Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



2006 Crested Butte Boldering Bonanza

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.

3rd annual Butte Bouldering Bonanza

The Butte Bouldering Bonanza. Have you heard of it? Are you interested in checking it out? Well let me try and paint a mental picture of what I think it might be like…

There’s still some snow in the mountains here, but its only a memory at the Skyland Boulders where the Bonanza’s competition is held. The boulders, which are buried in snow for half the year are the best in the Gunnison Valley. They seem like granite but I’m told they are actually rhyolite. If you’re not a geologist and could care less I’ll tell you this; they climb really good!

The Skyland Boulders, one of which is featured on the cover of Colorado Bouldering, the Atomic Boulder, could be described as high and hard. There are many open projects and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say there is a challenge for everyone. There are also moderates; many that fit in the high description; some going up to twenty feet (sick).

Our town, Crested Butte, is a festival town in the summer. Not on the scale that Telluride is, but the same energy just more chill. Tourism is the bread and butter for CB. One weekend town will be full of mountain bikers, the next artists, the following wildflower enthusiasts. Hell we even have a mushroom festival. Though real estate has become a big thing here they don’t have a festival yet.

We’ve expanded the Bonanza this year to be a three day event. In previous years it was only the competition. This year we want to live up to calling it a Bonanza. We’re having Jason Kehl come up for a presentation and Jeff Jackson will be teaching a yoga for climbers workshop. We’re also being conscious of the climber impact at the boulders and Sunday, the day after the comp we will be back at the boulders, cleaning chalk stains and making sure we leave the bouldering area cleaner than before. I better add too that Saturday night we will be camping out at one of the many free camping sites in this vast area.

The boulders at Skyland sit in an interesting position. The fell off Mt. Crested Butte, long ago, where just on the other side of the hill is the ski resort. On the eastern side of the boulders is a country club/golf course where multi-million dollar homes are being developed. From the position of say, Joint Rock, a twenty foot boulder with V0-V1 highballs and multiple open projects, this is hard to believe. One doesn’t see the ski resort or the golf course, just aspen trees, boulders, wildflowers with the backdrop of impressive mountains.

We will shuttle everyone into the boulders, parking in the country club area is not allowed. Free camping is abundant in the area and easy to find. There are numerous affordable restaurants with everything from pizza joints to Thai food. If one wants the comforts of a bed there is a hostel as well as many hotels to choose from.

The Butte Bouldering Bonanza was started with the idea that it would be great to bring our climbing community together in an outdoor setting. After two years we realized one day goes by pretty fast so we figured what the hell, let’s make it the whole weekend? Won’t you come join us?

Contact Luke Mehall for more information


Photo by BJ Sbarra

Schedule of Events

A Yoga for Climbers Workshop with Jeff JacksonAn introduction to the art and science called yoga as it can help prevent and heal the ailments that afflict climbers. Perfect way to get in the groove for Saturday. Date: Friday July 28th 3:00 pm Location: The Gym 523 Riverland Dr.

Presentation by Jason KehlOne of the boldest boulderers psyches us up for the competition with a presentation Date: Friday July 28th 8:00 pm Location: The Majestic Theatre, 507 Red Lady Ave.

The Butte Bouldering Bonanza Climbing CompetitionA grassroots bouldering event in a friendly atmosphere. Local and visiting climbers categories. Date and Time: Saturday July 29th 9:00 am registration

11:00 am start Location: Registration at the 4 way stop in Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce Parking Lot for a free shuttle to the Skyland Boulders along the Upper Loop trail

Awards Ceremony/Celebration at the famous Brick Oven deckDate and Time: Saturday July 29th 6:00 pm Location: The Brick Oven Pizzeria 229 Elk Ave.

Free Camping up Slate River RoadDate and Time: Saturday July 29th 10:00 pm Location: Slate River Road Free shuttle to the campsite from The Brick Oven

Cleanup at the BouldersAccess Fund Adopt a Crag day event, just cleaning up the bouldering area after the competition. Picking up trash, cleaning chalk stains, etc. Date and Time: Sunday July 30th Noon Location: Skyland boulders

For more on the 2006 CBBB check out the Video by Ben Scott and the Gallery by Cody Blair