A Butte-iful time | AspenTimes.com

A Butte-iful time

Nate Peterson

A lot of people have told me that Crested Butte is going to lose its identity in the years to come. Too bad. I found what many call “the last great ski town in Colorado” to be real charmer over the weekend during my first trip there. There could have been some fresh snow. It would have also been nice if the free buses would have run past 11:30 p.m. But otherwise, there wasn’t anything to complain about.I fell in love with the 2,225 feet of lift-served vertical, the mixed drinks for less than $4 in town, and the scant number of skiers and riders charging down the Butte’s numerous steeps.Our spacious apartment at the Grand Lodge at Mount Crested Butte slept four comfortably and had a kitchenette. There was also access to a heated pool and a huge hot tub. It only cost a hard-to-believe $150 a night.”What’s the one thing you don’t like about this place?” I asked two locals while soaking in the hot tub.”There could be more girls,” one quickly responded. “It gets pretty bad around here.”Yeah, I guess he was right. At all of the bars we went to in town, the guys outnumbered the gals by at least 4-1. But Vail has the same problem, as does Frisco and Breckenridge. Steamboat is an even worse “bronanza.”None of those places, however, has a skier shortage. Which, I guess is the main reason the Butte could lose some of its unique charm in the years to come.The resort’s owners want to expand the resort to nearby Snodgrass Mountain – which has more intermediate terrain. That means more visiting gapers and pie-turners, and more money. In my opinion, the place is too remote to ever get overrun with tourists.But what do I know? I’m sure people said the same thing about Aspen in the ’50s and ’60s.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is moderate near and above treeline. Below treeline, the danger is low.Windslabs near and above treeline are still worth watching. Human-triggered avalanches will still be possible in isolated places. Keep an eye on the current snow surface on different aspects and elevations, as this may be the next weak layer.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.