Costumes, Flair and Color at Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Have you heard the saying, “looking good is half the battle?” At Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR), the same holds true, but instead of fur and fancy sunnies, looking good is defined as over-the-top costumes and colorful get ups.

On any given day at CBMR it is not uncommon to spot skiers and riders sporting some, um, unusual attire. However, these springtime events provide the best opportunity to sport your “best” look and witness other’s most flamboyant threads.

The Al Johnson Uphill-Downhill Race

In homage to one of Crested Butte’s historic mailman’s, the Al Johnson Uphill-Downhill Telemark Ski Race takes place every spring as racers climb 600 vertical feet prior to descending 1200 vertical feet through CBMR’s Extreme Terrain.

The affectionately known, “AJ,” is far from your typical race. Sure, a prize is given to the winner with the fastest time, but all eyes are focused on the winners of the “Best Costume” and “Best Fall” categories.

Costumes are not taken lightly at this unique event with recent extravagant get ups including Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine, the crew of the Titanic, a Trojan horse and no frills rock bands.

Al Johnson Uphill-Downhill Race
Photo: Taylor Ahearn

This year, the AJ takes place on March 18 and is an annual fundraiser for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center. Whether competing or not, this event is definitely a hoot to watch.

Winter Chainless Downhill Race

Participants trade in their two planks for two wheels during the Winter Chainless Downhill Race on March 24. In addition to dinosaurs and different costumes, racers will be tackling the course on all types of bicycles: mountain bikes, fat bikes and even rusted townies will line the start.

The après race follows in the AJ’s footsteps as a unique event that is as much fun to watch as it is to compete in.

Al Johnson Uphill-Downhill Race
Photo: Taylor Ahearn

LandShark Pond Skim

Let’s start with this: three kids, one pair of skis. Yes, the winner of last year’s pond skim was three local kids who mounted a single pair of skis with three sets of bindings. Those numbers just don’t add up, which is why CBMR’s LandShark Pond Skim has increasingly grown to become one of the best events of the entire winter season.

The manmade pool spans up to 90 feet and features a jump and a more elementary entrance. Whether you aim for your most aerodynamic outfit or your most colorful spring fling, it may pay to at least think about your buoyancy.

Al Johnson Uphill-Downhill Race
Photo: Taylor Ahearn

The next time you are planning a spring ski trip and you don’t feel like taking yourself too seriously, prioritize Crested Butte and experience what makes this truly unique end-of-the-road destination, Colorado’s Last Great Ski Town.

Crested Butte

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