Crested Butte is well known to mountain sports enthusiasts for offering some of the steepest resort skiing in North America. However, if you wish to learn new backcountry skills or hone existing ones, you just need to take a small detour from your resort and you will find yourself in true backcountry heaven. From open bowls and steep and secluded tree stops to massive alpine peaks, the Crested Butte backcountry has it all. Coney’s offers some high-quality north-facing lappable powder shots. Schuylkill Ridge’s surprise cliffs and cross-loading are guaranteed to keep you on your toes. Mount Axtell’s steep turns provide a tough challenge for even the most skilled backcountry masters. Diversity is the name of the game here, and the abundance of options Crested Butte offers to both beginner and experienced skiers make it an absolute must-visit. Learn more about backcountry skiing in Crested Butte from an outdoor enthusiast, Ebony Roberts.

  • Five separate drainages with hundreds of thrilling routes at your disposal

  • Multiple 3,000+ foot descents with guaranteed thrills at every turn

  • Huge snowfall raises the backcountry skiing experience to another level

Choose itinerary

Intro to Backcountry Skiing in Crested Butte
Available upon request
A Customized Day of Guided Backcountry Skiing in Crested Butte
Available upon request

Meet your guide

Colorado Backcountry Guide Service
Colorado Backcountry Guide Service
Mountain Bike Guides
Colorado Backcountry is Crested Butte's only locally owned hiking, biking and skiing guide service. The guides love these mountains, and they want to share them with you - responsibly, respectfully, privately.

Things to know

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Crested Butte, please refer to the Gunnison County website.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • What you get in this adventure: 

      • An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • A full day of backcountry ski touring or instruction

    What’s not included:

      • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
      • Accommodation
      • Food and snacks
      • Transportation
  • In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. While there is terrain for all skill levels in Crested Butte, you will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on blue level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.

  • Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.

  • For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:

      • Alpine touring skis, telemark skis or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
      • Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
      • Avalanche safety equipment (can be rented):
        • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
        • Lightweight snow shovel
        • Avalanche probe
        • Harness for glacier travel (if needed for advanced touring)

    For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-tex recommended)
      • Ski pants (Gore-tex recommended)
      • Helmet
      • Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
      • Down jacket or vest
      • Gloves and hat
      • One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
      • Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
      • Water bottle and 1L of water
      • Food you can eat on-the-go
      • Sunglasses or ski goggles
      • First-aid kit
      • Sunscreen
      • Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L bag)
      • Camera — optional
  • All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:

      • Avalanche safety pack, including the beacon, shovel, and probe can be rented from your guide
      • Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented from the guiding service or from Gearo in Crested Butte
      • Splitboard set-up can be rented from your guide

    Ski rental locations are in Crested Butte and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.

  • Group sizes and pricing:

      • For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1. 
      • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private lessons, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family. 

    Ski touring in Crested Butte can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. 

    If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Crested Butte, most people fly into Montrose Regional Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service the 2 hours east to Crested Butte. You can also fly into Denver International Airport to drive the 4.5 hours southwest. Be aware, no shuttle services are available and inclement weather can close the mountain passes unexpectedly.

    Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,
From $540
/ 1-5 days
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