Giddy skiers and snowboarders return to the mountains

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by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 18 at 7:21 PM

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. -- Her name is "Smash." That's what she told me and she cheerfully blamed it on her mom.

Anyway, I met Smash at the bottom of the hill at Crystal Mountain. She was flat on her back, splayed out, covered with snow, a huge smile on her face.

"Fantastic," she said. Smash was one of about 1,200 skiers and boarders who hit the slopes at Crystal Friday for the opening of the season. Recent heavy snows have launched the start of the season throughout the Cascades.

"It would be nice to do as well as last year," Crystal's marketing director Tiana Enger tells us. "We set records for the number of skiers and for length of season."

They didn't pull the plug on the winter sports season at Crystal until July 16. Just four months ago. And now the snow is back and so are the skiers.

"Freaking very good," Aaron Perea says though a smile. "Anytime you can ski before Thanksgiving, it’s a good thing!"

Crystal had just two lifts, one chair and the Gondola operating Friday but they'll expand to six for the weekend. Also open for business this weekend, The Summit at Snoqualmie, Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge and Mount Baker. And if you want to get your foreign ski-groove on, there's plenty of snow in Whistler, too.

Last I saw of Smash, she was striding for the gondola line, dragging her board, smiling like it was her best day on earth.

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