As a birthplace for extreme skiing and home of the U.S. Freeskiing “Extremes” competition for over two decades, Crested Butte’s terrain is notoriously steep and rocky and renowned for its expert skiing. While that extreme terrain exists in abundance, especially in areas like Teocali Bowl, Paradise, Headwall and Peak, the reality−contrary to popular belief−is that Crested Butte trails namely caters to intermediate and advanced intermediate skiing. Over half of its 1,547 skiable acres are designated as some sort “intermediate” terrain, or blue or double blue square runs. Experienced intermediates who are comfortable enough to try steeper terrain and more variable conditions can enjoy even more of Crested Butte, since over 20-percent is designated as “advanced” intermediate skiing, or double blue square.
If you’ve recently graduated to intermediate terrain, stick to the single blue square runs. You’ll want to head to Crested Butte’s Prospect and Gold Link Lifts− on looker’s left side of the mountain−where you’ll find shorter trails, like Prospector and Elko Park, which funnel back to the lift. This is also a great area to get your ski legs warmed up early in the day or your Crested Butte ski vacation. Paradise Bowl is an ideal area for intermediate skiers to arch fun, wide turns. From Paradise Bowl be sure to take Canaan to Houston or Poverty Gulch, otherwise you’ll end up on more advanced runs.
If you’ve skied a bit more and are looking for more challenging, sustained runs, more advanced skiers should stick to Paradise Express and East River Express. Test your legs and skills out on long runs like Upper and Lower Treasury or Upper, Middle and Lower Gallowich, which take you from the top of Paradise Express Lift all the way to the bottom of East River Express.