Less than two weeks left to the season, but plenty of fun to be had
By Alissa Johnson
With a little over a week left to the ski season, there’s still plenty to get excited about. The winter chainless race returns to Crested Butte Mountain Resort this weekend, along with a Food Pantry Donation Day enabling people to ski or snowboard for $45 for the day. And of course, the annual Pond Skim is back—this year better than ever with a new sponsor.
“We’re thrilled that it’s been such a fun season, but the fun is not over yet,” said Crested Butte Mountain Resort senior marketing manager Erica Rasmussen. “There is something for everyone this spring.”
Up first: The Winter Chainless Downhill Race this Saturday. Intrepid bikers who were in Crested Butte during the spring of 2012 may remember this event—riders take to the hill and ride down with whatever bike they care to ride, from townies to mountain bikes, so long as there’s no chain or the chain has been tied.
In 2012, fat bikes were still something of a rarity. Rasmussen says the resort expects to see a few fat bikes now that they’re in vogue, but that shouldn’t discourage other types of riders.
“If it’s a spring-like day with soft snow, fat bikes will be greatly appreciated by those riding them, it can be a little tricky with skinny tires. But it’s such a fun event… People are getting psyched for bike season, so why not kick it off during the ski season?” Rasmussen said.
Helmets, waivers and lift tickets are required for participants, and it’s $10 to enter. Registration takes place at Butte 66 at 3 p.m. with lifts loading at 3:45. The race itself starts at 4:30.
For those who prefer to watch rather than ride, the place to be is the Butte 66 deck. After the race, the final Crested Butte Unplugged free concert features Hayes Carll from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
On Sunday, the Food Pantry Donation Day returns. Guests who bring three non-perishable, non-expired canned food items or a pack of diapers to the Adventure Center between 8 a.m. and noon will get a full-day lift ticket for only $45 (to be used that day).
The final race in the Alpine Orthopaedics Town Race Series takes place Sunday as well. “It’s free to participate and there’s going to be a big raffle at the end,” Rasmussen said.
The race starts at 2 p.m. on Buckley, with registration from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Coal Breaker Coffee. And it’s not all about speed—as with most things, costumes are encouraged, and participants could win a costume contest.
Naturally, no season is complete without the pond skim. Closing weekend kicks off with the rail jam on Saturday, April 8, from noon to 6 p.m. And at 3 p.m., the Landshark Pond Skim returns to the base area. In case the opportunity to skim across the water on skis isn’t enough incentive to join in the fun, new partner and sponsor Landshark is upping the ante.
Rasmussen says there will be inflatables provided by Landshark, and male and female winners (age 21 or over) will win an all-expense-paid trip to a Margaritaville Resort in the U.S. There will be kids’ prizes as well.
“And then following the pond skim, we’ll have live bluegrass music at Butte 66 from 4 to 6 p.m. from Trout Stake Revival,” Rasmussen said. “Sunday is closing day, and that speaks for itself.”
That day, the shenanigans take care of themselves. And don’t forget, April 9 is not only closing day, it’s also the last day to lock in next year’s season pass at the lowest rate offered. The adult Peak Pass is $659, and the adult Peak Pass Plus is $879.