Expansions and Upgrades at Crystal Mountain Resort
William C.B. Gates, PhD, PE, D.GE., PG, PEngPrincipal
Delve Underground is geotechnical engineer of record on a series of expansions and upgrades to the Crystal Mountain Resort (CMR) base infrastructure. CMR has been deemed the “Best Seattle Ski Resort Near Mt Rainier.” It is the largest ski resort in Washington State with at least 2,600 acres (1,052 ha) of skiable terrain and over 80 named runs. Skiers and snowboarders from all over the northwest come to ride this world-class terrain! CMR opened in 1962 and hosted the National Alpine Championships in 1965. Since its beginning the resort has grown considerably, from servicing a small two-person slow Riblet chair for skiers to installing the first high-speed detachable quad in Washington in 1998. In 2010, CMR installed the first gondola, dubbed Mt. Rainier Gondola because of the magnificent view of Rainier when the gondola breaks over the summit ridge.
In 2012, Delve Underground provided geotechnical consultation for the new wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). In 2013, we provided the same services for the Fireside Cafe as well as other projects.
In 2018, Crystal Mountain Resort was sold to Alterra Mountain Company (AMC), which is a family of 14 iconic year-round destinations, including ski areas. Since the change of ownership, CMR has had a large infusion of funding to continue the Crystal Mountain Master Development Plan.
In 2019, AMC-CMR, contacted Delve Underground to again provide geotechnical engineering services and construction observation attendant to expansion of the headworks for the WWTP and the water tank. Our services have included installation of geotechnical borings and piezometers; development of a geotechnical design report for the foundation, walls, and drainage of the structure; and pavement design consultation for the access roads and Parking Lots A through F. Construction at CMR basically shut down through COVID times from February 2020 through 2022. After the COVID shutdown lifted, in March 2022, CMR announced its $100 million capital expansion plan, known as Reimagine Crystal, the largest investment ever made at the resort. Delve Underground geotechnical engineers are providing foundation design consultation for the Summit House and the base area expansion. Construction began in April 2022 on a $25 million base-area lodge, known as the Mountain Commons. Delve Underground is presently on the design and construction team as the geotechnical engineer of record.