our family recently visited Crested Butte from the front range. The total drive time was 5 hours and the smart thing to do is stop at Monarch Mountain on the way to break up the drive.
The Crested Butte ski report was promoting powder and packed powder but all we could find on beginner and intermediate runs was manmade hard pack snow. The mountain is probably a lot better for advanced skiers than my intermadiate family. There was no base lodge to get the family geared up and this was a problem for those of us that stayed down in Crested Butte. CB is a great little town, it sort of reminded us of what Breckenridge and Steamboat used to be like. Good restaurants, shopping and things to see.