History of Snowsports in the Butte

Core Exhibit

Winter came hard in the Gunnison Valley. Early residents said that “This is God’s Country but He doesn’t live here in the winter.”

For those who did, skis were the only reliable means of transportation for several months of the year.

As silver mining, coal mining, and ranching drove the economy of the Gunnison Valley, smaller industries popped up to support them. Logging and milling provided the beams for the mining tunnels. Nearby trees were felled to build the many structures of the silver camps and coal mines. Everyone turned to snowshoes and sleighs in the winter for transport. In the mid-1900s, cars were put up onto blocks for the winter season.

The Snowsports in Crested Butte exhibit begins in the early days of skiing in the Gunnison Valley, following mail carriers and miners as they race around the mountains. You’ll learn about rebirth of Telemark skiing, the pinnacle of Gelande jumping, how to celebrate the end of a ski season, and more.