A Wonderful Dog Day at Crystal MountainSun Jun 26, 2011
Crystal’s new Mt. Rainier Gondola is now pet-friendly, so we decided to take advantage of an absolutely gorgeous day and take our dogs for their very first gondola ride! We grabbed their leashes, a water bottle, a plastic bowl and zipped up the road a quick 10 minutes from Alta Crystal.
We were actually a little surprised at how easily the dogs got on the Gondola. Georgia hopped on like she was a pro, and Jebbie just took about 15 seconds of coaching. (You could tell he was trying to get the timing right—kind of like the first time a human rides as escalator.) The Gondola crew was great—they greeted the dogs enthusiastically, like they were old friends. Once inside, Georgia just sat and admired the view, while Jebbie decided he liked the floor a little better but, since there are floor to window ceilings, he still got to watch everything!
We got up to the top, and there were lots of people—taking photos, having lunch at the picnic tables, lounging in the lounge chairs—and once again, our dogs were greeted like they were royalty. And the views! They literally stretched all the way from Mt. Adams to Mt. Baker, with a view of Mt. Rainier that’s so close it feels like you can reach out and touch the summit.
We grabbed a quick bite from the Express Window and headed down Lucky Shot for a hike to the bottom. Just as we were approaching Powder Bowl, we heard a high-pitched shreek, and realized that we were being watched by a marmot! We’ve never seen one at Crystal before. We heard other whistles, and looked up at Powder Bowl to realize there were marmots all around. How cool to realize that we ski over them all winter while they’re sleeping in their burrows.
The hike down was easy, and we started to see more and more dirt! By the time we reached Quicksilver, the snow was gone! We passed a disc golf hole (one of 9 that are already up at the base) and went down to the sun deck, where Crystal had a live band for its Summer Kickoff weekend. People were in shorts, sundresses, ski clothes, hiking shorts—and all were just relaxing and having a great time. There was even a barbecue, with beer and wine from the Glacier Express window.
What an awesome day!