After breaking ground eight months ago, the Mt. Rainier Gondola is tentatively scheduled to open December 22, 2010. A gondola cabin made its first trip Monday, travelling 2500 ft from Crystal Mountain’s base area to the 6,856′ summit. The haul rope and cable were strung and spliced last week and the top and bottom terminals are near completion.

All of the cabins will be attached within the next several days and crews will be fine tuning the gondola in preparation for the load test and final inspection on December 20, 2010.

“This has been an exciting and intense project for us, with crews working incredibly hard since construction started. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Tiana Enger, spokeswoman for Crystal Mountain. “I can’t wait to ride in one of the gondolas for the first time.”

Buckets full of concrete, simulating the weight of people, will be carried in the cabins during the load test. The Mt. Rainier Gondola is tentatively scheduled to open two days later on Wednesday, December 22.

Just two hours southeast of Seattle, Crystal offers visitors spectacular views, world-class skiing, fine dining and an outdoor escape from everyday life. Originally focused on skiing and winter sports alone, Crystal has grown to include a full array of summer activities for all walks of life, including scenic rides on the state’s first gondola that whisks visitors to 6,872 feet, gourmet dining at Washington’s highest restaurant, unparalleled views of Mt. Rainier, hiking, biking, horseback riding, disc golf and so much more!