Best Steeps 2009: Crested Butte - Ski Mag

Best Steeps 2009: Crested Butte

There's no easy way down. Jump-turn, pole-plant through the narrow chute, and then hold on tight while you drop the mandatory 10-foot air at the bottom. Welcome to Crested Butte.
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Known for it's steeps, Crested Butte houses such aptly named runs as "Dead End Chutes," "Staircase," and "Hot Rocks," as well as the US Freeskiing World Championships.  If that isn't enough, the Body Bag Glades should be. The glades as well as Dead Man's Chute are located in the resort's "Extreme Limits," terrain that should be considered out-of bounds if the resort didn't want to boost its acreage. The Body Bag Glades drop 275 feet at 55 degrees, so you'll have to stick the landing if you want to live to tell about it.

Known for it's steeps, Crested Butte houses such aptly named runs as "Dead End Chutes," "Staircase," and "Hot Rocks," as well as the US Freeskiing World Championships. If that isn't enough, the Body Bag Glades should be. The glades as well as Dead Man's Chute are located in the resort's "Extreme Limits," terrain that should be considered out-of bounds if the resort didn't want to boost its acreage. The Body Bag Glades drop 275 feet at 55 degrees, so you'll have to stick the landing if you want to live to tell about it.

From the top of Crested Butte’s Body Bag Glades, you can see only a horizon line, where the slope drops out of sight, plunging 275 vertical feet at 55 degrees. As you approach, your stomach will twist and you may get nauseous. There’s no easy way down. Jump-turn like Scot Schmidt in the ’80s, pole-plant through the narrow chute as if every turn is your last, and then hold on tight while you drop the mandatory 10-foot air at the bottom. Welcome to Crested Butte.

Three Things You Need to Know:
>> Buy the glossy, foldout trail map of the “extreme” terrain at the Alpineer ski shop downtown [$6; alpineer.com].
>> From November 26 to December 17, skiing at Crested Butte is free if you book with certain lodges [skicb .com].
>> You may be landlocked, but the Lobar on Elk Avenue gets fresh sushi delivered five days a week.

BEST OF THE REST:

2. Jackson Hole, WY
3. Telluride, CO
4. Squaw Valley, CA
5. Whistler Blackcomb, BC
6. Alta/Snowbird, UT
7. Arapahoe Basin, CO
8. Big Sky, MT
9. Aspen/Aspen Highlands, CO
10. Mammoth, CA

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