't lost it's mojo?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Uptown
    Posts
    6,227
    You would probably have to go down to Pioneer Square for the hardcore backcountry.
    Living vicariously through myself.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Seattle
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    6,281
    stevens is way better.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    stevens is way better.
    ^

    You can trust Oft on this.

    He spends inordinate amounts of time when he goes touring in WA.

    Ask nicely and perhaps he'll let you wait for him at the top of a skin track one day.


    (love ya Oft)
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

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