Sojourner Afield

Spring Splurge Alert: Cat Skiing at Crested Butte's Scarp Ridge Lodge

With one of the deepest winters on record, there's still time for a few more powder days.

By Tess Weaver Strokes March 26, 2017

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Since opening in 2011, Scarp Ridge Lodge has elevated Crested Butte’s lodging scene to new heights.

If “price upon request” generally prices you out, here’s your chance you stay at swoon-worthy Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested Butte. The bespoke travel group Eleven Experience is offering special spring availability and pricing for its flagship property that usually requires booking the entire seven-bedroom hotel for a five-figure nightly rate. 

From Saturday, March 25th through Sunday, April 2nd, Eleven Experience is offering single rooms at Scarp Ridge Lodge, with snowcat skiing for $1,743 with a minimum three-night stay. The rate includes guided cat skiing at Irwin or lift tickets to Crested Butte Mountain Resort each day (or a customized adventure like backcountry skiing or fly fishing), chef prepared breakfast, lunch and après snacks (tailored to your taste and available local ingredients), house alcohol, local transportation, and one day of photography. Other perks include a personal Experience Manager, gear rentals from Colorado-based Wagner Custom, an en-suite fresh food mini bar, and use of townie bicycles.

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The master suite has west-facing windows with a view the iconic Mt. Emmons, fondly known as Red Lady. 

Since opening in 2011, Scarp Ridge Lodge has elevated Crested Butte’s lodging scene to new heights. Now, even the most discerning Little Nell guests can hike to Crested Butte in the summer and find a room exceeding expectations. A former dancing hall and saloon for miners to let loose in the 1800’s, the 13,500-square-foot two-story periwinkle Victorian sits two blocks off Elk Avenue and retains its historic charm with original glass inlayed doors, reclaimed oak floors, unique stonework, and antique wood beams. The large suites feature beds fit for a king, a neutral pallet of luxury fabrics, built-in sound systems, and bathrooms stocked with Kiehl's and Jack Black products to use in rain showers or soaking tubs. Each room's on-demand oxygen system was implemented to simulate any altitude and make adjustment easier. The lodge also boasts an indoor saltwater pool with underwater speakers, steam and sauna, a chalkboard walled play room, cinema, rooftop hot tub, and a whimsical bunk room which sleeps seven.

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With Eleven Experience, you can ski fresh tracks until the sun goes down. 

The cat skiing takes place thirteen miles west, above the ghost town of Irwin, where it snows three times as much as the town of Crested Butte and double that of Aspen’s ski areas. With an average of 600 inches per year, Irwin’s snowfall rivals the deepest resorts in the U.S. and Canada. A 45-minute ride up Kebler Pass delivers guests to Eleven Experience’s on-mountain chalet—a rustic-chic day lodge where skiers boot-up next to a roaring fire and enjoy fresh coffee and baked goods during guide introductions. A second snowcat takes guests for 4-5 morning runs down everything from wide open powder fields and perfectly gladed trees, to chutes, cliff bands and perfectly spaced trees. As one might expect, this isn’t a sandwiches-in-the-field kind of operation. Guests return to the chalet for a multi-course hot lunch, and again after another 4-5 runs for house brewed beer on tap, cocktails, and après-ski snacks.

With one of the deepest winters on record, this spring is the ideal time to experience skiing Irwin. Even in late March, 80 inches of snow coat the base. Last weekend brought another 5″ and a foot of snow is predicted to fall throughout this week and into April.

Eleven Experience’s unofficial mission is to hear the words “it was the best day of my life” from its guests and it's routinely accomplished. The company, which has similar world-class hideouts on the nearby Taylor River, in the French Alps, Iceland, Amsterdam, the Bahamas, and the Everglades, takes its name from the 80’s cult classic This is Spinal Tap, when a rock guitarist cranks his amplifier up from zero to eleven. If you really want to dial it up to 11, book a helicopter transfer from Aspen via Aspen Heli Charters.

Availability: March 30-31, April 1-2, and April 6-8, from $1,743 (three-night minimum), $400 (cat seat only),

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