100 Happy Days 2015 · Blogathon 2016 · Picnic & road trips · USA

Day 76 of 100 Happy Days – The scenic gondola ride over Crystal Mountain

We flew to Seattle on New Year Eve, which was also our first flight together. We had our best new year celebrations till date there.

Seattle terrain is hilly and green. The city is between lot of mountains like Mt. Rainier, Mt St.Helens, Mt Baker, Mt Adams etc. Washington is known as the Evergreen State as the forests are full of evergreen trees and the abundance of rain keeps the shrubbery and grasses green throughout the year. You get a white Christmas feeling when you are travelling in the winter.

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Don’t you?

We drove to Crystal Mountain on Day 2 through these snow covered evergreen trees. Crystal Mountain is a mountain and the largest ski resort in the state.

Crystal is home to the Mt. Rainier Gondola; installed in 2010, it provides year-round access to the resort’s summit and is the state’s only high-speed gondola.

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              A Gondola Cabin

We took Scenic Gondola ride, a scenic ride on the 8-passenger Mt. Rainier Gondola!   Each gondola cabin seats up to 8 people and the ride is 12 minutes each way. 

As we go up, we see skiers and snowboarders fly down the mountain below us.

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We pass by tall Evergreen trees and get a birds eye view of the surrounding mountain peaks covered in snow.

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Gondola took us 2,500 vertical feet to the summit where we could find breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Range.

Some Gondola Facts

  • Base elevation: 4,400 feet
  • Top elevation: 6,856 feet
  • Vertical rise: 2,456 feet
  • Approx Trip Time: 9min 39 sec (one-way)
  • 13 Towers
  • 24 8-passenger cabins, with option to add another 12
  • Uphill capacity; 600 people per hour, 900 after additional cabins are added
  • Cabin interval: 53 seconds, 32 seconds after additional cabins are added
  • Speed: 800ft/min.
  • Cost: $8 million
  • Opened: January 1, 2011

We stepped off the gondola and soaked in the views.

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We had amazing time in the white powdery snow and had the best view of Mt. Rainier and other peaks. It was beauty that cannot be expressed in words.

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