Unmatched in North America

by: sampanning - Jan 27, 2010

  • Overall Rating 5
  • Family Friendly 5
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 5
  • Terrain Park 5
  • Nightlife 5

    Pros: Scenery, Architecture, Terrain Distribution, Snow

    Cons: None

    Recommended For: Singles, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters

    Date Visited: Mar 1, 2008


Full review

I'll start by saying that within the world of skiing Telluride is on a transendent level. As an architectural connoisseur I analyze environments - I pay particular attention to how design and features are synthesized (in buildings or ski resorts)

Psychologically, Telluride is a mental committment. Because it is in one of the most isolated corners of the Rockies you go there for one reason and one reason only - to escape from reality.

I have never been to a more breathtaking setting in my life. The height and character of these mountains is extraordinary, and I say that as an understatement. (the highest concentration of 14,000+ foot peaks in N. America surround Telluride)

The Victorian architecture of the original mining town is stunning. It's grid layout makes it accessable and uncomplicated, but it still exudes rugged mountain sophistication. Invisible from the historic town and roughly 1000 feet up is the modern European style Mountain Village. An advanced gondola network connects Telluride, Mountain Village, and other sections of the resort making walking distance the only distance once you arive. Scores of lively bakeries, pubs, and eateries adorn Telluride and high-end venders and art galleries are the norm in Mountain Village.

While the scenery & architecture of Telluride are nice they don't compare to the terrain this destination has to offer. Crowning the resort is the 13,300+ foot Palmyra Peak. I need not hesitate when I say that this is unequivocally the most impressive in bounds skiing feature in the world. Any expert in awe of the terrain at Jackson Hole, Zermatt, Alta, or Taos etc. will have to reconsider their definition of awesome terrain once they've skied Palmyra Peak.

Black Iron Bowl and Bald Mountain feature amazing hike to terrain as well. This goes without saying that the front side of Telluride is the stuff of legends. The Plunge, Spiral Staircase and Milk Run are among the steepest, most beautiful, and longest runs in America. Steeps, moguls, and glade runs abound and the view looking North towards the San Sophia Mountains atop Chair 9 or See Forever Run is unbelievable. Word's cannot do justice to Revelation Bowl's beauty as it hangs over a 2000 ft cliff above the endless backcountry terrain of the Bear Creek Basin.

I noted how one of the strengths of Telluride was its terrain distribution. Beginners have the entire west side of the mountain for 5 mile cruisers and an extremely gentle beginner area. (Ute Park) Intermediates can freely gain access to the beauty the expert terrain affords while managing the mountain with wide alternate roots and other sections with steady groomed cruisers. Everyone will be busy for days with over 4,400 vertical feet to ski and over 2000 acres of in-bounds terrain.

The snow in Telluride is fantastic. It's plentiful, light, and around late into the season. I say this because March is often the resorts best month.

Telluride transcends other ski destinations. The fusion of its history, unparalleld beauty, architecture, terrain and snow make it a requisite pilgrimage for any ski enthusiast.

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