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This year’s Al Johnson Race – the 35th – was held March 22 and the individual winners for this year were Travis Scheefer and Rebecca Dussault. The race started at the bottom of the North Face Lift and ended on the East River Lift’s Black Eagle. So, competitors climbed a grueling 600 feet and then plunged 1,200 down through Crested Butte’s famous Extreme Limits.

The race has a great story. In the late 1800’s, Al Johnson was a mail carrier who traveled between various mining communities in the Crested Butte area. He was known for his courage on skis and held himself to the principle that “the mail must go through.” At roughly 9000 feet, the seventeen miles he traversed from Crystal to Crested Butte are some of the most treacherous winter terrain in the Gunnison Valley. Johnson would strap on mail sacks, which often weighed more than twenty-five pounds, and ski with this burden through snowy, rugged canyons and passes.

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Crested Butte Mountain Resort is selling 2009-2010 season passes at this year’s prices until April 5. Plus, you can use next season’s pass for the remainder of the 2008-2009 season. The offers are only good for on-line purchases.

Season Pass Financing Program

This summer Crested Butte Mountain Resort will be offering financing options for the purchase of all Platinum and Gold passes. For a $40 processing fee, CBMR will break your season pass purchase into four equal payments when you place your first payment by July 31st. Additional payments will be due on the last day of August, September and October.

Pass financing will only be available between June 1, 2009 and July 31, 2009. Financing will only be accepted with the use of a credit card on file.

Family Value Program

Receive one free child or young adult pass with every adult full season pass purchased. The Family Package includes one Adult Platinum or Gold pass and one pass of the same type for that adult’s legal dependent child, age 17 and under.

Platinum Pass

Platinum Passes provide unlimited skiing and riding with no blackout dates, and are valid for both the winter season and the summer season. If you purchase a Platinum Pass during the 2009 Spring Sale, you’ll get lift access during BOTH the 2009 and 2010 summer seasons.

Buy your passes here

Prinoth BR 350 Snowcat on passenger duty

Crested Butte Mountain Resort, in conjunction with Prinoth the world’s leading snowcat manufacturer, launches the Snowcat Driving Experience. Beginning March 7th, 2009, participants learn the basics of driving snowcats, grooming, pushing snow, and experience one of the best ski resort jobs on a closed course. The school incorporates initial classroom time for safety and operational instruction then students get out on the course to maximize the driving time.

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Categories: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

One of the West’s best skier’s mountains debuts new terrain, lodging and dining. And that’s just the beginning.

Cruising up the Silver Queen Express in steady snowfall, it’s hard not to be amazed by how steep and narrow Crested Butte’s terrain is. Off to the right are a handful of chutes like Peel and Banana Funnel. The latter is currently socked in by low-hanging clouds. But it’s there. I know because when you drive into town on a clear day, it’s the first thing you see—a tight gulley running down the mountain that gives this small town its name. And if steep and narrow aren’t enough, the mountain also throws in rocks—rather, boulders—trees and plenty of cliff drops. Even the bowls are narrow by most mountain standards. It’s no wonder the U.S. Extreme Skiing Championships are held here every year.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort is a mountain at the end of the line—there’s only one main road into the valley—with big yearly snow and challenging skiing. It’s set just a few miles from its laid-back town, which lacks the megaresort high-rises, Starbucks and chain restaurants. For years, the resort was operated like it was still the 1970s, waiting to be unearthed and polished. Then came Tim and Diane Mueller who, in 2004, purchased the resort and started injecting millions of dollars. (The Muellers sold Crested Butte to CNL Properties last year, but are still managing the resort.) They’ve retained the Butte’s roughhewn feel—just sanded the edges a bit.

Read the full story.

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