Athletes Pole, Pedal & Paddle in Multi-Sport Race Between Crested Butte and Gunnison

Crested Butte Pole Pedal Paddle - Multi-SportCrested Butte homeowners know there’s no shortage of sports and activities up here. But a recent event called the CB3P brought together three of the most popular mountain sports—skiing, biking and boating—from the north end of the valley to the south end. The event took place on Sunday, April 28, uniting the two active communities.

Race director Tiff Simpson created the mountain triathlon of sorts after moving to Gunnison Valley from Buena Vista, Colorado two years ago. She says she got the idea for this race from her former hometown, Jackson, Wyoming. Simpson said the Gunnison Valley seemed like the perfect location to hold a similar race. “When I got here I thought, the Gunnison Valley has it all, but on an even grander scale,” she says.

While there have been other pole, pedal, and paddle events in the past here, Simpson said this is the first one that she is aware of that connects the two ends of the valley. She added, “I do think our course is unique. I thought it would be a cool way to incorporate the entire valley. It follows the spring run-off.” The race was open to both individuals and teams, and included men’s, women’s, and co-ed divisions.

The race began on Crested Butte Mountain with the skiing event, a Nordic-style racecourse that had athletes zigzagging down the face. After completing the skiing event, athletes hopped on bikes at Mountain Square for a 27-mile ride down Highway 135. The ride ended across from Garlic Mike’s, where racers jumped in the Gunnison River for the final paddling event. The CB3P ended at the Gunnison Whitewater Park.  

After the success of this year’s race, there’s no question that Simpson will be back next year to put it on again. And for Crested Buttians who either participated or cheered on the contestants, it will hopefully be an annual event for many years to come.


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