It’s early February and families all over Washington are gearing up for mid-winter break, aka “ski week,” when we pile into the car and drive off for a week of skiing bliss, as sacred a tradition as the summer sojourn to the grandparents. Unfortunately, many of the state’s school systems plan to abolish midwinter break in 2013, in an effort to match national testing schedules. But don’t panic, I just spent a long weekend at Crystal Mountain with my two boys plus another family and couldn’t have been happier. Suddenly, those back-to-back three-day weekends aren’t looking so bad.
Crystal looks different when you stay over for the weekend. We linger longer at the Bullwheel, make time for the Snorting Elk and don’t worry when the sun descends behind High Campbell, our journey home requiring no more than careful steps across the snow to our hotel room. But staying on mountain really shines when you have the kids in tow. Gone is the early “wakeup, out the door” drill, the bane of every ‘tween or teen.
Kids also ski harder with more sleep, the back-to-back days also engender a certain ownership. Kids bond swiftly when sharing the ski hill for a few days, exemplified by our gaggle, four kids ages 7 to 11, who announced they were going to scoot up Gold Hills for a few more runs, as we parents settled into sunny après on the deck.
So if you still consider a weekend spent at Crystal a glorified “staycation,” book some rooms this season and see how the mountain changes. Your kids will thank you for it, if you can ever get them off the hill!