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  1. #876
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldMember View Post
    Seriously, we have skiers lost requiring SAR in-bounds. It's so foggy, people have been lost for days.... [sarcasm meter may be required]

    I rode a chair one day with a guy, talking to him about where he's from, blah, blah, blah. It was one of those foggy periods we get around mid-January where we can be socked in for days. He says he's on his third day and been having a fun time, telling me what he's been skiing and so on. I asked him if he'd had a chance to ski the back bowl or any of the Lakeside Chutes. He looked at me curiously; "What's the back bowl?. He seriously wasn't aware of the other bowl, only frontside. I realize you might not be able to see it all the time in the fog but look at a trail map.
    On my first and only day at Schweitzer (skiing solo, pow day, no vis, no crowds after an accident closed the access road), I was skiing the Lakeview lift first thing and needed to follow the music being played by the base station of the lift to find my way back to it. Wild experience, but good snow and a pretty fun mountain.

  2. #877
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    Quote Originally Posted by XavierD View Post
    If you put Jackson-Big Sky-Alta-Schweitzer together, Whistler-Blackcomb is still a better mountain, and closer.
    Can I have some of what your smoking?


    Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  3. #878
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    WB is sick, no doubt. But I am pumped to have Schweitzer and Red join the Ikon party. That's a great road trip from Seattle and you are changing scenes from coastal to more of a Rocky Mountain snowpack and terrain. Great change of pace from Crystal and not too far a drive.

  4. #879
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    Mar 2005
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    I hate that another resort is on the Ikon, especially a treasured one such as Schweitzer, knowing what it does firsthand to that local vibe and culture. That being said, I can't wait to visit.

    Ironic, yes totally.

  5. #880
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    Sep 2007
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    42
    Feature story in the Seattle Times today about Crystal's management under Alterra and Stevens under Vail. Crystal definitely had some challenges this year but nothing like the shit show at Stevens.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/life/ou...vergent-paths/

  6. #881
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    Apr 2006
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    Spokane/Schweitzer
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalMountainSkier View Post
    Feature story in the Seattle Times today about Crystal's management under Alterra and Stevens under Vail. Crystal definitely had some challenges this year but nothing like the shit show at Stevens.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/life/ou...vergent-paths/
    Good article for me to read. With that, I think the Schweitzer alignment with Ikon is miles ahead of what an Epic pass alignment would be. The Epic model more resembles a move that Mt. Spokane made in the 80's where their marketing slogan was "Cheap Tickets are Us". With that, the then owner proclaimed that he felt skiing should be like bowling and financially within reach of the masses. The resulting chaos is partly why I left Mt. Spokane (where I'd grown up skiing and was a local ski bum) and went to Schweitzer. That value proposition, for an area like Schweitzer, would be a death knell in my mind. It sounds like the Ikon/Alterra model is more akin to a higher quality experience for the skiers which is good. At this time, with Schweitzer being an independent, hopefully we'll still get the higher quality experience with just a bit more crowd, not an overrunning of the mountain by 500,000 Ikon pass holders, much like what I've read about other areas like JH (and Crystal). Lesser of two evils, I suppose.

  7. #882
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalMountainSkier View Post
    Feature story in the Seattle Times today about Crystal's management under Alterra and Stevens under Vail. Crystal definitely had some challenges this year but nothing like the shit show at Stevens.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/life/ou...vergent-paths/
    So, as a 15-year season pass holder at Stevens I can say there is a lot of bias in that article. Aside from the loss of use of day lodges and a few late starts that almost always lined up with Hwy 2 WSDOT avy closures/delayed openings, this season at Stevens was very good.

    Iím by no means a Vail apologist and I do think Crystal is a more ďcompleteĒ mountain. I do look forward to the annual bitch-fest about Alterra to start next winter when reservations are no longer required and you have to leave Seattle at 4:30 am to secure a parking spot to enjoy your unlimited ďpremier experienceĒ. Yeah, no reservations at Stevens in 2022 will probably also suck. Welcome to skiing anywhere near Seattle.
    In constant pursuit of the perfect slarve...

  8. #883
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    That article is a bunch of corporate fluff, as is everything written by Gregory Scruggs in the Seattle Times. Crystal/Alterra does not focus on a "premier experience" just as Stevens is not trying to cheap out. Both resorts are owned by massive corporations doing what corporations do; maximize profit for their shareholders. The article concedes the only thing Crystal has done to create that "premier experience" is add 200 parking spots.

