Crested Butte: It’s more than just the Winterfest condos

Photograph by Emelie Frojen.

Winterfest is tomorrow. It’s that magical time of year when Colorado College students flock en masse to Crested Butte, taking their ski equipment and leaving their inhibitions in Colorado Springs. While the two-day event is the centerpiece of the action, Crested Butte is considered by many to be the best ski towns in the United States (and therefore the world), offering plenty of awesome stuff for those who aren’t too hungover in the morning.

First and foremost, Crested Butte has some of the toughest and steepest inbounds skiing in Colorado. Most of the steep lines can be found off of the High Lift. You can take demanding runs like Big Chute and Paradise Cliffs off the top, or you can boot pack to the top of Mt. Crested Butte and ski down. If it’s open and you don’t mind a long hike out, Teocali Bowl also has some awesome lines. The North Face lift also offers excellent expert skiing. For the truly ambitious, the area around Crested Butte also has excellent backcountry skiing with trailheads close to town. Most of the hikes are all-day affairs, and the skiing ranges from mellow bowls to serious ascents that require ski mountaineering skills.

Crested Butte has many après ski options for those so inclined. Grab a drink (or five) at the Woodstone Grille, which is located right in the Grand Lodge typically the beating heart of Winterfestivities. The grill itself is located less than 20 feet away from the sign-ins for Winterfest. Uley’s Cabin is located on the bottom of the Twister Lift and has an ice bar, which is exactly what it sounds like. In town, Elk Street is the place to be, as it has the vast majority of the town’s venues. Talk of the Town has a five-hour happy hour, as well as pinball and video games. Kovechar’s is Crested Butte’s oldest bar and stays open until 2 a.m. One of the reasons that CC students are invited back to Crested Butte is that we’re good business for bars and restaurants; so don’t be shy about ordering another round.

Remember to behave yourself to a certain extent, as it seems that there will be an even larger police presence this year, and they are less than stoked about the prospect of youthful shenanigans on the part of CC students. Remember to be respectful of the town and it’s citizens. Be safe and happy Winterfest!

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