Wednesday, Friday twilight lift rides $7 without pass
by Alissa Johnson
Snow has been falling in Crested Butte, but summer adventures on the mountain are right around the corner. Lift rides, the Evolution Bike Park and the Adventure Park will open on June 13 and, snow permitting, opening day will feature a new attraction. Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) is introducing a 3D archery course at the top of Red Lady Express.
There’s also still time to grab a Summer Adventure Pass at a discounted rate, which includes access to all that summer fun and free Twilight Lift Rides on Wednesdays and Fridays. Non–pass holders will now pay $7 for the summer tradition, which includes a free beer or soft drink at Butte 66.
The addition of the 3D Archery Course comes as CBMR prepares to host the second annual High Mountain Shootout competition August 15-16. First hosted last summer, the event takes place two weeks before the opening of archery season for elk and deer. Archers can choose between multiple ranges and more than 50 targets in competitive or non-competitive formats to hone their skills in anticipation of hunting season.
“Last year, we had a really good turnout of about 70 people. A good amount of them were local and we teamed up with West Elk Archers, an archery group based in Gunnison,” said Megan Collins, marketing communications manager for CBMR.
Scott Clarkson, CBMR’s vice president of marketing and sales, said the resort expected 20 or 30 people to sign up for that event. When they saw the high turnout and considered the number of hunters in the valley—particularly parents looking to pass on the tradition to their children—growing the event and adding a season-long course made a lot of sense.
“Almost everyone has done archery at scout camp and had fun with it,” Clarkson said, “and with the amount of interest in this valley, we thought there were enough people to give it a go.”
The course includes 20 plastic and foam targets featuring mule deer, whitetail deer, black bear, fox, coyote and Rocky Mountain elk.
Archers will access the mile and a half course from the Red Lady Lift, which will form a loop and return participants to the lift to ride back to the base area. The course will be open when the Red Lady Express runs, and it has been designed to keep archers separate from bikers and hikers.
“The course goes more toward Paradise than where the bike and hike trails are, and the plan is to use bannering, meaning tape, to cordon off the archer zone. It will be clear where the archery zone begins and ends, and the direction of shooting will be opposite the direction of bikers and hikers,” Clarkson said.
Clarkson also explained that the decision to charge non–pass holders for twilight rides on both Wednesdays and Fridays was intended to spread out use. Last year, twilight rides on Wednesday were $15, and they were free on Fridays. By charging $7 on both evenings and including a free beer or soft drink with the ticket price, the resort hopes more people will make an evening of it on either night, riding the lift and then socializing at Butte 66.
“The idea is that after you’re riding, maybe you head up the stairs and enjoy some time on the deck at Butte 66 and get a beer or two, or if you’re under 21 a fountain soda,” Clarkson said.
It’s also not too late to get a summer pass at discounted rates. Now through June 5, the Summer Adventure Pass is $279 for adults, $229 for kids, and $179 for children six and under. Year-round Peak Pass Plus holders already have access to the lifts and the Adventure Park included in their pass.
Staring on June 13 and running through September 18, the Red Lady Lift will run from 9:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. and the Silver Queen Express will run from 9:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. (fall hours begin September 18). To see the full lift and Adventure Park schedule, visit www.skicb.com/lifts or purchase a Summer Adventure Pass at www.ridecb.com/seasonpass.