Crested Butte Mountain Review

by: bondibox - Jan 7, 2008

  • Overall Rating 5
  • Family Friendly 5
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 4
  • Terrain Park 0
  • Nightlife 5

    Date Visited: Jan 7, 2008


Full review

Crested Butte has a lot of varied terrain all tightly packed and accessible. With the exception of getting stuck at the bottom of East River, any part of the mountain is only a lift ride and one run away, e.g., bottom of Teocali to the gondola; 1 lift & 1 run. So it's all right there for you. Surprisingly, it's the easiest terrain that gets crowded first, Gold Link has some fun runs but I won't wait in a line with the whiteplates who flock to it.

If you want extreme terrain then this mountain is off the hook. I skied Silverton and the terrain there isn't much more than you'd find at the Butte, I probably could even have found a CB local to guide me through the north face for $40 and had a better day of it. You don't have to go to the high lift to access the gnarly, either. In fact those finger shoots that come off the traverse to Sunrise are the most frightening I've ever seen, and Horseshoe is probably the steepest slope a snowcat can groom. Along with Kirkwood, Crested Butte is my favorite place to ski.

Over the years CB has had waves of snow. It was great in the '80s, but it was at the center of the donut hole during the '90s. It's good to see this place getting the snow it deserves again. The drive up from Gunny is a cakewalk, but it's so damn remote -- Aspen is only 30 miles to the north, but a 4-6 hour drive in the winter.

Because of the "can't get there from here" location, the town of CB has a main street that doesn't really go anywhere, so the commerce part of the town isn't split in half by a through route the way Steamboat or Tahoe are. It helps CB keep that local feel. On my last trip there I remarked that it felt more like home than home does. With a plethora of restaurants and pubs the Apres ski is as much as you can hope for. CB also has one of the nicest hostels in the country, though I'm not much for dormitory lodging having a kitchen at your disposal is a major plus. Consider the private apartment on the 3rd floor if you're with a group.

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