This Christmas, Midwest Ski Journal is revisiting one of our favorite posts from Christmas 2018. It’s a piece of satire analyzing the ski-ability of Mt. Crumpit, from the Christmas movie classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Ultimately, we discuss the viability of opening a ski area on the fictional mountain, before one of skiing’s mega-companies swoops in at the end.
Enjoy and Merry Christmas MSJ readers!
Like many this Christmas, I sat down to watch “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and if you’re anything like me, one thought stuck in your mind.
I could ski Mt. Crumpit.
Somehow, some way, the people of Whoville all colonized the bottom of the mountain and let the exiled Grinch take the entirety of the town’s most shred-able mountain for himself.
As the film progresses, director Ron Howard gives frequent, tantalizing looks at the mountain the Grinch calls home.
The long distance views of the mountain show it as a super technical, rocky face, but the up close shots show a mixture of tree skiing, wide open powder bowls and big mountain spines to keep skiers of all levels entertained.
Look no further than the final scene when the Grinch and Cindy Lou-Who navigate a snowcat-sized sleigh of gifts down the face of the mountain in which the Grinch screams the famous line, “The sun is bright and the powder’s bitchin’.”
Skiing the 3,000-foot beast that is Mt. Crumpit seems possible, but there are other pressing issues in the way of skiers and what could be unrivaled terrain.
Absent any traditional lift operations, Crumpit may have trouble moving bodies to the top of the hill.
One possible solution would be to construct something. An Aspen Mountain-style, top-to-bottom gondola would be one solution. However, you wouldn’t want a beginner getting themselves into something they can’t ski out of.
To help keep it exclusive, I think utilizing and expanding the garbage tube system would suffice. Cindy Lou-Who and the Grinch both use this garbage chute to (confusingly) both ascend and descend the mountain at different points during the film.
If Crumpit could add a few more tubes, maybe on different sides of the mountain, skiers could navigate the terrain quickly. Also, they could stay warm and out of the harsh elements for which Crumpit is famous. Think of it like a gondola, or a bubble chair, but underground.
Every ski mountain knows you can’t make much money off just the hardcore skiers. You need amenities to make money. So, Crumpit will have to follow suit.
The town of Whoville is one of those amenities and has many advantages. For one, its economy is booming. The film suggests a strong consumer culture that also caters to the little guy (as evidenced by the 99 percent off sale advertised during the “Whobilation” scene).
Really, Whoville is like a little Aspen at the base of the mountain, with all the luxury stores and dining options you could imagine.
Additionally, however, skiers need an on-mountain dining option. I think the Grinch’s cave estate at the top of Crumpit could be re-purposed into a multi-purpose cafeteria-style lunch counter, bar and sit-down, fine dining bistro with a view over the Crumpit Valley.
The problem, of course, is the current owner of the mountain. The Grinch is notoriously cheap and people-averse, especially when it comes to Whos.
So, how would you possibly get the Grinch to allow this use of his coveted private property?
The answer, of course, is green. Not green as in the color of his skin or hair, but green as in money.
A major ski industry company swoops in and offers the Grinch an enormous sum for the mountain. The Grinch sells out and buys 1,000 acres in the Montana wilderness where he never has to see a Who again. Who says no to that deal?
That issue is really the only obstacle I see in making Mt. Crumpit the premier ski destination in North America. It would stand up to the terrain of Big Sky, Jackson Hole, Whistler-Blackcomb and Snowbird and features the ski culture of an Aspen or Telluride.
Ideally, though, Crumpit opens to skiers and keeps that laid-back, skier-focused, inexpensive charm we know it’s capable of. It could be a mecca for soul skiing and the modest family ski vacations of old. A breath of fresh air in an increasingly corporate ski world.
UPDATE: Vail Resorts just announced the acquisition of Mt. Crumpit. It will join the Epic Pass for the 2019/2020 winter season. Single-day lift tickets will start at $219.99.
DISCLAIMER: This is satire.