Thompsonville, MI – This winter, Michigan’s Crystal Mountain increases its number of downhill slopes to an even 50, clicks off a few more miles of fat tire bike trails and partners with Burton to launch a Learn-to-Ride Center.
Crystal has added Last Call and Jester’s Alley to its trail map this winter. Last Call is a gladed run that begins on North Face and meanders toward the resort’s front-side slopes. Crews completing a snowmaking upgrade on Main Street and Giggles have also created a new dedicated beginner terrain park at the resort named Jester’s Alley.
If you rent a snowboard at Crystal Mountain this winter it will likely be from industry leader and legend Jake Burton. The resort has swapped out nearly its entire fleet of rental boards with those from Burton but that’s only the beginning of this partnership, as Crystal Mountain will be one of only six resorts in the Midwest region designated as a Burton Learn-to-Ride Center. These group lessons offer small student-to-teacher ratios with personal attention and combine it with the latest Burton snowboards, boots and bindings specifically designed to help riders’ progress. The new fleet of boards from Burton feature beveled bases for easy steering and stopping that build confidence to assist riders’ advance their skills.
Young, aspiring snowboarders will get a positive introduction to the sport within the new Burton Riglet Park, set to be open at the resort on weekends. This is flatland training upon which students are pulled by an instructor using a Riglet Reel to build confidence and provide a feel for what it means to ride different features. Within Totem Park Learning Area and on select runs like Kaye Blue, designated intermediate, Crystal Mountain’s grooming crews will maintain Terrain Based Learning features including gentle rollers and banks that naturally help beginners more easily control speed and engage turns.
Crystal’s terrain park design philosophy of lower and longer features will be most noticeable in Tuck’s this winter on the Tank Line. These modified and repurposed propane tanks will welcome new riders while challenging experienced boarders and freestyle skiers to hit every feature in one clean, continuous line.
Fat tire biking is one of the fastest growing and most popular off-slope activities at the resort. Five 2014 Fuji Wendigo bikes have been added to the resort’s rental fleet. Crystal will also open an additional three miles of groomed trails as well as some single tracks exclusive to fat bikes. As a result of the trail expansion, the Einstein Cycles Fat Chance Race, set for January 4, will be run on a new nine-mile loop.
Michigan Legacy Art Park will dedicate most of its trails to snowshoeing this winter. Over a mile of trail offers the chance to view and contemplate 47 outdoor sculptures, but blazing a path through the deep snow that collects on these rolling hills is what provides a true snowshoe experience. While most of Art Park will be exclusive to snowshoers, a portion of Flying Squirrel will continue to allow access to cross-country skiers.
Thousands tested themselves on the rickety bridge, swings, Burma bridge and zip line of Crystal Mountain’s new ropes course this summer. Elements provided by Old Man Winter will add a new challenge on the Edge Adventure Course, two stories above the Park at Water’s Edge. The course will be open on Saturdays and holidays this winter, and is available to reserve for private groups.
Those purchasing a 2014-15 Crystal Mountain season pass now receive a 20% discount on lodging and lift tickets at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah (plus a $50 dining certificate) and free skiing or snowboarding at Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyo., when booking a stay of two nights or more.
Provided the weather cooperates, Crystal Mountain targets November 27 (Thanksgiving Day) to open its slopes.