When it’s 6 degrees F and you’re hiking up under a ski lift instead of riding the cable, something is right. Not to fault ski lifts, they’re ok and surprisingly efficient (when they’re well occupied), but as recent blogination here has alluded to, at WildSnow.com we do try to stay more on the human powered side of things while acknowledging we live and enjoy the amenities of industrial civilization. That includes baby-butt groomed ski runs to stroll up and carve down with no more concern than you feel at your morning yoga class. (And sometimes with the same “scenery” if I do say so myself, boys.)
To that end, we’re visiting Crested Butte Mountain Resort (Colorado) and checking out their uphilling scene. Unlike most resorts, where uphilling is either banned or tolerated, CBMR has chosen to make uphill skiing and hiking a well supported part of their total guest amenity package. As we covered in a previous post., they’ve established before and after hours routes and a daytime route. An uphilling gear demo center is operating (Scarpa & Trab), and they’re throwing a full moon campfire party once a month at an easy destination a short hike up the hill.
Before the cynics out there attack us like the banshee screeching sword swinging mobs of Genghis Kahn, please know we’re clear that uphilling resorts is not backcountry skiing. Nonetheless, we regard it as part of our spectrum as it’s a feeder to the sport and also an excellent alternative cardio-social activity when backcountry skiing is too dangerous or too inconvenient. Mostly, it’s just fun, we do it, it keeps us fit, so we cover it. Thanks CBMR for welcoming the activity with open arms.
The next day we uphilled on CBMR’s designated all-day open route, a few images:
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.