File under: goes skiing once, things she’s a professional skier. I haven’t been skiing in nine years, but I used to go every year as a kid. Thanks mom and dad for trucking your five kids to the mountain, and buying all the necessary gear and lift tickets for a small village. That does not sound pleasant.
The pleasantries of skiing lie in the quiet, zen, peaceful beauty of the mountain. This is why it’s addicting — no matter how loud your mind, the gentle, sparkling slopes will quiet it. You’ll forget your emails, calls, chores, and responsibilities for half a day. The $70-some cost of admission into this state of mind? Completely worth it.
Of course after one ski trip you’ll vow you’ll be back again next week for your regular ski-therapy session. Let’s be real, you’ll be back one more time in the season. If you’re lucky. But with that minor delusion of becoming a ski pro dancing in your head, you’ll become a lifetime REI member, buy brand new skis and boots, hashtag all your photos #neverstopexploring and #northwestisbest, and focus your online shopping to whimsical ski sweaters and form-flattering ski jackets.
Good job making it up once though. There’s always next year.
Ski Trip to Crystal Mountain
If you live in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, Crystal Mountain is the place to ski. Luckily it’s only an hour-long journey from my house.
Where to Rent Gear
Enumclaw Ski and Mountain, just off of Highway 410 on your way up to Crystal Mountain. Fill out the rental form online to make a reservation.
Sturtevant’s Ski Mart in Tacoma. I haven’t rented here but my friends do. I purchased my ski boots at Sturtevant’s and I am beyond impressed with their service and dedication to a perfect fit.
Where to Eat
We passed on the taco truck outside Enumclaw Ski. Sorry taco proprietors, your extreme proximity to stinky cow pasture did not whet my appetite.
At the mountain: The lodge food ain’t too bad. You’ll figure it out. Pack a chocolate bar and beef jerky in your pocket for intermittent fuel-ups.
On the way home: Wally’s Drive-In in Buckley. It’s a retro drive-in burger joint with beastly serving sizes and thick, deliciously starchy fries. I reviewed it once on #burgertour; you can read that here.
- Hand warmers
- Dry clothing. In case you get a healthy smattering of snow down your crack, you’ll want dry clothes for the drive home.
- Portable phone charger. My phone always dies in the cold; I can’t explain it.
- Spotify playlist downloaded to your phone for the drive up. There’s no cell service until you reach the resort, so don’t count on streaming.
- Take as many photos as your heart desires, but be cool about it. Make sure you’re well out of the way of your fellow mountain people while you #liveauthentic.
- WEAR A HELMET! Everyone wears them nowadays.
- Skip the parking lot shuttle. Walk up from the parking lot to warm up — seriously!
- White pants look really cool, but show dirt very easily. Plan on washing them right away to keep them sparkling.
Photos shot via iPhone. Portrait of me by Sarah Close. Photo of two girls by Sarah Bryant.