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Crested Butte TR - 2/27/2015

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
In which Bounceswoosh, @Kimmyt , @rachelv , their respective S.O.'s, and one small baby arrive in Crested Butte for an action-packed weekend.


Copied from the original at theskidiva: 



Rachel skiing the aspen, probably Sunday

My trip to Crested Butte started in Breckenridge, where they reported 8" over 24 hours, although only 2" of those were overnight. DH and I took a lesson and somehow managed 18,000 feet of vertical by 1pm, when we headed back to the condo to pack up. Our instructor, Randy, is 70 years old and still ripping. It was my first time skiing with him. He showed us some fun lines I hadn't skied before - the same old runs, but from a fresh new perspective, and plenty of leftover fluff to be found. Good times. We ate lunch and headed down 285 toward Crested Butte.

Thursday night was bad enough to make me want to turn around and drive right back home. I'd been hungry for most of the drive from Breck, so honestly, I was in a foul mood. I just wanted to get some food in my belly, but for some reason we decided to unpack the car first, which required finding the condo. It took us an inordinate amount of time to figure out that in order to get to the condo, we had to ascend the first flight of stairs, then go around the building, walk out onto the snow, and then stomp up two more flights of outdoor stairs at the back of the building. If these directions are hard to follow, they are even harder to figure out in the dark when you are HANGRY.

When I finally had a chance to eat, my GI system had a complete meltdown. To top it off, the overnight parking situation in Crested Butte is absolutely insane. We were under the impression that there was only one parking pass for the condo, and the other two cars would need to find overnight parking elsewhere. But as it turns out, you cannot buy an overnight parking spot in Crested Butte. It just doesn't exist. You park where you stay, or you're screwed. DH and I had finished searching Mt Crested Butte and were driving the grid of Crested Butte proper searching for parking, strongly considering aborting the whole trip, when Kim called with good news: she'd reached the condo owner, and we would be able to park in the condo lot, after all. We returned to the condo; I gave up and went to bed.

Okay, enough of the bad stuff. Friday morning, having had a decent night's sleep and a good breakfast, I shook off my funk and was finally able to appreciate our location: looking out of our window down onto the Silver Queen lift, with a few inches of fresh, and huge snowflakes falling. We didn't even have to tromp anywhere to get lift tickets - we got them in the admin office, two floors down.


I'm pretty sure I have my timelines and events a bit mixed up, but as my dad says, "Whose story is this, anyway?" Rachel and Kim can update as necessary.

Rachel's beau is currently an intermediate skier; several of us decided to join him for the morning, skiing blues on the Paradise and East River lifts. In retrospect, I'm not sure he was thrilled about having a pack of skilled skiers charging ahead, waiting, charging ahead, waiting, and then on the lift eagerly drilling him about whether he'd loved the fluffy snow on top of the groomer and offering unsolicited tips. But he was a good sport about it.

After a while, Rachel, Kim, and I split off to play in the trees to the right of the East River lift, then decided to explore the double blacks off the North Face T-Bar. This also allowed us to take a mission critical photo:


We skied a couple of runs up there. For me, they were challenging. More exposed (or barely hidden) rock than I'm used to. Trees + steeps + rock; I would have been more comfortable with two out of three. Which is not to say I didn't have fun! And honestly, I haven't been out of my comfort zone like that for a while, so it was a valuable experience - maybe helpful for Big Sky.

Rachel charging

Showing off my steezy fringe

Kim in her happy place

We also found a pretty hysterical sign. At the top of the North Face lift, we are notified that, should we find explosives, we are not to retrieve them. I wonder how many people brought "duds" back to the patrol shack before that sign went up.


I think I may have come in for lunch and never come back out. In fact, as I think about it, I don't think I ever skied a full day during this trip. Huh. Well, hey, it's vacation. That evening, DH and I joined Rachel and Rachel's guy at the Secret Stash, where they serve interesting pizzas - including gluten free ones! They also have GF pasta. I was happy. I've never seen so many Om symbols in a pizza joint. Interesting place. I approve. I acquired a Colorado-legal watermelon gummy candy, which mercifully did not hit until I got back to the condo. I think it just acted as a sleep aid, which wasn't the worst thing.


