Olympia Ski Bus Provides Transportation for Thurston County Skiers

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Do you live for the thrills and chills of skiing down snow-covered mountains? Are you looking for a community of skiing enthusiasts to hit the slopes with all winter long? If you plan to visit Crystal Mountain’s stunning slopes this season, jump on the Olympia Ski Bus.

Every Wednesday starting from January 10 to March 6, this nonprofit transportation system will bus local skiers from Lacey to Crystal Mountain in Enumclaw, Washington, for $472 for all nine trips, or $55 for one trip. Grab your best skiing gear and bring a friend along for a comfortable ride on a luxury charter bus and receive discounted ski lift tickets, win raffle prizes, and get the opportunity to make new friends and ski buddies.

Crystal Mountain  through snow-covered trees
The Olympia Ski Bus Group visits the beautiful Crystal Mountain from January 10 through March 6. Photo credit: Emi Doyle

Ski Transportation Made Simple

The Olympia Ski Bus picks passengers up by Coastal Farm and Ranch in Lacey at 7 a.m. and leaves Crystal Mountain at 4:30 p.m. Ski bus riders are always the first to arrive and the last to leave the lifts, which gives everyone the opportunity to socialize and ski until the lift closes.

During the 2.5-hour ride, kick back, relax and enjoy the several amenities that the bus provides, including an equipment storage area, front parking, and an onboard bathroom. Chat with other passengers, eat snacks, or catch up on sleep and leave the driving to somebody else.

The fun doesn’t end with the journey to Crystal Mountain, either—there’s plenty of exciting social activities riders will do together as a group, such as après-ski at the local bar and games in Crystal Mountain’s breathtaking lounge area. When it’s time to leave the mountain, a community potluck is prepared for the ride back. No need to worry about cooking dinner after a long day of skiing!

line of skiers on a mountain slope
Skiers of all skill levels are welcome to enjoy the slopes. Photo credit: Emi Doyle

Olympia Ski Bus, A Helpful Service and Strong Community

The Olympia Ski Bus is not just a transport system, it’s also been a gathering place for Thurston County’s skiing community for over 40 years. If you’re new in town and don’t want to enjoy the slopes alone, riders of the Olympia Ski bus welcome newcomers of all ski levels with open arms. They ensure everyone is included in the experience by forming groups to accommodate skiers of all skill levels.

“I wasn’t always a strong skier,” shared Judi Kruller, a ski student and bus rider. “Gary encouraged me to join, and he taught me how to get down the mountain. Chuck and Kevin, two other riders, took me under their wing and helped me improve. I continued riding the bus every week and got better and better.”

Emi Doyle, a ski lover who recently moved from Japan to Olympia was informed of the ski bus by a local resident. “Dawn and George are great organizers and all of members warmly welcomed me,” she shared. “There are various levels of people on the bus. People just join groups whatever are comfortable for the level. Potluck and nap on the way back is the best part after a long day skiing. I make sushi rolls for it.”

close up of a group of skiers posing for the camera
Olympia Ski Bus riders meet for nine weeks out of the year for skiing and fun. Photo credit: Dawn Knutzen

Over several decades, Olympia Ski Bus has helped many skiers connect with one another through their shared love of winter sports. However, COVID devastated many Thurston County ski and outdoor shops, making it difficult for potential new riders to connect with the ski community over the last few years.

“We used to have a shop called Alpine Experience that would promote the Olympia Ski Bus and bring the local skiers together,” said Dawn Knutzen, longtime ski bus rider and bus coordinator. “That’s how I found out about it.”

Since the local ski shops have closed, the Thurston ski community relies heavily on word of mouth to inform newcomers about the Olympia Ski Bus. Those who have ridden the bus for decades hope to bring more awareness to this fantastic non-profit organization.

“People wish they’d get up to the mountains to ski more,” said Dawn. “Too often time bypasses us, the season is suddenly over, and the opportunity is gone. When you sign up for the ski bus, it is on your calendar, and you go up. We want to get people up on the mountain and bring the skiing community together again.”

Do you want to build long-lasting friendships, reach your skiing goals, and join a wonderful community of like-minded people?

Reserve your spot on the Olympia Ski Bus today!

For questions about Olympia Ski Bus, Crystal Mountain ski guidelines, or to reserve a seat, contact Dawn Knutzen at ddknutzen@comcast.net.

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