11 events distinct to Crested Butte

Celebrations in Crested Butte aren’t your typical ski-town affair. Sure, there are concerts, beer festivals, parades and competitions on tap at just about every major ski resort, but in Crested Butte events are taken to a whole new level. This is namely due to two things: one, the locals really like any excuse to get together, so turn-out is usually high and lively, and, two, the locals take advantage of any excuse to break out their ample costume boxes. As a visitor, you’ll be welcomed by locals at these events with open arms, and probably even open costume boxes, ensuring your vacation in Crested Butte is extra memorable.

To help you experience this unique highlight, we compiled a list of top 2017 Crested Butte events.

Fat Bike Worlds

Fat Bike World Crested Butte
Photo: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

January 26-29
As one of the top mountain destinations for fat biking, it should come as little surprise that Crested Butte is host of the second annual Fat Bike World Championships. Fat-bike racers will test their mettle on a series of routes around the town of Crested Butte and in the North Village and Snodgrass meadow. Whether competing or spectating, everyone can enjoy a fat-bike vendor showcase, demos and lift-served fat biking, on the Gold Link lift on Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

Uley’s Birthday

Uley's Birthday, Crested Butte events 2017
Photo: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

January 29
Celebrate Crested Butte’s favorite miner and moonshiner, Uley, at where else but at the Ice Bar at Uley’s Cabin on Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Located below the Twister lift, the Ice Bar at Uley’s Cabin will be offering tastings from Montanya Rum and Golden Moon distilleries all day, January 29.

Freeride World Qualifier

Crested Butte Extremes Comp. Crested Butte Freeride World Tour
Photo: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

February 10-12

Now in its 25th year of hosting world-class, big-mountain competitions on its famed Extremes terrain, Crested Butte Mountain Resort is once again providing the proving ground for aspiring and pro big-mountain skiers and riders to showcase their stuff. On February 10, a 2 Star Qualifying Freeride World Tour will kick things off. Top athletes in each judged category will be awarded a “wildcard” spot to compete alongside professional athletes in the 4 Star Qualifying event on February 11 and 12. This is an incredible spectating event not to be missed.

Mardi Gras

February 28
A top winter event in Crested Butte, the highly anticipated Fat Tuesday event features a parade of wacky, colorful floats along Elk Avenue in downtown Crested Butte. It’s also a great opportunity to “people watch,” as aforementioned, Crested Butte locals really love to dress up and party. After the parade, pop in and out of the Elk Avenue bars and restaurants, as many will be hosting Mardi Gras parties, and be sure to bring your dancing shoes.

Crafted Tasting Event

March 4
Foodies who ski or ride will love this event. Combine spring skiing with Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Crafted Tasting, a whole kit and kaboodle tasting, featuring Colorado’s best craft brews, spirits and local fare—plus, live music. The event will be held in the adventure park tent at the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort on Saturday, March 4 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Ten Peaks Sunset Soirees

March 14, 21 & 28
March in Colorado means longer, warmer days . Crested Butte Mountain Resort wants you to take advantage of the spectacular weather, which is why they started Ten Peaks Sunset Soirees. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March, 14, 21 and 28, you’ll be able to enjoy this unique offering. Participants will meet at the Lodge at Mountaineer Square at 5:15 p.m. to be transported via snowcat sleigh ride to the top of Ten Peaks for a sunset buffet dinner.

SkiTown Breakdown (March 18)

March 18
Now in its seventh year, SkiTown Breakdown is a free spring concert hosted by Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Bringing in famed, national talent year in and year out, Skitown Breakdown will showcase Leftover Salmon this year, a popular Boulder, Colorado slamgrass band. Event is held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the resort base area.

Al Johnson Telemark Uphill Race

March 19
This annual telemark uphill race and costume event is as much fun to watch as it is to participate in. Started as a tribute to 19th century Crested Butte mailman, telemark-skiing competitors don crazy duds and climb 660 vertical before descending 1,200 feet of double-black steeps. Many Al Johnson Telemark Uphill competitors have never telemarked before or are new to the sport, hence, the reason why spectating is so enjoyable. Prizes are dolled out for best times, best costumes and best fall. The race can be tag-team or individual or enjoyed as a spectator with access to the venue by an intermediate run. Proceeds from the race go to benefit Crested Butte Avalanche Center.

The GORE-TEX Grand Traverse

Photo: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

March 24-25
With Crested Butte roots that span nearly 20 years, the Elk Mountains Grand Traverse is an elite, world-class ski-mountaineering race that begins in Crested Butte and ends in Aspen via 1880s-era mail routes. The Grand Traverse was conceived by Crested ‘Buttian, Jan Runge, who was inspired by famous point-to-point ski races in Switzerland. This race and the culture around it has played a major roll in further solidifying the Elk Mountains as a U.S. hub for ski touring or “skimo (ski mountaineering)”.

This beastly race spans about 40 miles and is a true test of physical and mental endurance. Weather and conditions permitting, teams of two start at the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort and head towards Star Pass (12,303 feet). The race ends at the base of Aspen Mountain in the Silver Queen Gondola Plaza. Because of the remote nature of the route, each team (of two) is required to carry enough food and supplies to sustain themselves for 24 hours, including shelters, stove, fuel, avalanche beacons and rescue gear, first aid and repair kits, etc.

Pond Skim

crested Butte pond skim, crested butte events, crested butte closing day
Photo: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

April 8

The end of ski season is also bittersweet. The sad part is obvious, winter is over, but the bright side is even brighter in Crested Butte—literally. There’s another reason to break out that colorful costume box and party! After getting in their last turns of the season, everyone heads to the base area around 2 p.m. to watch retro-clad skiers, riders, bladers and snowbike riders attempt to make their way across a frigid, snow-melt pond. Pond Skim registration is $10 per person and is held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Butte 66. The day is then capped off with live music at Butte 66. This year, Trout Steak Revival, a Colorado bluegrass band, will be leading the party.


Ready to experience these awesome events distinct to Crested Butte? Our 70+ Mountain Travel Experts are standing by for your call at 800-610-8911. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free, custom quote.

About Author: Leah Boucher
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.

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