Freeriding, terrain parks and pistes
in Crested Butte
Freeriders are in command here, with much of the terrain best suited to riders who know how to handle a board and prefer off-piste. Extreme Limits is a gnarly, un-pisted heaven for extreme lovers wanting big hits and steeps. Check out Headwall and North Face for some serious double black diamond trails, offering cliffs, couloirs and trees. In order to stay safe and appreciate Crested Butte's extreme terrain, you are strongly advised to get a copy of the Extreme Limits Guide, which is a separate lift and trail guide, pinpointing how and where to ride. Ignore its advice, and you may not live to regret it. However, don't simply read the guide and head off, you MUST also seek the services of a local snowboard or ski guide as well.
There is also some amazing backcountry, literally a stones throw from the town of Crested Butte, mostly accessed via snowmobile, this is some serious stuff and it is definitely a MUST to hire a guide if heading out there.
Freestylers will find that a two week stay would still not be enough time to check out all the natural options for going airborne, the only limit is your own creativity, the possibilities are endless. For those who are into terrain parks you'll be stoked to hear that "The Butte" has 2 as well as a rail park all newly funded by DC Shoe Co....there's a beginner to intermediate area called the Painter Boy Terrain Park (located near the Painter Boy Chair) and the Canaan Terrain Park is a sweet setup for advanced riders with tabletops, jumps and rails. For those with big balls check out the "His" jump...it's 55ft long!
If rails are your thing check out Jib Park near the base area on Lower Keystone. It has around 10 rails including a C-box and the longest rail on the mountain... a 48 foot flat box!
Oh yeah, there's a 420ft Superpipe!
Carvers who choose a resort because of its motorway-wide, perfectly groomed slopes without a bump in sight, may feel a bit left out, but not too disappointed. You can still carve hard on a number of selected trails. For a fast trail, give Ruby a try, or check out the flats on the Paradise Bowl.
Beginners cutting their first runs would do best to ride on the lower slopes near the village, before trying out Poverty or Mineral Point off the Keystone lift. There are a number of green runs to tackle before trying some of the easy connecting blues. The runs off Gold Link lift are pretty cool and worth a go. One of the main advantages of learning here is the amount of space you have to yourself as Crested Butte is hardly ever busy, on the lifts and the trails.READ NEXT: Village life, accommodation & nightlife