An Open Letter from a Nordic Skier to the Town of Crested Butte Plow People

Over the past couple of weeks I have been setting track around the east side of town. Usually connecting River Bend (where I live) with the town of Crested Butte. I’ll rise on a good snow day early, much like the people who plow the roads, put on a pair of boards, and set out.

I’ve noticed a couple of things that are happening as a result of your continual need to make CB a happy, easy place for cars to travel.

Disconnection of Winter Nordic Throughways

A couple of days ago I tried to make it on skis from River Bend to the Rec Path that leads to the Mountain. I found this to be impossible primarily because someone had plowed what amounts to an alley (known as Barefoot Lane) to the gravel/pavement. Additionally, any nordic easement on either side of the road had been plowed up and tossed into the ditch that parallels this alley.

Now I understand that there is a need to plow this and many other alleys in town. There are at least 10 garages that open on the west side of this alley and I imagine that there are at least 10 cars that come and go something close to daily along this throughway. However, very few if any of those automobiles are 20 feet wide. You can tell this by looking at the width of the garages if you need some help.

A nordic throughway would be super-duper since some of us like to travel around our wonderful town via skis in the winter time. If you left three to four feet of snow on the east side of the alley you’d save money and empower nordic skiing in the valley.

Plow Sidewalks? Really?

I can see plowing the walks along Elk. Lots of people walk along these every day of the week. Recently I went to ski over the cushy grass at the CB City Park. There are several walks that bisect this park. They had all been plowed.

As I circled the park for hours I did not see a single person using any of these walks. Had the snow been left on the walks the tracks I set could have extended neatly all the way around the park. This would have extended the ability of classic nordic skiers, whom I have seen at the park, to use the park in the winter time.

—-

I understand that there is a need to plow the town, if I drove I’d appreciate your work a whole lot more. However, Crested Butte is not a car town. There are no multi-lane roads in this town and with good reason, people come here to get out of their cars, move around under their own power, enjoy the high country and the thin air. If you make this difficult to impossible because someone gave you the keys to a diesel with a snow blower you make it less likely that people will come here.

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