Saturday, possibly due to the watermelon gummy candy, I had trouble rallying to ski. The condo also had this fantastic huge U-shaped couch, big enough for all of us to laze about on, and laze I did.


Fantastic couch. Baby not included.

On Saturday, I went back to the glades with DH, only to find that they had been scraped to the bone in many places. Not so much fun. DH was feeling mellow, so we cruised some blues, with me occasionally ducking into the trees to explore. Honestly, I was super sore and just not really feeling it. On the other hand, Rachel's guy came into the condo super stoked. He'd found a similarity between skiing and a more familiar athletic activity - being a soccer goalie. He worked on "squaring up" his shoulders, and it worked for him. I valiantly managed to keep from unloading too much technical jargon on him. I think.

At some point, some folks went to Uley's Ice Bar - another critical mission, as it shares the baby's name - and strange things happened. I was napping at the condo.


So I wasn't really feeling the skiing that day, but you know what I was totally feeling? Django's, the "small plates" place that DH and I went with Kim, Mr. Kimmyt, and their son. DH had the great idea of doing the ordering round robin, so that ultimately each of us chose two plates. We had prosciutto wrapped dates, a meat and cheese plate, a beet salad, brussel sprouts with apple, goat cheese risotto cakes, duck leg, striped bass, and lamb loin. Yum. The baby had some goat cheese, beets, and bass, and we got him home without incident. Success!

On Sunday, we woke up early to get all of the stuff into the cars before the lifts started. FOURTEEN inches reported. When the first guy got in line at 6:30, we laughed at him from the cozy warmth of our condo. But by 8:30, the joke was on us - lines as far as the eye could see. Instead of taking the Silver Queen to the high lift as planned, we got on the Red Lady, from which it is harder to get to the gnar. The line was still long, but didn't seem to stretch, as Mr. KimmyT said, all the way to Gunnison. We figured we could make it over to the North Face lift.

The lesser of two evils

Well, we didn't make it to the North Face, because it was closed for avalanche mitigation all morning. Everything that was open seemed to instantly track out - we certainly didn't find any secret stashes. We made do back in the now-familiar glades, where I followed Kim into some nice fluffy spots. Even the East River lift lines were crazy long, partly because Crested Butte had moved the Banana Race there - the avy danger was too high to have the racers on the usual course. In fact, we're pretty sure we saw Wendy Fischer, who ultimately won the race. Watching the first lap of racers come down the powder bumps, in many case straightlining them, was impressive.

You can see a bunch of pictures from the race here; click "slideshow": http://adaptivesports.smugmug.com/Events/7HoursofBanana2015/

The lifts being so long, we moved over to the Teocalli double, which is heinously slow, but had the advantage of not having much of a line, probably because you can lap exactly two blues from this lift; everything else is a green leading to other parts of the mountain. We explored a bit and found some fun tree shots. In attempting a traverse, I got stuck with more than two feet of snow on top of my skis on a flat. The only way I found to side-step over to where the snow was more compressed was quite the effort: I would dig out my skis with my hands and complete one side step. The snow would collapse on top of my skis. Then I'd dig my skis out again and take another side step. I did make it out, eventually. I had my doubts.

By noon, we were in the car and on the way home, not knowing how the drive would go. As it turned out, the drive was fine except for Monarch Pass, and we got back early enough to liberate our dogs from the kennel before it closed.

A little blurry, but you get the idea

The End. 
post #2 of 6

Great report, thanks for sharing.

post #3 of 6

Glad you had a good time (I think)Thumbs Up

post #4 of 6

Looks awesome... nice TR... all these TRs lately with all these difficult slopes (what with the gathering threads recently) keeps me wanting to get better so I can ski them!

post #5 of 6

Sunday at CB was awesome. Monday was epic!


The reason they didn't get the North Face open early was due to some unexploded ordinance, hence the signage.

post #6 of 6
CB is awesome every time. Well done
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