Crested Butte Pole, Pedal, Paddle: Use All Your Toys at Once!

by Elevation Outdoors Magazine

Every April the Gunnison Valley gets a little quieter as temperatures warm, snow starts to melt, and mud season arrives. One event though brings out the adventurous side of Gunnison-Crested Butte locals and attracts folks from all over the state to compete.


kayaker in the Crested Butte Pole Pedal Paddle



The CB3P is a multi-sport, endurance race that spans the length of the Gunnison Valley, starting in Mt. Crested Butte, CO and finishing in Gunnison, CO. With an uphill/downhill ski leg, road bike leg, and kayak leg, the CB3P takes participants and spectators on an exciting tour that follows the valley’s spring runoff path.

Competitors start at Crested Butte Mountain Resort with an uphill/downhill ski race, then transition to bikes and ride south on highway 135. When competitors reach the banks of the Gunnison River at the North Bridge put-in, they transition to kayaks and paddle to the Gunnison Whitewater Park for a thrilling race finish.

Men and women can compete as individuals in ‘Race’ or ‘Fun’ categories, or on teams relay-style.


Sunday April 30, 2017

Race Start:

  • Sunday, April 30
  • 10am Le Mans start
  • Mountaineer Square, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Mt. Crested Butte, CO

Race Finish:

  • Sunday, April 30
  • Estimated 12pm to 2pm-ish
  • Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison, CO
  • Awards ceremony at 3pm
  • After party/competitor’s raffle will immediately follow the awards ceremony

Pre-Race Competitor’s Meeting:

  • Saturday, April 29
  • 6pm
  • Location: Brick Oven Pizzeria & Pub (223 Elk Ave, Crested Butte, CO)


Individuals ($50 until April 23 / $65 after April 23); men & women can compete as individuals in the ‘Race’ or ‘Fun’ category. If you enter as an individual you will be racing all 3 legs of the race on your own.

Teams ($90 until April 23 / $135 after April 23); men, women or mixed teams can compete relay-style in teams of 3.  Each team member will compete in one leg of the race. Teams should be registered by a single team member.  The team member responsible for team registration will need the email addresses, physical mail addresses, and birthdays of the other team members in order to complete the registration form.

Race Course Description:
Click here to view the entire CB3P race course (then click on map to zoom in & out).

Ski Leg for Solo Race & All Teams:  Uphill = Warming House > Keystone > Upper Park > Yellow Brick Road > Paradise Bowl to the top of Paradise Lift > Silver Queen Road > Windy Gap.  Transition from uphill mode to downhill mode at Windy Gap then ski back down. Click here to view ski course map.

Bike Leg (approx 27 miles): Ride from Mountaineer Square at Crested Butte Mountain Resort to North Bridge put-in on the Gunnison River.  Click here to view bike course map.

Kayak Leg (approx 4.5 miles): Paddle from the North Bank put-in on the Gunnison River to the Gunnison Whitewater Park.  Click here to view the kayak courseClick here for current Gunnison River flows.

*Cut off for the race will be 2pm at the North bridge put-in. This means you must launch your paddle craft before 2pm.

Ski Leg: The ski portion of the race is uphill/downhill, meaning parts of the course will require competitors to skin uphill and parts will require skiing downhill.  Runs are green and blue in difficulty.  We recommend AT or tele gear, but split boards, and nordic gear are allowed.  Snowshoes are not allowed.  Helmets are required for the ski portion of the race.

Bike Leg: The bike portion of the race is completely paved.  A road bike will be the most efficient choice, but any human-powered bike will be allowed.  Helmets are required during for bike portion of the race.

Kayak Leg: The river section of the race is mostly Class I & II.  The race will finish at the Gunnison Whitewater Park and will require competitors to paddle through one Class II+/III- rapid.  Click here for whitewater classification system.  Any of the following watercraft will be allowed on the river course: kayaks, canoes, SUP boards, duckies, and rafts.  Helmets & PFDs are required for the river portion of the race.

Transitions: Transitions between each leg of the race are unsupported, meaning you are not allowed assistance with your gear as you transition.  Your transition times will be recorded and added to your overall race time.

Gear Collection: Competitors are responsible for getting their gear to the correct transition areas the morning of the race.  CB3P race organizers will be responsible for collecting the gear after each transition and delivering it to the Gunnison Whitewater Park where competitors can claim it after they’ve finished the race.  We recommend you label your gear with your name.

facebook-iconStay up to date with all relevant race info by ‘liking’ the CB3P Facebook page.

Contact Us:
For questions or to volunteer for the CB3P contact Tiff Simpson, race director, at [email protected]


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