CBMR delays summer opening to at least June 17

Lots of snow still up there

By Kendra Walker

This week, Crested Butte Mountain Resort announced the decision to adjust the start of its summer operations due to the slowly melting snowpack this spring. Summer operations will now begin on Saturday, June 17, weather permitting, instead of the previously announced June 10 start date. 

“Resort leaders on the ground here in Crested Butte made this decision after careful consideration for the safety of our guests and for the health of our trails,” said CBMR communications manager Julie Block. “Our team members worked hard to prepare the mountain for guests by our target opening date of June 10, and we are grateful to them for their tireless efforts.”

She continued, “We are asking guests and the community to refrain from riding on resort trails so that they are ready to open on June 17.” 

Block noted that people who purchased lift tickets and Adventure Park tickets for dates prior to the new target opening date will automatically receive a refund. CBMR will also begin operating its day camp program as planned on June 12, and programming adjustments may be required based on conditions.

“While this may be disappointing for guests looking forward to some bike park laps, the slower snowmelt is good for our water supply,” said Block.

A recent blog posted on the CBMR website explained how the slower snowmelt will benefit the water supply and wildflowers in the area.

“The slower the melt, the slower the runoff into our rivers, which can help mitigate flood risk,” director of mountain operations Steve Duke said in the blog. “Once the snow does melt, we should see a nice boost to our water supply, which will make for a great and lengthy summer of rafting and fishing!”

Longtime local wildflower guide Rick Reavis also explained in the blog that the layers of snow protect the wildflowers from late frosts and freezes that can occur into the early summer months. 

“A good snowpack will insulate the ground and help ensure native wildflowers do not break dormancy too early,” he said. “The developing flower buds of many species of wildflowers are extremely sensitive to frost.” 

Then the snow gradually delivers moisture to the wildflower populations as it melts. “Imagine a fully soaked sponge slowly releasing water over a several-week period of time,” Reavis said.  

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