PHOTO BY NATHAN BILOW
At a resort that’s already famous for having some of the steepest terrain in Colorado, it might feel like a guilty pleasure to get even more goods. But go ahead: indulge. Late last season, Crested Butte debuted the Teocalli 2 Bowl—40 new acres of extreme skiing and riding off the backside of the Butte. This season, Teo 2 will be a main attraction for those seeking face shots.
Accessed via a short skate from the top of the resort, Teo 2 starts out at a butt-puckering 45-degree pitch before tapering to a more a gradual grade. Local big-mountain champ Sydney Dickinson thinks the terrain is a hoot. “There are steep tree options, pillow hops, and a lot of different playful cliff-hucking options,” she says. Dickinson knows her stuff—when not skiing the resort, she’s also a winter cat ski guide with CB’s Irwin Guides.
Teo 2 hugs the far eastern edge of the ski area, terrain that has always been within the permitted boundary, but remained closed until the resort could build an emergency egress. For now, a Teo 2 run finishes with a 20-minute boot pack along this egress trail, a small price to pay for powder stashes that linger after the rest of the resort is tracked out.
PHOTO BY NATHAN BILOW
Jay Prentiss, a Crested Butte local who has been skiing the resort for 25 years, says the hike is totally worth it. “It’s an adventure. The terrain is so good, and a lot less people get out there, so you get better snow conditions.”
Adding to the experience are the views from Teo 2, which faces northeast toward Teocalli Peak and the Brush Creek Valley. “When you’re out there, you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere,” says Erica Mueller, director of innovations and relations at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
The resort hopes to build a lift at the end of the run as part of an expansion to 500 acres of intermediate terrain adjacent to the bowl. Resort officials are working with the U.S. Forest Service to finalize how this development will take shape.
“In the expansion plan, one of the lifts will go halfway up the ridge between the Teocalli and Teo 2 bowls, so intermediate and advanced skiers can ski the bottom half,” says John Sale, director of permitting and planning for the resort. “Access from the top is always going to be expert-only.”
While the future expansion will create easier access for Teo 2 (no more hiking), it will also attract more skiers and riders. Avid powder hounds would be wise to get after it now while Teo 2 remains a new frontier. The resort hopes to drop the rope by late January. Until then, pray to the powder gods and prepare to bust out your fat boards.