Crested Butte opens today — and once again the resort is letting people ski free for the day. To get your free ticket, stop by the main ticket office at the Adventure Center. There will be a champagne toast at 9 a.m., which is also when the first chair heads up the mountain.
You can read about every Colorado ski resort in the Edge, our winter sports guide, as we roll it out online. Each description lays out what's new, what the signature experience is, what to splurge on, how to go cheap and, of course, what to drink
CRESTED BUTTE MOUNTAIN RESORT
What’s new: Check out the new Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks, a glass-walled space that seats 75 inside and features a retractable umbrella roof, outdoor deck area with 360-degree views, and a new food cabin.
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Signature experience: “Most locals would probably say our Extreme Limits terrain, with over 542 acres of double black diamonds, and the resort added another forty acres in the Teo 2 area last winter,” says CBMR spokeswoman Erica Mueller. “The extremes are what has probably kept them here and fallen in love with the ski area. There is no better place to be on a powder day. But along with that, I would say the sense of community and the love for the mountains is a bond that everyone in Crested Butte shares passionately.”
Splurge: A snowcat tour or guided backcountry tour with Irwin Guides is the gold standard for getting deep into the white room. You’ll ski or ride as much as 15,000 vertical feet, in an area ten miles outside of Crested Butte that averages an astounding 600 inches of powder annually. The full-day snowcat tours run $650 per person and include American Mountain Guide Association-certified guides, a hot lunch, and the use of avalanche beacons and Wagner Custom Ski demos.
Ski bum tips: “Need cheaper lodging? Check out the Gunnison Getaway program,” Mueller suggests. “Stay in Gunnison, 31 miles from the resort, ride the free bus, and pay a lot less for lodging and lift tickets. Also, stop by the Stash for the Poor Boys Special: $6 for a beer and a slice of pizza.”
Drink locally: On the mountain, try the recently renovated WoodStone Grill in the Grand Lodge for a rotating selection of six Colorado brews on tap. For happy hour, head downtown to the Coal Creek Grill for $2 pints. And for true local flavor, head for the Montanya Distillers tap room. “Their rums are handcrafted right in downtown Crested Butte,” Mueller says, adding that the distillery provides rum tastings and individual and group tours seven days a week.and include American Mountain Guide Association-certified guides, a hot lunch, and the use of avalanche beacons and Wagner Custom Ski demos.