Piste Skiing in Colorado
The Elk Mountains are your natural playground, with terrain suited to all levels of experience. Warm up on easier green or blue runs and hit perfectly groomed corduroy. Crested Butte’s unrivaled terrain is part of the Freeride World Tour and considered some of the best in bounds extreme terrain in North America. If you’re a first-timer or bringing the kids, the resort’s professional adult and kids ski school is one of the best in the country. The resort is the perfect place to find your ski legs before snowcat skiing and hitting the backcountry.
A letter from your guide
Steve Banks, Director of Mountain Guide Operations
Crested Butte is known as Colorado’s last great ski town. Our high elevation and cold temperatures result in some of the lightest snow in the US. Crested Butte Mountain Resort is at Eleven’s doorstep, with 15 lifts and 121 trails on 1,547 skiable acres. On average, terrain is 26% beginner, 57% intermediate, and 17% expert. Long, mellow groomers, including Peak to Treasury, a 2.6-mile-long run, bumps and extreme terrain offer challenges for all experience levels. Totally new to the sport? The resort’s professional adult and kids ski school is one of the best in the country.
Day 1 - Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Get outfitted with custom Wagner skis and top-of-the-line gear essentials. Ride the resort’s lifts and warm up those ski legs. Traverse on-piste, groomed runs or check out the expert steep-and-deep terrain. If desired, a private ski lesson with a vetted ski instructor can get you prepped for the week. Have lunch on-mountain and après at our ski in ski out condo.
Day 2 - Resort or Cat Skiing
Time to challenge yourself. Whether hitting the resort for round two, or opting to tackle snowcat skiing, epic turns are the only demands of the day. Our guides use this day to assess skill levels and discuss client goals for the week ahead.
Day 3-5 - Snowcat Skiing
Eleven’s custom-designed Tucker snowcat picks you up right in front of the lodge. This 45-minute alpine limo (think flat screen TV, mood lights, and custom playlists) transfers guests to Irwin. At our on-mountain chalet, boot up, meet your guides, and receive a final safety briefing. A second snowcat delivers you to off-piste, untouched powder. Mornings allow for 4-5 runs prior to a delicious gourmet lunch, topped with another 4-5 afternoon descents. Brag about the best runs of the day during après-ski, then re-load the Tucker and head back to town.
DAY 6 - HYBRID BACKCOUNTRY TOUR - SCARP RIDGE TO MT. EMMONS
After being outfitted with lightweight alpine touring boots, a snowcat or snowmobile will take you from Irwin to the 12,000-foot Scarp Ridge. Skin up 800 feet on a dramatic ridge tour to Mt. Emmons, with 360-degree Elk Mountain views. Your reward? A 2,500 vertical foot descent. Guides will give tips on ski touring while strategizing the best descent.
- Warm ski hat, baseball hat
- Goggles (high and low-light lenses)
- Outerwear (ski jacket and pants)
- Ski boots (alpine or backcountry)
- Ski socks
- Gloves or mittens (heavy and lightweight)
- Warm layers for top and bottom: capilene, wool, fleece
- Small backpack or duffel (for transporting ski gear to and from Irwin and the resort)
- If you are backcountry skiing, avalanche safety gear will be provided to you