Gunnison’s Wanderlust Hostel Offers $35 Crested Butte Lift Tickets

skiingWhile I was enjoying a few days of Nordic (read: free) activities in Crested Butte last week, a local let me in on a secret. “You can get deals on lift tickets everywhere. You just need to know where to look.” And then she passed on some intel to me.

In that spirit, I’d like to present to you what is perhaps the most insane ski deal I’ve ever come across. Gunnison’s groovy Wanderlust Hostel is offering up $35 lift tickets with a one-night stay.

Located just 30 miles down-valley from Crested Butte, Gunnison is still very much the old-school ranching community it’s always been. Sure, they have a coffee house and some good restaurants now, but it’s still rural Colorado, albeit just outside one of the state’s most enchanting and authentic ski towns.

Wanderlust, which is owned by outdoor guide Amy Stevens and her cat Porkchop (don’t laugh; he’s kind of a badass, and even has his own blog), is the anti-hosteler’s hostel. It’s spotless, homey, peaceful, full of funky style, and caters to outdoorsy folks of all ages (for photos, click here). If the pursuit of powder (or, in summer, slab climbing, fly-fishing, trail-riding, or mountain biking) is more important to you than thread-count, you’ll appreciate Wanderlust.

There are private and shared rooms starting at just $23/night, and a family room that sleeps up to six. You can spend your time off the slopes curled up next to the fireplace, or cooking in the spacious hostel kitchen. No car? There’s a free shuttle to Crested Butte running eight times a day, just a half-block away.

[Photo credit: Tom Stillo]

Ski Season Is Coming: Buy Early To Save

ski seasonSki season may seem far away but while snow has yet to hit the slopes, resorts are offering advance sales on lift tickets. Like buying winter clothes in the summer and swimwear in the winter, ski fans know now is the time to buy lift tickets and make resort reservations.

“Every season skiers and snowboarders start to get the itch,” says Evan Reece, Co-Founder and CEO of Liftopia, a big online retailer of lift tickets on his blog, adding “It could be a cool breeze that catches you the right way, the change in the way the light falls on the trees, or if you are like me the first dream I had about skis gliding effortlessly through perfect powder.”

Got that itch? Check these online sources for some of the best values.

Ski.com the largest independent seller of mountain travel in North America, selling more than 80 of the most popular resorts and 1400 properties in North America, Europe and South America. Savings go up to 50% on Colorado resorts with stays starting as early as November 12, 2012.Liftopia has their largest-ever Red Hot End of Summer Sale, featuring more than 32,700 deals with up to 86% off ticket prices at more than 60 ski resorts across North America.

REI has the latest snowboards, boots, bindings and clothing from 686, Arbor, Burton, Dakine, Gnu, Oakley, Vans and more top brands. Their ecoSensitive Program takes responsibility for the entire life cycles of their products, from design to manufacture to end-of-life too.

SkiEssentials.com specializes in providing alpine ski and snowboard equipment, winter apparel, footwear, and travel gear. They sell new skis and used demo skis, alpine bindings and ski boots, as well as travel equipment such as ski bags, boot bags, wheeled travel bags, backpacks, hydration packs, and hard travel cases.

“Much like airlines and hotels, the farther you buy in advance the more you will save on your lift ticket deals. Resorts will give you a better deal when you commit farther in advance of your trip,” says Reece.

Flickr photo by mcmortygreen

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