Written By: Vivika Stamolis
Meet a few more members of our ambassador team, big-mountain adventurers with stoke to share and stories to tell, proud to call Crystal home. Their passion runs deep in our snow. Their personal connection to the terrain and to the community is strong.
From the chair they’re cheering you on, giving you that boost to carve your best. Our slopes are charged with their positivity. Bringing to life the core elements of our values, our ambassadors use their unique perspectives and diverse skills to highlight the range of experience at Crystal. They are at the heart of Crystal’s Core.
Follow along for a few rounds of introductions – more dropping soon.
Legendary snowboarder Russell Winfield has been shredding Crystal’s terrain since 1996. He flips and flies, inspiring us through his journey and legacy as a freestyle rider. Russell is larger than life, yelling “send it!” across the mountain. He rocks brands like Ride Snowboards, Offshore Snowboards, Holden Outerwear, Stance Socks, Nike Sportswear, and more. Crystal is his home and his favorite for all the big-mountain jumps and the secret creek bed where he goes with the crew. Keep on being you, Russell!
What do you love about Crystal Mountain?
I like that I can get a big mountain experience less than an hour from my house, and I can also bring my kids up for some sweet groomers.
Launching Women of Winter backcountry clinic at Crystal through her role at evo, Molly puts her passion and stoke into everything. She works with Snowsports and other outdoor brands as the owner of We Are Unicorns to support her snow addiction. With over 10 years at Crystal, every run down Penny Dawgs is special for her because her pup’s name is Penny. A memory Molly will never forget was her friend’s wedding at 6,872 feet on the summit of Crystal Mountain. Find Molly here winter or summer!
What’s one of your proudest moments at Crystal?
The Women of Winter backcountry clinic at Crystal… was such a fun event, was awesome to see so many ladies interested in learning and getting after it!
Illustrating the Crystal spirit in his work and in his turns on the mountain, Ryan Schmies shines bright. He’s been drawing lines here since 2003, when he traded Cascade Mountain of Wisconsin for the snowier Cascade Range of Washington. Look out for Schmies Design – Ryan is an accomplished artist in the outdoor industry, designing some of your favorite JSkis, Pow Gloves, Lib Tech, Hest, and REI initiatives. After countless days on the mountain, Ryan met and married the love of his life here at our summit, with Mount Rainier as their backdrop. They continue to share their passion for snow as they raise their two girls, who you may see in pink on our Instagram stories shredding down Forest Queen. Coloring Crystal Mountain is fun for the whole family. Get designs by Schmies on a new pair of skis!
What are your favorite memories at Crystal Mountain?
My favorite memory is certainly getting married atop the mountain along with the subsequent celebrations that followed. We had a gorgeous, hot and cloudless September afternoon and just one week later, it snowed 5 inches. Ski-wise, the insane days I’ve experienced here are numerous and it’s hard for me to pinpoint a solitary favorite run. Each zone has so much different flavor that I really do like it all.
In love with the mountains and inspired to make a difference, Layla is a proud leader and staff at the local nonprofit The Service Board (tSB). It was over 15 years ago that The Service Board got her geared up with her first snowboard and taught her to ride under the mentorship of diverse instructors. From this experience with tSB and Crystal Mountain, she has dedicated her professional role to improving outdoor accessibility and empowering young people through adventure. Hear her blasting 70’s and 80’s music on the slopes – jam out with her and spread the good vibes!
What makes Crystal special to you?
Whenever I picture long, rolling runs, surfy conditions and stunning views in Washington, I usually default to fond memories of Crystal. I’m continuously grateful for all the patience, confidence, and welcoming energy I feel both on and off the mountain… I am still dedicated to increasing equitable access to outdoor experiences for young folks who face the greatest barriers to participation.