The chairlifts are being dusted, the slopes groomed and trail map dispensers stocked. Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) opens for the 2010-2011 season in just 24 hours and crews have been working round the clock in preparation for a season to remember. Over 17 inches of fresh powder – this week alone, plus 19 trails, 5 lifts and the Keystone Jib Park await skiers and riders for an early Thanksgiving ‘feast.’ This season marks 50 years of skiing and riding at the resort, with opening day kicking-off an ongoing celebration of the resort’s heritage.
The ski area welcomes skiers and snowboarders to enjoy early season snow and the resort’s best opening conditions in six years with the Red Lady Express lift, Peachtree lift, Teocalli lift and the Pine and Aspen Magic Carpets starting up for the season at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. Trails include: Peanut, Bubba’s Shortcut, Houston, Lower Keystone, Warming House Hill, Poverty Gulch, Mineral Point, Kubler, Tulsa, Upper Smith Hill, Lower Roller Coaster, the Keystone Jib Park, Rustler’s Gulch, Augusta, High Tide, Lower Ruby Chief, Bushwacker, Meander, Paradise Access and Conundrum. Trail openings total 105 acres covering 19 trails, or 20 percent of the resort’s beginner and intermediate terrain.
Snowmaking crews have been busy painting the mountain white, but thankfully Mother Nature has assisted in their efforts. The mountain has received over 70 inches of fresh snow so far during the pre-season, resulting in a 28-inch base. Opening day preparations in Crested Butte also mean the race for “first chair” is on, and the line starts forming well before the sun rises on Crested Butte Mountain.
CBMR’s Adventure Park, a perennial favorite, also re-opens for the winter season on Wednesday. The bungee trampoline and rock climbing wall will be the first features to open, with the ice skating rink and tubing hill to follow shortly thereafter, as weather permits.
CBMR’s pre-Thanksgiving opening gives skiers and riders plenty to be thankful for. Opening the resort on Nov. 24 allows winter enthusiasts to warm up their ski legs for the season and earn their turkey and pumpkin pie. Park-goers can test their early season park skills in the Keystone Jib Park where crews are currently putting the finishing touches on new features to include four-to-five hits and one jump.
CBMR will host music all day long on opening day, kicking off a year-long celebration of 50 years of skiing and riding in Crested Butte. Local radio station KBUT will be spinning tunes from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., followed by Drew Emmitt at 2 p.m., and Spring Creek Bluegrass immediately afterward at Butte 66 – prime après real estate for great entertainment, drink specials and even better views. Guests also can enjoy a lunch at Jefe’s, with tacos and burritos from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
In true Crested Butte style, costumes are encouraged and swag will fly at random, rewarding participants and guests throughout the day.
Mountain operations crews are working hard to open more terrain as soon as possible. They will move from Red Lady and Teocalli lifts to Upper Paradise, and on to International, preparing the front side and opening the Silver Queen lift for the season. Preparations are already ahead of schedule, thanks to a jump-start on snowmaking and great natural early snowfall resulting in the most solid base CBMR has seen in years for opening day.
CBMR’s 50/50 Package Celebrating 50 Years of Skiing/Riding:
In honor of 50 years, CBMR is offering a 50/50 package, 50 percent off lift tickets and $50 per person, per night for lodging. A great opportunity and the perfect excuse to experience “Colorado’s last great ski town.”
50th celebration events will continue throughout the season with the resurrection of time-honored events (many involving costumes – it IS Crested Butte, after all), community activities and the opportunity to honor prominent figures from Crested Butte’s past. 50th Celebration winter highlights will include:
* A Winter Chainless Downhill Bike Championship
* A Bump ‘n Jump competition
* Mini X-Games or 50th Games (one day, multiple small, goofy events like an Edgie Wedgie race)
* Gelandesprung Ski Jump on Closing Day (Apr. 3)
* A “through the ages” movie series featuring films shot in Crested Butte over the past 50 years
* Ongoing speaker series: life in Crested Butte over the past 50 years