Easy, stress-free and scenic ski touring at an abandoned ski resort


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Sitting just above West Kelowna, Crystal Mountain was once a popular ski resort but is now abandoned, and is only maintained because of the hard work and enthusiasm of some dedicated locals.

There's a contribution box at the start of the skin so chuck in a few bucks! The Crystal crew keep the road navigable, plough the parking lot and groom some of the ascent tracks, but the descents are not groomed. The area is reached via a snowy drive up from Westbank, and the locals keep the parking lot ploughed so you can drive right up to the slopes.

There are countless ways of skinning up and skiing down Crystal and the terrain is all super mellow so there's essentially zero avalanche risk, and no shortage of options.

Many people ski tour here for fitness and if you come on a winter's evening you're unlikely to be the only person mad enough to be doing a few laps in the dark! Crystal is also a good spot to learn and practise basic touring skills, and the Okanagan section of the Alpine Club of Canada often do avalanche rescue practise here. The line we've drawn here takes in 2 descents and a couple of beautiful up tracks through peaceful forests.

The area backs onto some pretty wild terrain and there's no shortage of animals around, including moose, cougars and (in spring) bears, so don't be too shocked if you see some sizeable footprints on the skin tracks! The descents at Crystal are very mellow but great fun, and the lack of steeper terrain means that you don't need to worry too much about where you're going - just follow the good snow and enjoy the view!