It’s no secret that the West, and especially Colorado, are again having another dry winter. In fact, until recently our overall snowfall totals were unbelievably less then even last year. However…..despite the lack of snow, the backcountry skiing & riding has actually been really darn good. Like really good. Worlds better then last year, even if overall snowfall is basically the same.
Maybe it has been the consistent nature of the small storms and occasional winds dropping enough new snow in the backcountry to add a ‘refresh’ every couple of days, that has made it so good. Maybe, the few big, and uncharacteristically wet storms we’ve had have made the snow stick and form more of a solid base. Crested Butte Mountain Resort has most all of it’s Extreme Limits terrain open. Last year at this time it had none. I guess statistics really don’t mean much, especially when it comes to measuring the quality of powder skiing it seems.
February has been a very, very busy month for Crested Butte Mountain Guides. Most all of our staff has been working constantly guiding a mix of Backcountry Ski & Splitboard Tours; Ice Climbing; Hut Trips; and teaching AIARE Avalanche Courses. However, it has been the backcountry tours that have kept us the busiest, and that have delivered the most amount of smiles, and “we’ll be back” comments on a consistent and daily basis.
Backcountry Ski Touring and Splitboarding has been exploding in popularity over the past few years, as the gear gets lighter, stronger, easier to use, and has more of a familiar feel. We are seeing this enthusiasm and trend in spades here in Crested Butte this year. Crested Butte Mountain Resort has set an industry first, by allowing a designated ‘up-hill travel route’ in-bounds during operating hours for folks to skin on the resort. And at CBMG, we’ve been going gangbusters guiding daily backcountry ski tours and repeatedly delivering the goods to folks !
Now as we break into March, historically one of the wettest months of the year for precipitation in Colorado, and Spring is just around the corner, we are gearing up for a strong finish to what has turned out to be a sleeper season of great powder skiing and riding despite the statistics. And to start us off on the right foot, Ullr has brought in March in Crested Butte with 16″ of fresh snow to help welcome in the arrival of Spring.
So as we come into the final month of the ‘official ski season’ in Crested Butte we are excited to continue the trend of good snow and being out and about in it all in the backcountry with our guests. Finding great turns, enjoying the scenery, and being deep in the Colorado mountains in the magic of the winter environment. Soon, the powder will give way to great corn skiing and we will transition into one of our favorite seasons of all: Spring Ski Mountaineering Season.
Warm temps, longer days, sunny corn skiing on big peaks……and our exciting finish to our ski season with our popular Alaska Ski Mountaineering Programs in the Chugach Mountains of Thompson Pass and closer to home our 4-Day Colorado Spring Ski Mountaineering Camps in mid-April. Stay tuned…..or better yet…..join us !
—- CBMG Staff