Located in the Gunnison Country, Colorado, Mount Crested Butte houses this wonderful ski resort that goes by Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
The Western edge of Crested Butte Mountain houses the base area of Crested Butte base area. The low-intermediate and beginner terrain can be accessed through Westwall and Peachtree, which are two learning lifts that originate from the base. The major portion of the terrain on the mountain can be accessed only through the northern side of the base area, through one of the two high-speed quads available. Additional beginner terrains can be accessed by the Red Lady Express lift on the north, along with the trails and lifts on Painter Boy, as well as the mountain’s northern side. From the top to nearly the bottom of the peak on the Southside, the Silver Queen Express Lift grants access. A number of black runs (like the International) and the advanced intermediate terrain are also accessible through Silver Queen Express. From the highest point of Silver Queen Express, riders and skiers are also welcome to take a catwalk to access Forest and Peel, which are among the many south facing chutes on this particular area of the mountain. This catwalk can also be taken up to the Paradise Bowl.
Base Elevation: 9100 feet
Summit Elevation: 12162 feet
Vertical Drop: 3062 feet
On the Northern side of the Silver Queen Express Lift, additional Expert trails like Twister and Jokerville can also be accessed through the Twister lift. However, people must use the Silver Queen on these trails for a roundtrip, as it operates quite sporadically. The headwall is located even above the Silver Queen’s top, which is above Paradise Bowl and is an area of double black diamond chutes, which are made accessible by the High Lift, at-bar with the top elevation of 11875 feet, originating below the Silver Queen’s top. The peak that is reachable only by hiking is also accessible through it. For those who do not want to ride all the way up, the High Lift also provides the option of midway unloads.
Almost all the chutes off the T-bar necessitate riding the High Lift and the T-bar. The high lift can only be reached by taking the Silver Queen Express from the base and then following up by taking a cutoff. Paradise Bowl, which is a section reserved mostly for intermediate skiing, lies below the Headwall. Blue trails like Ruby Chief and Forest Queen are where bowl skiing takes place in the intermediate bowl. Paradise Express lift is the third high-speed quad, that grants access to the resort’s NASTAR course, a ski cross course (which was once, for a short while, where the terrain park was located), as well as to the trails in this area. Teocalli is a double chair lift that, during peak times, comes with service to some of the trails located towards the west of Paradise.
Towards the East of the Paradise Bowl lies the Extreme Limits Terrain which is also serviced by the Paradise Express accessed North Face T-Bar. Since they require the use of three lifts for roundtrip skiing (North Face, Paradise, and East River), the double black chutes remain remote comparatively. East River Trail Pod lies below the Paradise Bowl, and the East River Express Lift services it. Blue trails like Black Eagle and Floresta primarily compose these. East River also functions as a run out for those who, through the North Face are bidding adieu the Extreme Limits chutes. These are among the mountain’s most remote sections, as riding the Paradise is a necessity in order to exit the area.
The mountain has rightly earned its title of being among the top birthplaces of freeskiing, but offering the most diverse and extreme terrain. They have further revolutionized skiing through initiating Telemark skiing and free ski intense competitions. It has also given birth many skiers who went on to change the very history of skiing, like Seth Morrison, Winter Olympics, and FIS Alpine Ski World Cup athlete Wendy Fisher, along with Matchstick Productions, a film productions company that focus on extreme sports. Rightly considered the perfect ski adventure destination, the resort has plenty of blue and green groomed trails, along with a lot more advanced, longer trails, including the Headwall and North face’s extreme limits. It also provides lift accessed slope side restaurants, and the town of Crested Butte too includes various restaurants, bars, nightlife and shopping.
The terrain aspects are 0% South, 45% North, the same in West, and the remaining 10% in East. The mountain’s top elevation is 3710 feet, while its base elevation remains 2778 feet, with a total skiable area of 1,165 acres. In total, there are 21 runs at Crest Butte Mountain Resort, of which beginner runs are 23%, intermediate runs account for 57%, while the remaining 20% are for advanced or experts. The longest run stretches for 2.6 miles and is called Peak to Treasury.
The mountain has two terrain parks and sees a total snowfall of 300 inches each year, and snowmaking of up to 282 acres. It has 16 lift systems, of which 4 are high-speed quad chairs, 2 are triple chairs, 3 are double chairs, 2 are quad chairs, 2 are magic carpets, and 3 are surface lifts. The Mountain will open this year on the 24th of November.
Until and unless there is some early morning control work, the uphill skiers are allowed to visit the Silver Queen lift’s highest point. Similarly, unless there is early morning control work, all of the groomed terrains at the very top of the Red Lady Lift are accessible to bike riders including the Prospect lift and Gold Link Lift’s terrain, but they are not allowed access Paradise Pod or the upper mountain. The Gunsight Pass too remains closed to the bikers.
The guests at Crested Butte Mountain Resort have many options to choose from for lodging, like the Grand Lodge, the Mountaineer Square or The Plaza, to name a few. The Grand Lodge Crested Butte has a total of 226 large hotel rooms, along with spacious and grand suites to be provided as accommodations to the various types of travelers that it receives. Despite that, each room is not just surprisingly affordable, but also includes conveniences and comforts according to the time of the year that you choose to visit. The minimum that each room has is a box fan, a ceiling fan and one window at the least to assist in climate control.
The Mountaineer Square is merely a few steps away from the lifts. It is located right in the center of the base area of the mountain resort and very close to hiking, biking, shopping, restaurants, ski area services, as well as ski lifts. Playfully dubbed as a Base Camp, Mountaineer Square is an excellent choice for a cool winter ski vacation or even a summer getaway to the mountains. The lodge has not just luxurious accommodations, but also an incredible guest service and an ever smiling staff. Lastly, The Plaza is a favorite among the families because of how convenient it is, being only a hundred yards away from the Silver Queen, which is the main lift of the ski area. It has the usual shops and restaurants, but what makes it a favorite among the kids is the Adventure Center, that has activities like rock climbing, mini-golf, and so on.
So go ahead, plan a vacation, book your passes and be prepared to fall in love with this place.
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