Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Crystal Mountain, Alterra, and USFS Leases
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altasnob
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altasnob
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PostMon Jun 06, 2022 8:03 pm 
I don't have summer photos of Cambell Basin, but here are some mid August photos from Silver Basin, just a stone's throw away (and also within the ski area boundary). It gives you an idea of just how lush, verdant, and flower filled the terrain is where Crystal is sprawling these glamping tents across.

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jaysway
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PostTue Jun 07, 2022 9:29 am 
Alta, those photos are beautiful. Really cool to see Silver Basin in the summer. I did some digging on the Crystal Sky Camp's website and their sustainability page does talk about the camp trying to minimize its footprint in the alpine.
Quote:
Tent positioning and subsequent impacts are important considerations as the Crystal Sky Camp build begins. Campbell Basin is naturally an open area with mostly bare ground, which is ideal placement for these elevated wooden platforms that minimally affect the land. Using high-quality, USA-made materials, tents are built on durable surfaces so as not to harm vegetation. Dedicated green spaces will be closed to public, with signs and friendly reminders for guests to stay on trails only. Low level lighting mitigates light pollution and amplifies the night sky. Every design choice is made with intention. Under Canvas camps are designed to minimize disturbance and maximize open space, each with dedicated, undisturbed green spaces. Land donations to the Forest Service, adaptive use, and partnerships with local conservation based organizations are also part of our commitment.
It's good that having a small footprint is part of their overall design philosophy. I am curious if the USFS inspects the camp to ensure that regulations and best practices were followed, or if the USFS either lacks the resources to do so or trusts Crystal to do the right thing? Their website also has lots of pictures of what the camp looked like last year. It appears that the tents are elevated which is good, and also that they have blocked-off footpaths to at least contain foot traffic to specific corridors:
Clearly, some amount of alpine vegetation is going to be trampled in any sort of scenario here. That doesn't seem great, but on the other hand if the Crystal Sky Camp is taking lots of steps to minimize the impact and not very many people hike here, so if any place is going to see something like this again this feels like a good place for it. Edit: I'm removing my long tangent about treatment of alpine vegetation on hikes between the PNW and New England, not relevant enough to this discussion

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kiliki
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PostTue Jun 07, 2022 12:26 pm 
If the camp were located in Silver Basin I would probably be upset. But Campbell Basin is quite trammeled/developed already. The photo taken from REX is why I don't hike or camp in Campbell Basin and can't get too upset about these tents:

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kw
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PostTue Jun 07, 2022 12:29 pm 
kiliki wrote:
If the camp were located in Silver Basin I would probably be upset. But Campbell Basin is quite trammeled/developed already. The photo taken from REX is why I don't hike or camp in Campbell Basin and can't get too upset about these tents:
That photo is from Chair 6 not rex, but I think your point stands that if the basin already has a huge lodge and multiple chairlifts running through it, it's hard to argue that these tents are the primary force harming near-wilderness character.

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altasnob
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PostWed Jun 08, 2022 6:55 am 
Looks like sky camp runs $1,000 to $1,500 a night. Does that make it the most expensive place to stay in the entire state?

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Randito
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PostWed Jun 08, 2022 11:51 am 
altasnob wrote:
Looks like sky camp runs $1,000 to $1,500 a night. Does that make it the most expensive place to stay in the entire state?
Certainly the most expensive where the facilities aren't "ensuite".

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Cyclopath
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PostThu Jun 09, 2022 10:50 am 
altasnob wrote:
Crystal has set up a bunch of canvas "glamping" tents at 6,000 feet around Cambell Basin lodge so Amazon and Microsoft can hold corporate retreats there. Since it is National Forest Land, there is nothing they can do if someone wants to go pitch their tent in the middle of the camp. https://crystalskycamp.com/
I'm almost certain this is false.

