Crested Butte's Colorful Mayor

Meet Alan Bernholtz. The mayor of Crested Butte and the founder of Crested Butte Mountain Guides.
Cold Front 1103

Name: Alan Bernholtz

Age: mid 30s

Location: Crested Butte, Colorado

Claim to Fame: The founder of Crested Butte Mountain Guides, Bernholtz moved to the Butte 15 years ago, spending his first season flipping eggs on the mountain and sleeping in his Ford Econoline 350. He managed to get on ski patrol after two seasons but was fired a few years later for, among other things, hijacking the company car for a weekend trip to Jackson. "By the time they fired me," he concedes, "they had plenty of good reasons." He's since cleaned up his image, starting the Crested Butte Avalanche Center, becoming a certified mountain guide, and getting elected twice to the town council.

He Did What? Bernholtz is known for injecting some flavor-and pyrotechnics-into some of CB's more staid events. He was the first racer to don a costume (the Tin Man) for the grueling annual skin up-ski down Al Johnson race. Other times he's set himself on fire for the descent. Then there was last year's Mardi Gras parade. Unhappy with the commercialized floats, Bernholtz attached two trailers to his Suburban, put a band on one, built a kicker on each, and then lit the jumps on fire and rode through town jumping the gap.

About his mayoral run: "I run a campaign on a common sense platform," says a man who routinely sets himself ablaze-in public. "I joke around, but people know I take being on the council very seriously. I love Crested Butte and I want to help build a sustainable economy and keep it a great place to live."


Abby the greeter.

Crested Butte Lodging: The Wanderlust Hostel

The next time you head to Crested Butte, save some money and meet some interesting personalities by staying at the Wanderlust Hostel in Gunnison, Colorado. For only $23 a night, you’ll get a warm room, communal kitchen, hot shower, and an inviting common space to play the guitar, cards, or just chat with other hostel goers.

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.

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.

Winner Griffin Post

Freeskiing World Tour: Crested Butte Photos

This weekend, Griffin Post and Claudia Bouvier nabbed first for the men and women, respectively, at the Freeskiing World Tour stop in Crested Butte, Colorado. We have photos from the powder-day big-mountain competition,

Crested Butte's North Face

Anatomy: Crested Butte's North Face

Don’t be fooled by the T-bar that accesses this terrain: This is no bunny slope. The North Face, a massive back bowl that slants as much as 50 degrees, is the site of big-mountain competitions and gladed, fluff-filled stashes. If it’s a powder day, get here quickly.

Crested Butte Biking

Fat Tire Bike Fest

Crested Butte dedicates a whole week each June to mountain biking. This year, it includes the chainless world championships.