I’ll be leaving on my bicycle trip around the world in a few months and though it’s going to be a great adventure, still, there’s a lot I’m going to miss about the Pacific Northwest. A big one is the great skiing at Crystal Mountain.
I usually get up to the slopes with my ski buddies ten or fifteen times a winter. Crystal has lots of vertical, lots of snow, great views of Mt. Rainier and the Central Cascades and some fantastic off-piste. But one of the nicest things about Crystal is the apre ski at the Snorting Elk Tavern.
The ‘Elk’ is old-school. Located in the ground floor of a hotel, it’s got a special rough-hewn ambience that feels so right for a ski tav. It’s usually crowded, but even if you can't find an empty table, there's always a friendly skier or three willing to share their space, help you down a few brews and shoot the breeze about the day's skiing.
I hope I get to ski in Switzerland and maybe Italy on my trip. I’m sure there will be some great watering holes in both countries, but I know, at the end of the day, none of them will match the Elk, because, as Dorothy says, "There's no place like home."