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kiliki
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PostThu Jun 09, 2022 3:32 pm 
There are hotel rooms in Seattle that are more than that. This is the Four Seasons:

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altasnob
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PostMon Oct 24, 2022 12:38 pm 
I came across the USFS's page regarding Crystal's sky camp if anyone is interested. USFS says they listed the "proposal on the MBSNF Schedule of Proposed Actions(SOPA) in the Spring of 2021" and only received one public comment. It's moot now, since the camp is already approved and built. https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=59614&exp=overview

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treeswarper
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PostTue Oct 25, 2022 1:44 pm 
Would something like this make you happier? https://bluebirdbackcountry.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwkt6aBhDKARIsAAyeLJ2-po91YhBp_VHH2E0e-QCo_p3hG0hsN6K1litfEJr143Ysk7JXnIoaAmXeEALw_wcB When I started skiing, we went to rope tow areas. The areas around Wenatchee were Squilchuck, Badger Mountain (outside of Waterville) one up the Entiat River, and one by Chelan. Badger Mountain still runs and maybe the Chelan hill too? Then Mission Ridge opened. For a while, we could still afford skiing by going to Squilchuck, and when you are a kid those hills were enough, but then they quit having skiing at Squilchuck. I don't think it would be a profitable operation today, either. Nobody wants to go back to the rope tow days. Badger Mtn. now has a T bar or Poma lift. It is run by volunteers. The Loup Loup area started having summer activities this year. I'm not sure how profitable it was. They rented mountain bikes, ran the chairlift a few days a week, had frisbe golf, and had a bicycle event and a horse event. Loup Loup is a non-profit hill but has paid employees. Wenatchee Valley College used to have a ski management program and they operated The Loup, and the Chelan hills. That no longer exists either. It seems that there is a majority of people who can afford the better areas to go skiing at. Would any of you want to ski at a little hill? All I can think of is that those places are great for kids, but not for long. I did ski at Mt. Ashwabay in Up Nort Wisconsin. It had a T-bar and rope tows. It amused me for a half day, and I easily skied every run they had. I think they now have a chairlift. Is the future to go back to no lift but groomed areas? Oh, and we also have....Sitzmark! One of the perks of having a season's pass for either the Loup or Sitzmark was that you could get a discount at Apex Alpine in BC. Well worth it.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human末animals and aliens are great possibilities
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treeswarper
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PostTue Oct 25, 2022 1:49 pm 
http://www.nwwintersportsman.com/BadgerMt/index2.htm https://www.facebook.com/SitzmarkSkiArea https://skitheloup.com/

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human末animals and aliens are great possibilities
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altasnob
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PostTue Oct 25, 2022 2:02 pm 
treeswarper wrote:
Would something like this make you happier? https://bluebirdbackcountry.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwkt6aBhDKARIsAAyeLJ2-po91YhBp_VHH2E0e-QCo_p3hG0hsN6K1litfEJr143Ysk7JXnIoaAmXeEALw_wcB
That bluebird place is on private land, rather than leased USFS land, so they can do whatever they want there. Alterra (Crystal) and Vail (Stevens Pass) aren't some mom and pop place like Loup Loup. We're talking multi-billion dollar international companies here. They make oogles of money and are always greedy for more. I don't think anyone believes the experience is "getting better" at Crystal and Stevens. Just more expensive and more crowded.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Oct 25, 2022 4:46 pm 
altasnob wrote:
Alterra (Crystal) and Vail (Stevens Pass) aren't some mom and pop place like Loup Loup. We're talking multi-billion dollar international companies here. They make oogles of money and are always greedy for more. I don't think anyone believes the experience is "getting better" at Crystal and Stevens. Just more expensive and more crowded.
I get that. But why aren't there smaller hills like there used to be? Could it be that nobody wants to ski at them? Why only think of mega resorts? You seem to be fixated on that. The Loup is on Forest Service land, by the way. It's been a winter time employer for folks who have seasonal work that ends in the fall. When I worked there, they paid better than White Pass! It is non-profit but pays workers.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human末animals and aliens are great possibilities
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Randito
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PostTue Oct 25, 2022 6:51 pm 
Smaller resorts are seeing improved interest. There is even now something called the "Indy Pass" that provides 2 days skiing at a large number of smaller hills. In Washington the affiliated ski hills are: Hurricane Hill White Pass Mission Ridge 49 Degrees North Ski Bluewood In BC Manning Apex Sasquatch In Oregon Hoodoo Ashland Mt Hood Meadows https://www.indyskipass.com/resorts/west-region/ I got one and hope to hit White, Mission, 49 , Bluewood, Apex and Manning in a road trip either in my van or my rv.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Oct 25, 2022 8:01 pm 
And those are all "resorts", not small ski areas. Would there be interest if there were more Sitzmarks catering to young skiers who weren't from high income families? Would adults be able to have some fun at the tiny places? Such places also cater to families. And yes, I believe Sitzmark is on privately owned land.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human末animals and aliens are great possibilities
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