BLOG USA Storm Chasin’ 1 – Crested Butte

February 8th, 2011

First lift day two, unexpected sunshine

Words & Images | Tess Cook

The Plan: 21 days hunting down the pow in the USA, tasting the best of the backside and frontside of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, hitting the hill with the locals and seeing what all this La Nina brouhaha is all about… (and making the most of dollar parity).

Crested Butte. It’s in Colorado, a mountain or so below Aspen, at the top of the San Juan Range. It’s little known in Australia but it’s a secret worth spreading. We’ve been here three days and there’s still plenty of the serious terrain we haven’t found yet – not to mention the groomers, which we’ve only glanced at.

We’re storm chasin’ and though there hasn’t been what we’d call a storm (yet, I do believe the flakes are falling as I type) we’ve found ourselves some of the effects of La Nina already. Crested Butte’s having a super-season and with tonight’s expected foot or so we can throw Boen and Charlie and the local guys we’re riding with off some bigger cliffs and into some more pillow lines.

We’ve hooked up with local pros Jay Prentiss and Max Mancini – both veterans of the photograph and film game. Max is just the most amazing telemarker you’ll ever see, you may have seen him in a Warren Miller movie – he’s been in a few. They’re showing us Crested Butte’s secrets. So what can I say about those secrets? Crested Butte’s backside is not for the faint hearted – lots of cliffs, lots of tree skiing and all of it steep. While the resort isn’t enormous, the percentage of extreme terrain is so much higher, it’d take us much much longer to conquer all the challenges here than it would at many of the big resorts.

First big day of shooting tomorrow, stay tuned for more on Crested Butte and why it’s the next must visit resort…

Three days in photos:

7pm Friday, meet in Denver. Five hours on the road in the howling wind and some-time white outs after the nightmare that is US air travel…

Well worth the drive. The Elevation Hotel, Crested Butte. This is my room. jump off the balcony and I’d be at the lift, I prefer walking out the door though, picking up my skis from the ski valet on the way. Recommend this hotel, RECOMMEND

Boen, day two, Gothic Peak in the background. This is why we came. To find the snow and take photos so everyone can be jealous of us and want to be where we are – it’s worth it.

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY. The Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers

Behind behind the camera. So I didn’t catch Boen at the best moment of his turn, but Harro did so it’s all good

Waiting for the rest of the crew in our hotel lobby

My balcony

People like to ride bikes in Crested Butte

Charlie & Boen