Go With a Guide

Based in the “Last Great Ski Town” in the heart of Crested Butte, Irwin Guides offers unique guided experiences in the surrounding 2,526 square miles of public land. From secluded back-country skiing to a private cat skiing operation, Irwin offers the chance to make your winter dreams come true.

Crested Butte’s snowpack is something of a marvel and a mystery. Falling in-between an intermountain and continental snowpack, the terrain in Crested Butte offers a unique opportunity to learn about different the types of snow in a classroom setting and then go into the backcountry to physically see the different types of layers and avalanches. Irwin Guides offers avalanche training for AIARE Rec Level 1, Avalanche Rescue, AIARE Rec Level 2, and have partnered with Silverton Avalanche School to offer a PRO Level 1. After starting in the classroom in town, participants will then head out to explore the local backcountry as they learn snow science and avalanche safety. On top of the avalanche training, participants will learn some of the popular backcountry lines just minutes from town.

Irwin also offers fully immersive avalanche education with hut trips in both the Rec Level 1 and Level 2. For the Level 1, participants have the opportunity to skin out to the Maroon Hut located in the town of Gothic from which local legend, billy barr, has been recording snow and weather data for more than 40 years. Students will have hands on learning in the hut and will depart from there to do their in-field work. For the Level 2, participants will ski anywhere from 10-11 miles in to access the Friends Hut in the Elk Mountains. Just south of Pearl Pass, students are offered an immersive experience in a truly remote location. Surrounded by stunning views, participants will spend five days with hands on, professional instruction during their time exploring the Elk’s.

Irwin Guides also offers guided trips for ice climbing to some of the most popular places in Colorado: Ouray and Lake City. Guests will have the chance to learn technique as well as learn movement, gear placement, and advanced ice techniques from our certified AMGA guides. Irwin Guides also partners with local lodging to offer discounts on your stay if you choose to stay multiple nights!

If you are stoked about the downhill and are planning a dream powder vacation, Irwin’s Cat Skiing Operation provides the avenue for these dreams to become a reality. Situated with access to over 1000 acres of private terrain, guests will find that powder dreams will come true turn after turn.  Just ten miles west from the town of Crested Butte, Irwin receives three times the average snowfall of CBMR. With 600 inches of average snowfall per year, Irwin has become known as a powder mecca. Guests will enjoy a 45-minute ride in our street legal snow cat directly from town to the base of the property. After a detailed safety briefing and gearing up, we will ski until lunch where you will find a culinary staff prepared meal waiting to fill you up. We end the day skiing more wistful powder before heading back to town to celebrate your dreams becoming reality. Irwin’s terrain offers runs for skiers of all abilities.

For those that are new to snow travel and just want to get into the backcountry to enjoy the amazing views the Elk Mountains have to offer, Irwin also has guided snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Guests will have the opportunity to get into the high country to see some of the terrain without the expectation that they then have to ski the lines. These activities offer a great intro into the backcountry as we can shape and mold this activity from those who may have never seen snow before to the lifers who just want a jaunt in the quiet places.

Irwin Guides also gives people the opportunity to fully customize their trip itinerary. If you have mountain goals, training objectives, or are looking for specific education or instruction, our team of fully certified IFMGA and AMGA guides can build lessons and trips to focus on what you would like to learn. Give us a call at +1-970-349-5430 or email us at info@irwinguides.com.

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