This year Crystal Mountain resort decided to give their fans the ultimate gift - "ALL YOU CAN SKI/SNOWBOARD " by extending spring skiing way into summer months ( hopefully all the way into July! ). And why not ?! Days are getting longer and warmer, the snow keeps dumping ( March & April brought over 16 feet of snow ) and the views of the surrounding Cascades and Mt Rainier are gorgeous ! Not to mention the first ( and only ) Gondola in our state ( take that Whistler ) !
I crossed "Ski/Snowboard at Crystal " off my Bucket List last year ( though I am still working on "Ski/Snowboard at every ski area in Washington state" ), but I had to come back just for the ride in the Gondola.
I rode Whistler's Gondola two years ago, and knew that some some day we would have it in our state too.
The Mt Rainier Gondola provides a fast, easy AND convenient ( it's sooo warm ! ) access to the top of the mountain. It's less than half the time it used to take to get there via two chairlifts ( which , for me, means fewer people to tolerate/socialize with ). And with the cab nearly all encased in glass, it offers a magnificent 360* view of the surrounding area.
Thanks to the Mt. Rainier Gondola, Crystal Mountain has become a year-round destination in out state : for snow sports enthusiasts in winter, and "hiking/chillaxing" folks in summer.
Mountain biking at Crystal Mt had been popular way before Gondola opening, and some people( me ) really hoped it would follow its Canadian sister's steps ( Whistler ) by offering mountain biking in the summer. Though, it didn't happen, who knows, may be they will allow at least mountain boards on the Gondola...