Crystal Mountain ends its longest-ever ski season

Crystal Mountain ends its longest-ever ski season
CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. - Nearly nine months after opening on Nov. 18, 2010, Crystal Mountain is ending the longest ski season in its 48-year history.

The extra-long season, which ends Saturday, was made possible by record-breaking snowfall that continued to dump throughout the spring.

The previous season record was set during the 1998-1999 season, with 592 inches of snowfall and a closing date of July 14, 1999.

But this season the mountain received a total of 612 inches of snow between November 2010 and June 2011.

The new Mount Rainier Gondola carried skiers and riders to Green Valley to lap the slopes after lower mountain had melted out.

"We could not have planned the timing of building the gondola any better considering the amount of snow that came along with it. The timing was perfect," said Crystal spokeswoman Tiana Enger. "It's been a great stretch however we are ready to say goodbye to winter and focus on summer now."

Attendance records were also broken this season. Over 361,000 skiers and riders visited the slopes, up from 357,000 during the 2003-2004 season.