Climb a Mountain Without Breaking a Sweat

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Take the new gondola at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort.
Brangien Davis  |   November 2011   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Climb into the red pod for a spectacular view of Mount Rainier

Ski bunnies and snowboarders, prepare to be totally stoked: This month marks the opening of Crystal Mountain Ski Resort, where the new Mt. Rainier gondola awaits.

Built at a cost of $8 million and open since January, it’s the first such high-wire act at any ski resort in Washington—and by all accounts, it provides unbelievably cool views of Mount Rainier. Stat junkies will be thrilled to know that the vertical rise is 2,456 feet (to a top elevation of 6,856 feet), and the trip takes 9 minutes, 39 seconds at a speed of 800 feet per minute.

But if careening down on skis seems a bit too exciting, you can also ride the gondola to the top, disembark at the Summit House restaurant (the highest restaurant in the state!), gape at spectacular scenery and indulge in Northwest cuisine, and ride back down—without ever once strapping anything slippery onto your feet.

Times and prices vary. Crystal Mountain, 33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd.; 888.754.6199; crystalmountainresort.com.

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