First morning light to the last alpine glow

Balancing a work/life balance is something I have always strived for and enjoy the challenge of making happen. Pulling off doing multiple sports while also getting work done makes for a busy and fulfilling day. Here is a little look into a multi-sport day in Crested Butte, Colorado during the winter time.

Words and Images by Elle Truax

Crested Butte is nestled in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado about 4 hours from Denver and approximately 11 miles as the crow flies over the pass from Aspen. It’s a tricky place to access especially in the winter time with multiple snowy passes and unbearable freezing temps the majority of days. If you get stuck while driving, hopefully you have all your warm layers! Living out here is special with the tight knit community and the impressive athletic presence everybody seems to have here. There is no shortage of skiers getting after it daily, and activities to partake in the outdoors. Growing up a ski racer, and then transitioning into freeride skiing, you could guess my go-to winter sport is skiing. Getting out for early morning ski tours before town wakes up and my work day starts is a favorite of mine. 

The peaceful early morning walks in the trees with a ski partner is very grounding and refreshing. Watching the ice crystals floating through the early morning frigid air, the frost coating the fur trees, and the first sunlight just starting to hit the tallest peaks. I find myself thinking about the day ahead and the list of things to accomplish that day- the skin track is a pretty good spot to go over your mental plan for the day ahead! Once making it to our destination, the skins come off and the bindings get locked into place- it’s go time!

Soaring down the mountain as the light starts to hit the snow below our feet and we dance between trees and think about the hot coffee waiting for us in the car.

These mornings are the best of mornings. All finished before 9am when we must rush into work. Once I get back to town, I hang up my ski boots and outerwear and trade them out for my clogs and sweater- it’s hat making time! My job as a hat maker is a dream of mine and to make hats right in the middle of Crested Butte, burrowed away in the snowy mountains is truly amazing. I turn the steamer on and run the felt over the steam feeling the warmth of the hot moisture hit my face and finally start to warm up from the morning adventure. People wander into the shop and we talk about how their days skiing were and how their time in Crested Butte has been. It’s a joy getting to meet so many new faces and make new friends each day! 

The clock hits 4pm and it’s finally time to throw the boots back on! This time we are heading further outside of town with the snowmobiles to catch the last light of the day, my favorite time-sunset.

Snowmobiling through the same fields we ride out mountain bikes in the summertime, we go out to a large field that has beautiful views of the valley and one of my favorite peaks, Teocalli. Practicing my counter-steering and sled control, I turn through the perfectly smooth and creamy white snow field. Sounds of snow whooshing past my face and my fast breathing as I nervously start to lay the sled over on its side more and more. My entire face is numb from the cold air and the clouds of snow flurries that blow over me, I laugh until I fall off.

“Learning this new sport has been rewarding and also a lot of work- there are so many things to learn on controlling a snowmobile, how to safely operate them, and how to navigate the vast amounts of territory you can take them on.

It’s been such a treat getting out on the sleds and exploring even more of my backyard in Crested Butte.

All in all, my mini adventures during work days are the best of times and the moments I will always remember while living in Crested Butte. Getting outside and enjoying what your surroundings have to offer no matter where you live and what mode of transport you are using is always a good time. Make the most of your backyard and whether you have 15 minutes or a few hours, get outside!

About Elle

After growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Elle moved out to Crested Butte, Colorado to chase her passion in freeride skiing and open up a custom western hat shop. During the warmer months, Elle travels back to the Oregon Coast and her hometown of Hood River, OR to pursue kite surfing and surfing. 

Follow Elle on Instagram

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts