Looking for a little more adventure on your next family trip? Here is a truly unique idea for you! But first a little backstory…
After spending hours upon hours standing in lift lines on a busy winter weekend at a Colorado ski resort a few years ago, I finally relented and let my husband and his friends take me into the backcountry. In the backcountry, there are zero lines. But there is one key trade off.
I strapped “skins” to the bottom of my skis – basically cloth strips which prevent the skis from sliding backwards – and walked up the mountain. Yep, hours of uphill climbing for just one run. And it was glorious. I was hooked!
Now I understand that this may sound a bit extreme. But rest assured, I am not a particularly extreme person. If you are moderately in shape, a relatively confident skier and have the right gear and guiding, you can enjoy skiing in the backcountry too.
Crested Butte Colorado is home to some of the best backcountry skiing in America and my friends at Eleven Experience are the best in the business. Here’s why your family should consider guided backcountry skiing in Crested Butte Colorado for your next winter getaway.
Colorado’s “Last Great Ski Town”
Crested Butte is known as Colorado’s last great ski town. Here you’ll find a very walkable, charming, historical town that has retained it’s grit and character developed over the past 150 years even as unique dining establishments and shops have popped up around town.
Scarp Ridge Lodge is the perfect home base for your Crested Butte adventure. This boutique property is in the former “Croatian Saloon,” still marked with its Wild West facade, but the interiors have been beautifully transformed with reclaimed iron from the old mills in town and generous amenities, like an indoor saltwater pool, rooftop hot tub and oxygen-enriched air system.
Cat Skiing in Irwin
Located about 20 minutes outside town, Irwin is the base of the Eleven Experience backcountry skiing operations. Expect 8-10 runs per day on untouched powder, including a nice break for lunch and après cocktails and snacks at a private, on-mountain chalet at day’s end. Unlike my maiden voyage into the backcountry, you don’t have to walk up the mountain. Rather, you’ll be driven in a cozy snowcat (affectionally called an “alpine limo” by the team thanks to its flat screen TV, mood lights, and custom playlists!)
With an average of 450 inches of snow falling every year, the conditions for guided backcountry skiing in Crested Butte Colorado are reliable. When traveling as a family, of course the experience will be customized based on the abilities and interests of your group. Most families combine backcountry and resort area skiing over the course of a week.
Of course, once you’re ready, the guides at Eleven Experience are more than happy to take you where the cats can’t access and you must walk up the mountain. Challenge yourself by skinning up 800 feet on a dramatic ridge tour to Mt. Emmons, with 360-degree Elk Mountain views. You’ll be rewarded with 2,500 vertical feet of untouched powder for one truly epic run.
Thinking about a guided backcountry skiing in Crested Butte Colorado adventure for your family this year? Contact me today to learn more and to start customizing your next vacation.
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