CRESTED BUTTE

SKI - - RESORTS OF THE YEAR 2019 - —Jenny Wie­gand

EP

For decades Crested Butte lo­cals have been try­ing to keep their quaint min­ing town and le­gendary steeps un­der wraps in hopes of pre­serv­ing CB’s unique and funky spirit. But the cat’s out of the bag, and skiers far and wide are dis­cov­er­ing that Crested Butte may ac­tu­ally be Amer­ica’s last great ski town. CB’s down­fall is also its ad­van­tage: it’s not easy to get to, but that’s what keeps the crowds away. Those will­ing to make the trek are re­warded with some of the best in-bounds, lift-ac­cessed ex­tremes in the coun­try. It takes heaps of snow to cover CB’s rocky steeps, mean­ing in low snow years some of the most-prized ter­rain (Teo Bowls, Spell­bound, Third Bowl) may not open un­til late sea­son—if at all. If that’s the case, get out the carv­ing skis and cruise the fun groomers, or hop on the shut­tle to town and drown your sor­rows at Mon­tanya Dis­tillers or Kochevar’s (a le­gendary wa­ter­ing hole since Butch Cas­sidy stopped in for a drink in 1902). Wher­ever you land, you’ll find the restau­rants and shops of col­or­ful Elk Av­enue ooz­ing with char­ac­ter. Now that Vail Re­sorts has snapped up CB, it re­mains to be seen if the re­sort’s spirit will pre­vail. We sure hope so.

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