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Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
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Crested Butte, CO 01/08/17

Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:50 pm

Everyone knows that Crested Butte has many attractive attributes (lots of expert terrain, cute ski town, no lift lines); however, state-leading snow ain't one of them. Who woulda thunk that an early January visit would put me in the middle of a 90-inch storm cycle? Isn't Colorado's big snow period supposed to be March into April? Anyway, CB has been getting a lot of nice press from this run:
http://www.denverpost.com/2017/01/11/sn ... iest-town/.

Sunday (snowing heavily all day + fog + flat light) was one of those times when photos just weren't capturing how good the skiing was. Plus, I was skiing solo so no one was there to take pix of me or serve as a subject. I mixed up runs through knee-deep single-diamond woods with bootcuff deep trail runs and it was great. I usually don't believe in raving "Top 5 day of the season" in real time, but it certainly felt like it.

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One of the big secrets about Crested Butte is that there's quite a bit of terrain for mere mortals too: long upper-intermediate runs with no flat spots and even a healthy amount of green trails. The marketing department's been trying to communicate that talking point forever, but the pesky "experts-only" perception persists to a certain degree. In short, it's a real nice mountain in a location -- four-ish hours from Denver if the roads are dry/add another hour in tough weather, including a white-knuckle Monarch Pass -- that you have to make a special commitment to ski. The tradeoff is that you're amply rewarded on a variety of levels, especially when conditions are great. Atmospheric Elk Avenue in town, which is a U.S. national historic landmark district, is also noteworthy.

Unfortunately, all I have are a few trail pix. If you want more professional shots, check out the Denver Post link at the top.

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Crested Butte village scores extra points for having a Volant bench at a ski bus stop:
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Re: Crested Butte, CO 01/08/17

Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:15 pm

Yes, but did you get caught in any road closures on the trip?

Looks sweet and for those interested, CB had 3" new on the Sunday 5am report with 11" new reported the following day so guess half of that fell during the ski day?

Re: Crested Butte, CO 01/08/17

Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:15 pm

EMSC wrote:Yes, but did you get caught in any road closures on the trip?

Nope. Mostly dry roads Friday on the way over Monarch Pass to CB and a serious snowstorm on the way back Sunday late afternoon but I managed to make it over in a two-wheel-drive rental. Who needs chains or 4WD when you have dope upstate NY driving skillz?
:bow:

Re: Crested Butte, CO 01/08/17

Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:37 pm

North Face opened the week before you arrived. I'm guessing it might have been restricted some during your visit due to avy control rather that the usual issue of early season coverage.

Re: Crested Butte, CO 01/08/17

Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:34 am

It doesn't matter what the marketing department says the intermediate terrain is very limited. What they have is good, but the trail map tells the truth. The quantity and variety is not there. It's a shame they couldn't get permission to expand onto the neighboring mountain.

If you're an expert skier Crested Butte can be a lot of fun if snow conditions permit. If you're an intermediate skier it's a day resort.

Re: Crested Butte, CO 01/08/17

Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:35 am

In my experience, there's a whole lotta black and a whole lotta green, but not an enormous amount in between.

Re: Crested Butte, CO 01/08/17

Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:21 pm

I agree with the above comments plus a lot of that expert terrain is rarely open. Half of it is still not open now despite CB being at 213% of normal snowfall with an 83-inch base. If that's not enough to get this stuff open, what does it take? It's possible that the delay is due to snow stability issues but it's a holiday weekend and we are in a bit of a lull after the big dumps right now.

Re: Crested Butte, CO 01/08/17

Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:00 pm

Tony Crocker wrote: It's possible that the delay is due to snow stability issues


This particular year... it's this.

Copper patroller I talked to described the snowpack stability as "funky" and "weird" this year. So they are taking their sweet time making sure it's safe - at least at Copper, where they still haven't opened Tucker Mtn despite probably the best coverage I've ever seen on that terrain.

Re: Crested Butte, CO 01/08/17

Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:15 pm

Yes, there is stuff at Squaw/Alpine that's not open yet either, despite what's being described as a total madhouse holiday weekend at Tahoe.
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