Some new tweaks to uphill access policy
[ By Kendra Walker ]
A last-minute dusting of snow graced Mt. Crested Butte Tuesday and Wednesday morning to welcome the opening day of Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s 2021/2022 winter season. Snowmaking crews have been hard at work this past week to provide enough skiable terrain accessed from the Red Lady Express just in time for the mountain’s day before Thanksgiving opening tradition.
“The Red Lady Express started spinning at 9 a.m. for our 60th anniversary season!” said senior manager of communications Jessica Miller. “Guests were welcomed with fresh pocket bacon, donuts and music in the base area followed by our first chair banner breaking. We were also treated to some fresh, white flakes falling from the sky– hopefully a sign of a great winter ahead!”
Open terrain included Peanut, Lower Keystone and Warming House Hill. The Peachtree lift that was replaced this summer with a new three-person fixed grip lift is not yet running but will open for the season soon. “CBMR will continue to make snow at every opportunity to expand terrain offerings this early season, as weather and conditions permit,” said Miller.
Uphill access is also now permitted with the opening of the season, permissible only before and after operating hours on designated routes.
As in past years, uphill travel is allowed after 4:30 p.m. and before 8:45 a.m. during the entire operating season. Headlamps are required and reflective clothing is recommended. For best visibility, it’s recommended to stay in the center of the trail. Also, no pets are allowed on the mountain at any time to allow for increased safety when snowmobiles and snowcats are present.
Uphill users are required to stay on the designated uphill route at all times, both going up and down. This is the same route from previous years – Warming House Hill – Lower Keystone -Upper Park – Yellow Brick Road – Paradise Bowl – however; new this year is that there will be no uphill access permitted beyond Paradise Bowl, including on Silver Queen Road and Windy Gap.
Also new this season, no uphill access is permitted at all when ski patrol is conducting early morning avalanche control work. A red light will be on at the top of tower 3 of the Red Lady Express lift to alert users of this closure.
Fat biking is permitted before 9 a.m. and after 4:30 p.m. on the designated winter bike route: Warming House Hill – Lower Keystone – Houston. Extra points are given if you have a Dave Ochs sighting.
As a reminder, health and safety protocols are in place at CBMR. While face coverings are not required outdoors in the lift lines or on chairlifts, they are required in all resort indoor settings including restaurants, lodging properties, restrooms, retail and rental locations. Guests ages 12 and over are required to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining at Paradise Warming House, all-day SRS programs, and Mountain Sports Teams programs.
This season also marks the 60th anniversary of CBMR, and the celebrations will continue throughout the season, including the return of local favorite events like the Al Johnson Telemark Ski Race, the New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade, the Pond Skim and a spring Ski Town Breakdown.