    Crystal has become more crowded in recent years for multiple reasons, but first and foremost is population growth in the area. And specifically population growth in the South Sound (think Maple Valley, Bonney Lake, Puyallup, Gig Harbor). King County is running out of buildable land and most new housing developments are on the way to Crystal. Before Alterra and Vail entered the picture, pass sales were likely split between Stevens, Alpental, and Crystal. When Ikon made Crystal passes way cheap with the added perks of other Ikon partners, more people gravitated towards Crystal. Stevens/Epic has has had to respond by reducing pass prices while Crystal has now increased prices (because they know they will sell almost as many passes here as with the cheaper prices). While Ikon has added a bit more visiting skiers than previously, the PNW is still, and never will be, a popular place for ski tourists to travel to.

    And what the fuck is a ski area culture? Crystal boss DeBerry says, “we find it super important to let Crystal continue to be Crystal and to respect the culture that’s developed here.” He picked up that line from Marketing 101 at his MBA school.

    I did like this line from the article, where the author states he gathered info from "a season long monitoring of online groups where Pacific Northwest powderhounds congregate." You're being watched! Actually, Scruggs posts all the time on TAY facebook, so I think that is what he is referring to there.

  9. #884
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    Jun 2011
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    Crystal culture always sucked worst in PNW. Baker, Stevens, and snoqualmie pass had million times better vibe than Crystal. Sounds like a new owner is no different from the previous owner. Skier premier experience? Letís build a gondola to the top and charge more to ride the gondola. Oh letís discontinue the shuttle bus to the bottom now that we built a chair in the back that goes halfway down the mountain..... letís put up a ski rack by the lift so everyone can hang and leave their avy packs on a ski rack. Crystal vibe.


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  10. #885
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmokes View Post
    Crystal culture always sucked worst in PNW. Baker, Stevens, and snoqualmie pass had million times better vibe than Crystal. Sounds like a new owner is no different from the previous owner. Skier premier experience? Letís build a gondola to the top and charge more to ride the gondola. Oh letís discontinue the shuttle bus to the bottom now that we built a chair in the back that goes halfway down the mountain..... letís put up a ski rack by the lift so everyone can hang and leave their avy packs on a ski rack. Crystal vibe.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Thanks for that! I found it an enjoyable read...and quite accurate!
    In constant pursuit of the perfect slarve...

  11. #886
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    Jun 2007
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    Cruzing
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldMember View Post
    We knew about it as they were giving a day's notice to pass holders ahead of the public announcement. So, yeah, I expect a lot more Seattle traffic over here next year with this relationship. With all I've read in this thread with what's happened at Crystal with Ikon, I have fears...
    Iíd wait and see. Mammoth is no busier with ikon, maybe even less busy. Iím sure youíll see some increase in traffic on some weekends but that is a long drive for a 2 day ski trip. Even more so in winter weather.

    Almost three times as long as their drive to Crystal.

  12. #887
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    I don't believe that people who think there are going to be a bunch of Puget Sounders driving to Schweitzer have ever driven from Puget Sound to Schweitzer in the winter.

    I grew up just outside Coeur d'Alene and the drive from there to Sandpoint in the winter was pretty hairy and long, to say nothing of the gnarly Schweitzer access road (though the highway and access road have both been improved in the 20 years since I was a regular there).

    The real growth (and the money for Schweitzer), I suspect, is going to be in people renting condos or cabins up there for a week or so at a time and using their Ikon pass for that, which has a fairly obvious cap on how much it will increase lines since there aren't *that man* condos and it'll usually mean the family that owns it isn't up there anyway.

    In any case, I'm stoked on it since now I can go ski with my family when I'm visiting them during the winter (and revisit a mountain I have a lot of nostalgia for) and they can come ski with me when they come visit without having to pay for it.

  13. #888
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    Oct 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptavv View Post
    I don't believe that people who think there are going to be a bunch of Puget Sounders driving to Schweitzer have ever driven from Puget Sound to Schweitzer in the winter.

    I grew up just outside Coeur d'Alene and the drive from there to Sandpoint in the winter was pretty hairy and long, to say nothing of the gnarly Schweitzer access road (though the highway and access road have both been improved in the 20 years since I was a regular there).

    The real growth (and the money for Schweitzer), I suspect, is going to be in people renting condos or cabins up there for a week or so at a time and using their Ikon pass for that, which has a fairly obvious cap on how much it will increase lines since there aren't *that man* condos and it'll usually mean the family that owns it isn't up there anyway.

