The People Behind Crested Butte's Trail Names

Posted on Feb. 5, 2024
Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s steeps are steeped in history. Most of our trails and features pay homage to the area’s past. Many are named for the booming mining communities that existed in the surrounding area in the 1800’s. Others pay tribute to CBMR team members who have made a significant impact on the resort and the community. We spoke with some of our longtime mountain operations team members to learn more about some of these trails and the incredible people who have solidified their places in CBMR’s legacy.
Adam Bembenek Skis Down Rocky Terrain at Crested Butte

Skier Sending it off Fredo's

1. Upper, Middle & Lower Gallowich
According to our team members, the Gallowiches were among the initial mining families to settle in the area. John Gallowich worked in the mines until they shut down in the 1950’s, and he was one of the first mountain operations employees at Crested Butte Mountain Resort when it first opened in the early 1960’s. Because of the lull in work between the times known as “the age of coal” and “the age of snow,” many families moved away during that decade — but the Gallowiches stuck it out, and members of the family remain in the Gunnison Valley today.

The Gallowich family has had such an impact on the resort that they have three intermediate runs named after them: Upper, Middle and Lower Gallowich! Upper Gallowich is accessed by riding Paradise Express and then skiing Paradise Bowl to Upper Canaan. Guests can also ride East River Express and ski Daisy to drop straight into Middle Gallowich.

2. Redden’s Switchback
Paul “Pauley” Redden was a legendary trail builder, a master operator of heavy machinery, and a beloved member of the local community — but it was an on-mountain incident that earned him a trail name. One summer many years ago, he was building his namesake switchback along Ruby Road when his bulldozer rolled down the side of the mountain. Miraculously, he was fine, and his fellow mountain operations team members worked to cut trees out of the way so Redden could get out safely. The area where he landed, near Lower Forest off Paradise Express, was named Big Hole due to the gap that the incident created in the dense forestry and is now a popular ski spot.

After a long life in the Gunnison Valley, Redden passed away in 2019 at the age of 91.



3. Duey’s and Ghost Rider
A beloved member of Crested Butte Ski Patrol, Robert “Duey” DuVal helped to pioneer the avalanche control routes for Teocalli Bowl before it ever opened to the public. Tragically, Duey was buried in an avalanche while skiing outside of resort boundaries in 1993 and did not survive. The area where he died has since been brought under the resort’s U.S. Forest Service permit, and it is now called Ghost Rider in his honor.

Because of his contributions to creating control routes for Teo, the resort named a second trail after Duey in Teo 1. Expert skiers and riders can access Duey’s by taking the High Lift and traversing to the right around a small natural gully. Ghost Rider is on the skier’s right after traversing around the main entrance to Teo 2.



4. Coffey Grounds & Fran’s Blend
A longtime member of Crested Butte Ski Patrol and former head of Snow Safety, Frank Coffey contributed significantly to the development of the resort’s expert terrain in the 1990s. He and Robert DuVal were avalanche route partners and good friends. While Coffey is now retired, our mountain operations team members say he still returns to the Gunnison Valley every now and then.

Because of their longstanding relationship, it is only fitting that Coffey Grounds is located next to Duey’s in Teocalli Bowl. The run name also refers to the rocks that pepper the area, which look like coffee grounds in the snow.

Just below Coffey Grounds is Fran’s Blend. It is named for Jon Fransisco, who survived an avalanche in the area just under Coffey Grounds. He went on to complete a 30-year career on Crested Butte Ski Patrol, retiring in 2023.

5. Fredo’s
Steve “Fredo” Monfredo was a CBMR ski patroller, Western Colorado University graduate, and a legendary mountaineer. He was essential to creating the avalanche control routes in the North Face Cliffs and was known for stationing himself on top of what we now call Fredo’s, because, as he said, you can see everything from that vantage point. Monfredo died in 1986 at the age of 33 while climbing Peak Communism, the highest peak in the Soviet Union.

Fredo’s is an infamous cliff band at the top of The North Face. True daredevils might try to huck it off Fredo’s, but most will just admire it from below.

These are just a few of the many trails at CBMR that pay tribute to team members and other prominent people in Crested Butte history. Others include Roebels, Eflin’s Way, Rachel’s, Gus’ Way, Pike’s Plunge, and Twister. Next time you’re riding one of these lines, take a moment to reflect on the legacy under all the powder.

Make sure to book your stay with us this winter so you can explore all the incredible history and incredible skiing and riding that Crested Butte Mountain Resort has to offer. We can’t wait to see you on the slopes!