CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN - You had to take a gondola ride to nearly 7,000 feet to reach the launching area, but for a few hours on Tuesday there was an ski season in Washington and it's only October 1.
On Monday afternoon, after some employees "checked" out the upper slopes, they said why don't we open tomorrow? So they did.
It was a one-day season, but will it be sign of things to come?
The word went out Monday night, primarily through social media, that the first 51 skiers to sign up for a $14 lift ticket could take the gondola and ride or ski down. Crystal's site was slammed, crashed and after people posted about it 75 slots were made available.
Ski lifts were not running, but one could hike back up 1,000 feet and go again. The open terrain was steep and for advanced skiers, and skiers were advised to bring their "rock" skis. In places the rocks were very far down, some were under several feet of snow. Crystal called this "Rocktoberfest."
Ski season in Washington usually doesn't get going until after Thanksgiving, but areas cross their fingers for skiing during the four day holiday weekend. Crystal was able to open on November 16 last year.