Chinook Express

Although Chinook Express could easily be dismissed as a low-elevation area with boring runs, it too has its fair share of fun slopes for beginner and advanced skiers.

Traverses/Roads:

Broadway | Quality: 2/10 | A combination of the main run down from Chinook, and a cat track to the right that heads to the bottom of Forest Queen. Follow the sign to the right at the bottom of the slope.  Accesses Stump Farm, Skid Road, and Tinkerbell.

Considerations: Beginner, Extremely Crowded, Groomed, Speed Control, Traverse, Accesses Forest Queen.

Lumpy Lane | Quality: 2/10 | A “road” connecting Tinkerbell to Skid Road. Look for the entrance on the skier’s left side of Tinkerbell as the run turns to the right.

Considerations: Beginner, Narrow.

Cut Over | Quality: 3/10 | The entrance to this traverse lies just uphill from where Chinook leaves the forest at the top of the chair. Accesses Deer Fly and Lower Ferk’s.

Considerations: Advanced, Groomed, Traverse.

Lewis Lane | Quality: 3/10 | From the top of the former Miner’s Basin chairlift, in between Middle Ferk’s and Lower Ferk’s, face downhill and head to the skier’s left instead of right. This will take you down a little-known “road” that goes all the way to Kelly’s Gap, crossing Lower Exterminator and Miner’s Basin.

Considerations: Advanced, Traverse, Difficult Access (hard to spot, traversing required).

On The Map:

Tinkerbell | Quality: 5/10 | Probably the third easiest run at Crystal after Meadow and Quicksilver. Starts at the bottom of Forest Queen and quickly merges into Quicksilver.

Considerations: Beginner, Extremely Crowded, Groomed, Speed Control.

Arwine’s (Skid Road) | Quality: 6/10 | Although this run used to be named Skid Road, in the last few years its name was changed to Arwine’s, named after one of the first stockholders of Crystal Mountain. The lower section of the 1972 Skiing World Cup’s downhill course, this run has the potential to be fast and fun. It can be accessed by turning left halfway down the cat-track portion of Broadway, or by taking Stump Farm after the first face of Broadway in accordance with the misleading sign.

Considerations: Beginner, Crowded, Groomed.

Stump Farm | Quality: 6/10 | An alternate, slightly steeper entrance to Skid Road. Accessed by going to the skier’s left after the first face of Broadway.

Considerations: Beginner-Intermediate, Groomed.

Deer Fly | Quality: 7/10 | From the top of Chinook, go down Cutover, and turn right after coming out of the forest to meet this run about one-third of the way down. Alternatively, if coming from Upper Arwine’s or Middle Ferk’s, follow the obvious run from the top of the former Miner’s Basin chair and take a right when it forks.  This seemingly flat run, when looking down at it from the chairlift, ends in a very steep face that merits its status as a black diamond run. It’s often groomed, but can sometimes be a powder stash. It is probably the easiest advanced run on the mountain.

Considerations: Advanced, Groomed, Steep, Difficult Access (traverse required from top of Chinook).

Lower Ferk’s Run (Lower Bull) | Quality: 7/10 | From Chinook Express, follow the Cutover until it hits Deer Fly, keep going across the run, up a small hill, and through another layer of trees. You will find yourself halfway down the final part of the Ferk’s trio of runs. Alternatively, to ski the entire run, you’ll have to come from Upper Arwine’s or Middle Ferk’s, and follow the slope down from the top of the former Miner’s Basin chair when it forks to the left.  Similar to Deer Fly, this run starts out pretty flat, but ends in a steep face. It is also called Lower Bull, as it could be seen as a continuation of Bull Run, which hits the run about halfway down.  On the long final pitch, look good–everyone in the lift line and the base lodge will be watching you!

Considerations: Advanced, Steep, Moguls

Off The Map:

Show Off | Quality : 6/10 | Turn left and follow the Chinook Express lift line when Deer Fly goes under the chairlift. This run has the potential to be fun but is most commonly used to show off for people on the chair, hence the name.  Obey all signage and don’t duck the rope if it’s closed–this run can have some pretty low coverage.

Considerations: Advanced, Under Chair (easy to embarrass yourself), Low Coverage, Powder.

Miner’s Basin | Quality:  8/10 | First, never go on this run alone. If we were to pick a place where someone was most likely to fall in a tree well and not be found at Crystal, this would be it. There are actually several runs in this area (the ski patrol call them “Stupid Hoover’s” and “Doc’s Clean Butt”), but basically you just take Lewis Lane and drop into the former Miner’s Basin chair line. You have the option of turning off into several narrower, powdery offshoots. For the best run, follow the widest route down.  We would not recommend this in a bad snow year, as it’s low enough for coverage to be an issue.

Considerations: Advanced, Powder, Glades, Narrow, Low Coverage, Difficult Access (traverse required, hard to spot).

 

Statistics: Runs: 11 | On Map: 82% | Off Map: 18%

36% Beginner | 9% Intermediate | 55% Advanced | 0% Expert

 

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