It’s that time again— no, not the holiday season. It’s the snow sports season; that magical time of the year when we leave all our responsibilities at the base of the mountain and enjoy a day (or five) on the slopes. The Active Times staff would like to help you make the best of your time in the snow. In addition to our gear reviews, ranked lists and interviews with the experts, we’ve started this section to gather the most important information you’ll want to know before booking a trip or heading out for a day on the slopes. Each week we will feature a new mountain, complete with statistics, snow conditions and plans for 2014. So, when you’re thinking about your next big trip or you’re thinking about going last minute, check out the details on the top mountains here.
Location: Southwest Colorado
Chairlift pitch: “Whew! I could go on and on, but I think what really sets Crested Butte apart from other ski destinations is the people and the town. We have character. We care. We tout ourselves as being the last great Colorado Ski Town and we have recently been voted as the #1 Ski Town in North America through Powder Magazine’s Ski Town Throwdown. In addition, the ski area has something for everyone. We are well known for our Extreme Terrain because it is some of the best in the country and all lift accessed, but we also have amazing beginner terrain and a mountain that feels wide open and honestly bigger than the 1,547 acres that it is. We are also surrounded by 1.7 million acres of National Forest, so the mountain views are endless…. Ok like I said I could go on and on,” said Erica Mueller, a Crested Butte Representative.
True-up Vertical Descent: Overall: 3,062 ft.; lift served: 2,775 ft., according to skicb.com
Ski-able area: 1,547 acres
Ratios of difficulty (trail classification): 27 percent novice, 57 percent intermediate, 16 percent advanced
Number of trails: 121
Longest trail: 2.6 miles— Peak to Treasury
Number of lifts: 15
Hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Avg. annual snowfall: 300 inches, according to skicb.com
Deals and discounts: Crested Butte offers discounts throughout the season with their “CB Card.” It must be purchased online, before September and it costs $59. With the card, you get the first day lift ticket free and then a discount of 15 to 20 percent for each additional day. The discount changes with the time of the season. They also offer discounts on sites like liftopia.com and a discounted ticket when you book and stay at Crested Butte.
Right now: This weekend Crested Butte was hit with a fresh six inches of powder, bringing their base depth to 43 inches, according to skicb.com. There’s a chance they’ll be getting a bit more snow on Tuesday or Wednesday and high temperatures will be in the 20’s throughout the week. At the moment 13 of 15 lifts are open, 93 of 121 trails are open and all of the terrain parks are open.
Looking forward: Crested Butte has quite a bit of entertainment scheduled for the 2014 season. Starting with MLK weekend, they’re hosting the Annual Crested Butte Songwriters Festival, where they bring some of the top country songwriters. The writers perform the songs they wrote for famous country singers like Jake Owens, George Strait and Jason Aldean. In the same weekend there is a snow mobile competition called Roost the Butte. Later in the season, April 10-13, they’re planning a bigger snowmobile competition with eight events and some big names in the sport. And they’re hosting a spring concert, the band has not yet been decided but they’ve hosted well known bands in the past.