Everyone skis free this Wednesday

All hands on deck for a pirate party

By Alissa Johnson

Ahoy, me hearties. Batten down the hatches: The lifts start spinning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 25, and this year there’s sure to be no shortage of pirate puns as skiers and snowboarders set sail on snowy seas.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) is ushering in the ski season with free skiing for everyone and a pirate party with a treasure hunt.

“It is ski and ride for free—no strings attached. Just stop by the Adventure Center to pick up your ticket,” says Megan Collins, marketing communications manager at CBMR.

First up will be the annual champagne toast before starting the lifts, and throughout the day CBMR will post clues on Twitter and social media, hinting at the locations of hidden treasure (a.k.a. booty or doubloons).

“We’re very excited to see all the local friendly faces that we missed all summer, back and ready to ski, and hit the slopes with them,” Collins said.

As of press time, Red Lady and Peach Tree lifts were scheduled to be open and snowmaking crews had moved from the front side of the mountain to lower Paradise. Collins confirmed the snowmaking team has been out every night since November 4, and while daytime snowmaking had been limited to two full days, crews were optimistic.

“They’re hoping to move to upper Paradise by the end of the week, but it depends on temps,” Collins said. “Last year was the first time we opened on Paradise, and we’re striving to do that this year but can’t guarantee anything right now.”

Five inches on the pow cam Monday morning was a welcome sight, and in addition to casting about for treasure, there will be the usual opening day shenanigans, including live music at Butte66 from Rapidgrass, a Colorado bluegrass band.

When it comes to predicting just how many privateers (government-sponsored pirates) or corsairs (pirates from the Mediterranean) will take to the high seas on Wednesday, Collins says that can be hard to predict on opening day. “The drive market waits until they the see snowstorms, so you never know, and if we open Paradise that could also bring more from the Front Range for a long Thanksgiving weekend.”

One thing we know for sure: there will be plenty of local buccaneers and buckos to weigh anchor, hoist the mizzen (pull up the anchor and sail and get going) and splice the mainbrace (give the crew a drink).

Once three sheets to the wind, a few of them will likely turn into land lubbers (big, slow clumsy people who don’t know how to ski—we mean, sail), but hopefully there will be a few old salts or seadogs who can hold their own and be mindful of the lads and lassies.

Just remember, if someone calls you a scurvy dog they’re not paying you a compliment. And if you want to expand your pirate repertoire beyond “Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhh, Matey,” here are a few additional phrases from the interwebs:

Son of a Biscuit Eater: An insult to one of your mates.

Scallywag—Mild insult, akin to rogue.

Savvy?—Do you understand or agree?

Pieces of Eight or Doubloons—Coins or treasures found in pirate stashes.

Hornswaggle—To cheat out of money or treasure.

Blow me down—Expression of surprise.

See you on the slopes.

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