by: Rob - 4th January 2009

  • 5
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced/Expert
  • 5All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 4Family Friendly
  • 5Aprés Ski
  • 4Terrain Park
  • Overall Value
Awesome terrain
Expensive

Full review

I'd wanted to ski Telluride for 20 years, but was always held back by it's relatively remote location. Finally had the chance last year as part of a week-long trip that included Durango, Wolf Creek, Telluride, and Taos. Telluride is the kind of ski town that makes you want to chuck your day job and spend a season as a ski bum. The original town, with it's broad mainstreet (plenty wide enough to drive two teams of horses past one another in either direction), maintains a funky old west feel, despite the 10 million dollar homes that dot the hillsides around it. Stayed at the Inn at Lost Creek, which was God-awfully expensive, but plush and right on the slopes. The complimentary one hour massage was a nice touch, but my brother (who picked the place) wondered why there was a law office in the lobby....do that many people skiing Telluride feel the need to sue someone over their lunch hour? The Mountain Village and the town of Telluride are well connected by the lift system, and you can even take your dog on the gondola...how cool is that? The terrain was fantastic. Although there had not been new snow for about a week, the runs were in beautiful shape....perfectly groomed corduroy. I had the chance to make a few runs on the newly opened Black Iron Bowl, accessible via a short (5-30 min) hike from the top of Lift 12. I can only imagine how incredible this terrain must be after a dump of fresh powder! The first few runs are very easy to get to, but the hike up to the Dihedral Face took me a good half hour, and took me up a pretty narrow ridge where I was kicking steps, and wishing I had a pack that I could lash my skis to (I do now!). I also hiked up to Bald Mountain, but I don't really recommend it...you get more bang for your buck at Black Iron Bowl. But if you want privacy, have at it. You'll probably have it all to yourself. One thing to pay close attention to at Telluride is the altitude....the base of the mountain is at over 8700', and the lifts take you as high as 12,500'. I was acclimated to 5300' (I was living in Albuquerque at the time), but my brother was flying in from sea level, and the altitude really slowed him down and cost him a day's skiing. Pay attention to the the tips for dealing with the thin air!
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