Spring doesn't officially start until March 20, but warmer weather descended on Crested Butte last weekend bringing balmy, bluebird days with it.
Crested Butte is skiing well with about a month left in its season. Sure, you're going to encounter an exposed rock or two when venturing onto the mountain's challenging backside steeps. But back off the gas and keep your eyes open, and you can still find plenty of soft lines on expert runs such as Headwall, Main Street, and the North Face.
My lap du jour started with a trip up Silver Queen Express lift, then a few quick turns over to High Lift. From the top of that T-bar, it's an easy skate to the entrance of the north-facing Teocalli Bowl. Pause for a moment to take in the spectacular view of the jagged Elk Mountain Range, and then drop into the 45-degree Uecker Glades. There's plenty of soft, edge-able snow tucked into these steep trees.
It was a similar story on the North Face, tucked away from the sun's strongest rays and holding solid coverage. Later in the afternoon, the slush bumps on Twister were the prime attraction. The day finished with a mach 5 blast down International, then an après beer on the Avalanche Bar & Grill's back deck, the first taste of spring skiing ahead. —Jason Sumner
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