HUNDREDS OF BIKERS DESCEND ON CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO
The Wildflower Rush Race, Ride the Rockies and Fat Tire Bike Week Kick Summer into High Gear
Since local diehards started modifying their old “paper boy” clunkers to ride the area’s rugged mountain trails, Crested Butte has played an integral role in the development of mountain biking. The passion that these fat-tire enthusiasts held for their sport and the mountains spread steadily throughout the nation. Soon, a premier mountain biking festival evolved and Crested Butte was heralded as one of the finest places on earth for cycling.
The festival’s roots, like most things in Crested Butte, are colorful — it started as a vendetta. Back in the 70’s, a group of Aspen high rollers rode their motorcycles over Pearl Pass to Cre sted Butte and parked them in front of the Grubstake Saloon, one of two taverns in town. They lined the curb of Crested Butte’s only paved street for half a block.
To a small group of rowdy locals a bicycle counter-assault seemed the only reasonable thing to do. So early one September morning, fifteen hardy souls took off on their one-speed clunkers over 12,700-foot Pearl Pass into Aspen. It took two days. When they got to Aspen, they parked their bicycles in front of the Hotel Jerome, had a raucous party and shuttled back. That was 1976. By the early 80s, the tour evolved into a week of activities and Fat Tire Bike Week was born. The Pearl Pass Tour, as it is now called, still takes place every September.
Breaking ground this year with an opening planned for the 2009/10 season, the Red Lady Lodge. At the top of the Red Lady Express Lift, this grand on-hill day lodge will replace the main resort cafeteria, adding a new flavor of enjoyment for residents and visitors to the mountain. The 22,000-square-foot space will offer ski services and a variety of attractions, including an upscale restaurant and bar, gourmet prepared-foods section, and a child-friendly play area and food zone. Come evening, fine dining with “stellar” views will be served up via gondola.
In addition to beginning the construction on-mountain of Red Lady Lodge, Crested Butte Mountain Resort planning the following improvements this year:
• Treasury Center upgrades to day skier seating, snack bar, and lockers
• Remodeling of Kids World ski school building
• Base area landscaping improvements
• Mountain trail improvements and gladding
• New snowmaking and groomed terrain
An extract from Phil Marty’s “5 ways to be stunned by Colorado” in the Chicago Tribune:
Wow moment: The Lower Loop Trail heading out of Crested Butte is ranked “easy,” as mountain bike trails out here go. But then you’re flying down or struggling up one of its hilly sections on a 12- to 18-inch wide single-track trail, dodging rocks in the path, and you notice that the outer edge of the trail drops off nearly straight down, promising a nasty 20- to 30-foot plunge if you slip up. It’s not the time to be rubbernecking. Save that for when you stop to catch your breath and marvel at the aspen- and pine-covered mountains rising around you.
Where: Crested Butte, sitting at nearly 9,000 feet in the very mountainous west-central part of the state northwest of Gunnison, is considered by many to be the country’s best mountain-biking destination. Trails of all skill levels form a web around the tiny, picturesque onetime mining town. And finding a trail often is as easy as just cruising the streets to the edge of town. But trail maps are readily available.
Full story here
CRESTED BUTTE – The chairlifts in this ski town of 1,600 tucked at the base of the Elk Mountains stopped a month ago, but the skiing didn’t.
Spring is always the top season for backcountry skiing: the days are warm, a winter of snow is still piled up and avalanche danger has largely melted away. This spring in parts of Colorado, the smorgasbord of ski choices is especially abundant.
The Butte saw the biggest winter in memory. One storm after another walloped the region with so much powder that when you ask locals at Endo’s, the main watering hole, how the season was, words won’t suffice. They whip out their iPhones and flip through a string of bragging-rights ski photos where nothing is showing above a spray of snow but goggles and Sybaritic grins.
There was over 35 feet of snow, with much more in the surrounding hills. The mountains around Aspen and Buena Vista also saw near-record snows. A cool spring kept it from melting. Now, the surrounding mountains are cloaked in more white stuffi than locals have seen in 50 years. The spring thaw is slowly turning it into corn snow – some of the sweetest, easiest and safest snow to ski in the backcountry. And skiers are taking full advantage.
‘People are saying the skiing will go all summer and into the fall,’ said local Ryan Opdahl recently.”
(Read the full article: Life: Record corn harvest | snow, skiing, spring : Gazette.com:
Camp4Coffee is at the intersection of the Painter Boy, Prospector and Gold Link lifts. Famous for its coffee, it’s a great meeting point and somewhere to grab a quick power boost without stopping for too long. A good selection of hot and cold beverages (including soy hot chocolate for those that need dairy-free) and snacks. When the weather is good, the BBQ-mesiter pumps out hot- and bratwurst-dogs.
Being at the top of the green Painter Boy run and a selection of blue runs on the opposite side, beginner and intermediate ski needs can be met with a good spot for grabbing a quick breather.
In fact, when we were there in late-March, you could do two runs down Prospect before your coffee was ready to drink.
The Clif Builder’s Bar – prevents downtime on the slopes!
With the cost of ski passes and the limited time (and money) for ski vacations, who wants to hang out too long feeding the kids?
The Clif Builder’s Bar was the answer. With 20g of protein from soy and nuts, we were able to split one of these bars between our two kids and keep them going until a late lunch at Butte 66 at the base of Crested Mountain Resort – BBQ Pork sandwich a must!
With no trans fat, hydrogenated oils or dairy (our youngest is allergic to dairy), the chocolate bars were gobbled up quick sharp and provided half of their daily required protein.
For us oldies that have to watch our cholesterol they may be a bit high in saturated fat, but hey I was skiing!
Check out their web site for more on their products and where you can buy them
The family rides back up the Red Lady lift for another shot down Crested Butte’s Roller Coaster or Mineral Point.
“In my family we’re even willing to give up a little individual freedom for the collective good, heeding a roster of rules enforced over the years by my father. The downhill commandments of “Ski Trip Dad,” as we call him, include: “No whining,” “Don’t bring more gear than you can carry,” “Don’t expect people to wait if you sleep in,” “Helmets required” and “Always stop at an intersection in the trail and wait for everyone else.”
Crested Butte is restructuring its direct flight program in an effort to better appeal to destination skiers.
The ski area operator and its partners from local governments, who levy a sales tax to subsidize transportation, had taken a heavy hit in revenue guarantees two years ago when airlines too frequently carried fewer passengers than is necessary to meet costs. The subsidized flights were primarily to Texas markets and also Denver.
This year, Crested Butte took a breather, offering fewer flights, but hopes to return next winter with a substantially revised program to a variety of new cities, including to Delta Airlines headquarters in Salt Lake City, and also Chicago, Atlanta, and other major markets.
Nearly $2 million will be offered to airlines, to ensure they don’t lose money on the new flights. To make this possible, the ski area operator, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, will pick up a large portion of the tab, $1.2 million, should the planes not fill to at least 75 percent of capacity.
Crested Butte also expects to cut back its shuttles from Denver.
Source: Idaho Mountain Express