    In any case, I'm stoked on it since now I can go ski with my family when I'm visiting them during the winter (and revisit a mountain I have a lot of nostalgia for) and they can come ski with me when they come visit without having to pay for it.
    I drive it regularly in the winter and don't think it's anything to be worried about. Going over Snoqualmie Pass is the worst part.

  14. #889
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    I-90 is fine. I was talking about Hwy 95 from Cd'A to Sandpoint which can be pretty crappy.

    The whole drive from Seattle to Schweitzer is ~6 hours in good weather, I don't think that's a haul that an appreciable number of people are going to be making with any regularity unless they've got a condo at the top of Schweitzer waiting for them when there are three ski areas within 2 hours of Seattle and Whistler is two hours closer (once the border opens).

  15. #890
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmokes View Post
    Crystal culture always sucked worst in PNW. Baker, Stevens, and snoqualmie pass had million times better vibe than Crystal. Sounds like a new owner is no different from the previous owner. Skier premier experience? Letís build a gondola to the top and charge more to ride the gondola. Oh letís discontinue the shuttle bus to the bottom now that we built a chair in the back that goes halfway down the mountain..... letís put up a ski rack by the lift so everyone can hang and leave their avy packs on a ski rack. Crystal vibe.
    I'd say it went downhill after the founders had to sell. Sunny Side Sliders and 410ers were more abundant as was the parking lot scene before they started selling a-lot slots.

    But yeah, Crustal gets the sn00ty award despite having the best terrain.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  16. #891
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldMember View Post
    It sounds like the Ikon/Alterra model is more akin to a higher quality experience for the skiers which is good. .
    I can't really agree that the experience at Crustal has improved since KIrchers departure.

    I can think of some local home grown top drawer freeride talent that Alterra has treated incredibly poorly and in utterly bad form.
    Last edited by Buster Highmen; 04-23-2021 at 06:08 PM.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  17. #892
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    In the large, though, skiing in the Puget Sound has degraded significantly, in part due to poor management by these large firms as well as unmanageable population increases.

    We used to do trips out through Jackson Hole and Big Sky, but after some crappy experiences at each of those places, we started hitting not only Red and Whitewater but also the smaller spots like Lost Trail, Montana Snow Bowl, 49N, Turner, Discovery Basin and had a lot better time for less $.

    I expect that the same dynamic both around the Puget Sound and known destinations will drive some people to ski at smaller spots again. They may find that despite not having the water cooler cache' of the important places, there's some great skiing where the pow, $ and smiles last longer.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  18. #893
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    Please don't tell people about Lost Trail.

  19. #894
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    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptavv View Post
    Please don't tell people about Lost Trail.
    Itís not a secret among skiers.


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  20. #895
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    Then there's Mission Ridge and Loup Loup and Pebble and Lookout.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  21. #896
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    It’s not a secret among skiers.
    Right, skiers know about it, but people who ski don't know about it. Which is the best way for a ski area to be.

  22. #897
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    Sep 2009
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    PNW
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    then shut the fuck up

    - half joking -
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  23. #898
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    Aug 2011
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    panhandle locdog
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptavv View Post
    I don't believe that people who think there are going to be a bunch of Puget Sounders driving to Schweitzer have ever driven from Puget Sound to Schweitzer in the winter.

    I grew up just outside Coeur d'Alene and the drive from there to Sandpoint in the winter was pretty hairy and long, to say nothing of the gnarly Schweitzer access road (though the highway and access road have both been improved in the 20 years since I was a regular there).

    The real growth (and the money for Schweitzer), I suspect, is going to be in people renting condos or cabins up there for a week or so at a time and using their Ikon pass for that, which has a fairly obvious cap on how much it will increase lines since there aren't *that man* condos and it'll usually mean the family that owns it isn't up there anyway.

    In any case, I'm stoked on it since now I can go ski with my family when I'm visiting them during the winter (and revisit a mountain I have a lot of nostalgia for) and they can come ski with me when they come visit without having to pay for it.
    Schweitzer hired an ex-Vail corp exec to run their real estate program. There are big plans to build out tons of condos up there. Additionally this is going to pull in more CDA and Spokane area skiers who might have otherwise bought a Silver pass.

  24. #899
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    Apr 2005
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    Seattle
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    We did the Schweitzer 4 years ago in February and had fresh snow every evening and lake views almost the whole time. I guess that was the window for the season?

    On a scale of visibility and disorienting fugues, is Alpental actually better overall? Seems like we would have them beat as I can't imagine worse.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

  25. #900
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yonder_River View Post

    disorienting fugues
    Great word. Underutilized!
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

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