Pioneer: Colorado's original lift-served run
Pioneer: Colorado's original lift-served run
Photo from www.coloradoskihistory.com

Move over, Snodgrass: State's first ski hill could be resurrected in Crested Butte

Some Crested Butte locals are looking to breathe life into the state's first resort, Pioneer Ski Hill, which closed over 50 years ago after a two-decade run. Located near CB South on Cement Mountain, the idea is to put in a new lift or two on the old run, but little else, and make it into a city park


The story in The Crested Butte News raises the question whether locals will support the idea, referencing the ongoing controversy around the blocked Crested Butte expansion at Snodgrass Mountain (see previous posts here and here). But the key mover and shaker behind the concept, Al Smith, says the idea likely won't kindle a firestorm.

Smith said he was surprised at how open people are to the idea. "Surprisingly, we have met very little opposition to the idea. We imagine that it would be like Mad River Glen--community owned/shared and really bare bones.  There would be no massive base area, no flock of condos, no grooming and very few rules. How could anyone be against it?"

The hill is steep -- maxing out at 53 degrees -- and could feature an additional surface lift to the peak. The concept has some hurdles to clear before it leaves the drawing board, but I'd be surprised if the opposition was as strong as Friends of Snodgrass Mountain.

Smith pokes some fun at the controversy:

"I have heard there is already a movement by the group C.A.V.E (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) to start a protest/action group called 'Friends Of Cement Mountain' (acronym...never mind)."

The old trail map
The old trail map
Map from www.colopradoskihistory.com


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