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Full of stoke following our wild party in Breckenridge, hosted on Thursday, December 8, the FREESKIER squadron hit the road and drove south to Crested Butte for stop number three of 15 on the Elevated Aprés Tour. Our bad-to-the-bone tour vehicles—a Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport, pictured below—whisked us through the Rockies and into the picturesque Elk Range on a sunny day with mild flurries, equating to an enjoyable drive filled with anticipation of another rockin' party with another batch of mountain lovers.

Just look at 'em. They're like rocket ships on wheels.

For this stop of the Elevated Après Tour—the tour via which FREESKIER visits some of the best après destinations in North America—we posted up on the outdoor patio of 9380 Prime, the upscale dining and entertainment venue located right at the base of the world-famous Crested Butte Ski Resort. 

On top of the stellar location, 9380 has all the bells and whistles a skier could ever want when it comes to après: seven flat screen TVs, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, grand mountain views, a huge drink selection full of craft beers and cocktails and delicious food served up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This place is also attached to Elevation Hotel & Spa, a conveniently located, ski-in-ski-out lodge and one of our trusted accommodations in Crested Butte (read more about in the local beta section, below).

The calm before the storm.

After hosting two successful après parties in Breckenridge, CO and Copper, CO last weekend, we couldn't have asked for a better spot to visit to keep the momentum going strong; the ski-in-ski-out locale and plush setting provided an ideal locale in which to elevate our après game. As a bonus, a good seven inches of snow had just fallen at the resort prior to our arrival, making the skiing conditions great and the Crested Butte locals very happy, and eager to celebrate.

Pre-party face shots. Photo courtesy of Crested Butte Mountain Resort Instagram.

At 2:00 p.m. this afternoon the party kicked off and skiers immediately flocked to patio, drawn by live music and our towering banners. Most folks were eager for post-shred drinks, snacks and camaraderie and some were, not surprisingly, ecstatic to score gratis beverages via free drink tickets that we dished out at a furious clip. Later on, the free stuff kept comin' in the form of brand-new ski gear; the goods were awarded to the partygoers via raffle.

Happy après-ers.

A VIP flashes his credentials.

Happy faces left and right at 9380 Prime.

Free beer = happy ladies.

The attendees just kept on flowin' in.

Dreams do come true...

With free swag and beer practically raining from the heavens and the sounds of acoustic guitar filling the air, things turned up quickly, just as we expected. Folks were cheers'ing left and right, laughing, smiling and having a total blast as the sun slowly set behind Crested Butte. Taking a quick look around, it was plainly clear why hosting this series of parties means so much to us; there's nothing better than bringing together friends, old and new, to celebrate skiing and enjoy winter to the fullest.

No shortage of smiles at 9380 Prime.

Perhaps the largest smiles of the day came on account of the raffle and subsequent giving away of amazing skiing products, from goggles, to coolers, to outerwear pieces, to ski film DVDs. The act of giving warms the soul; seeing the looks on the faces of our raffle winners is, quite simply, a total treat. 

This lady couldn't have been more psyched on her new Marker helmet.


The proud owner of a new pair of Trew bib pants made some new friends.


"I was just about to buy goggles!" said this happy dude. On his head, a brand-new pair of Markers.

The lucky winner of a FREESKIER cooler, made by Mountainsmith.

A free jacket from Scott? Sure!

Indeed, the third stop of our Elevated Après Tour was a smashing success. Much thanks to the fine folks of Crested Butte and the staff at 9380 Prime, we had a total blast and this tour now has some serious momentum. Next up: Last Dollar Saloon in Telluride for stop number four on the tour. We hope to see you there, or at any of the other upcoming stops:


Want to know more about Crested Butte? Keep scrolling to the "Eat, Sleep, Ski, Discover" section, below.


Ski, Eat and Sleep and Discover in Crested Butte:

SKI

The East River Express Lift is one of the best zones for intermediate to advanced riders with warmer temperatures in the morning softening up the fast groomed runs. Or, get a taste of gladed skiing in the recently-cut Gully Glades—perfect for those of us who want to push their limits. Expert skiers and riders will find no shortage of extreme terrain off of the North Face Lift. If you're new to the area and want to really go big, sign up for a North Face Guides Tour to fully enjoy Crested Butte’s 542 acres of in-bounds extreme terrain.

EAT

We highly suggest 9380 Prime for obvious reasons—the place just rules and its food is no exception. But Crested Butte has also created a brand new on-mountain destination—the Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks. Located at the top of Painter Boy lift—a hub of activity with exceptional views of the resort, the peak and the mountains beyond—the Umbrella Bar features a retractable roof and plenty of on-snow Adirondack chair seating, encouraging lounging and gathering. The restaurant serves European-inspired fare including sandwiches, salads and wraps, plus a variety of hearty snacks and mountain beverages. Monthly Full Moon parties allow participants to work for their wine, skinning or snowshoeing up the mountain before enjoying a buffet dinner and beverages.

SLEEP

Elevation Hotel & Spa, connected to the very venue where we threw our party, is the place to be. It's where we decided to post up for the night and we wouldn't have done it any other way. To start, ski-in/ski-out convenience and complimentary ski valet and storage are some serious selling points. But it's the rooms that really make this hotel so notable. They're clean, comfortable and outfitted with top-notch furniture, TVs and kitchenettes that even the pickiest of vacationers would rave about. Throw in a high-quality spa, pool, three hot tubs and a shuttle to downtown and you have absolutely everything you need to relax in Crested Butte.

DISCOVER

This season, Crested Butte put an extra emphasis on travel and now allows direct commercials flights to and from five major U.S. cities: Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Forth Worth (DFW), Denver (DEN) and Houston (IAH). Via the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, folks can land and ski on the same day. In fact, Crested Butte will let you ski for free if you find the time to pull it off.

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