Pioneer Ski Resort Professional Review and Guide
"The snowpack here is great, and so is the skiing. But best of all is to ski at an area with amazing history—to think that Pioneer had the first chairlift in the state, dating back to 1939. And that you can skin up that same lift line, and ski down the Big Dipper run, trying to imagine all the skiers that have before you, on ancient equipment by today’s standards. It’s just wild. The documented history of skiing in and around Crested Butte and Gunnison dates all the way back to 1857, when guide Jim Baker used self-made skis in the mountains east of Gunnison.
By 1886, both Crested Butte and Gunnison were hosting competitive downhill ski races. Throughout the early 20th century, most of the skiing took place on short, crowded slopes. By 1936, skiers wanted a larger ski area with good snow and longer, steeper slopes. In early 1937, skiers caught wind of Sun Valley’s chairlift, and then thought of an old tram up at the Blistered Horn Mine on Cumberland Pass."