Having a backcountry guide that sees terrain from a snowboarder's perspective is key—and pretty rare. But Crested Butte, Colo. is a pretty unique spot, and a gateway to prime Rocky Mountain backcountry. It's the ideal place to work for Jayson Simon-Jones, owner of Crested Butte Mountain Guides (www.crestedbutteguides.com/).
Skilled at snowboarding and skiing, Jayson takes out the splitboard or skis depending on the crew he's going out with. He's not that crusty old guide that cracks lame jokes about snowboarders. Just the opposite—and he's seeing more and more riders looking for a taste of the backcountry. "Last year we had about 20 or so clients on splits," Jayson says.
New this winter, CBMG is working with Crested Butte Mountain Resort to create a backcountry education program that starts at the resort and progresses into the backcountry (www.crestedbutteguides.com/page.cfm?pageid=12313). Combining backcountry ski skills and education with guided in-bounds and out-of-bounds skiing, this program offers participants the ability to get a sampling of "beyond the chairlifts” skiing and riding. In-bounds at CBMR, basic skinning and backcountry skiing skills are introduced and practiced. The experience culminates in an all-day backcountry tour with a fully trained AMGA Ski Guide.
"If folks get their interest peaked from the backcountry day tour… the potential is limitless," Jayson says, "including bigger peak ascents and hut trips around CB, and spring mountaineering objectives offering unique and rare snowboard descents of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks."
In addition to the Adventure Guides program, CBMG also offers Avalanche classes, Levels 1 & 2 and a Refresher Course: www.crestedbutteguides.com/page.cfm?pageid=8886.
It doesn't matter if you've never made a turn in the backcountry—CBMG will show you the deeper side of snowboarding. Check out the best of the Butte this winter.
Crested Butte Mountain Guides Crested Butte, Colorado