Skiing at Telluride

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Skiing at Telluride

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Skiing at Telluride

March 23, 2009

People in this trip report: Michael Campbell and Jonathan Vigh

This trip report features photos from a day of skiing at the amazing Telluride Ski Resort. This report includes 47 pictures and 4 short video clips. Enjoy!

  This trip report was posted July 21, 2009.

Getting warmed up for the day - yesterday's ice and slush at Beaver Creek stripped the wax off my skis, so they barely had any "go" speed in today's heavy powder. I went down to the base and the kind folks at the ski shop gave my skis a free hot belt wax - they glided much better after that! That made my day right there - isn't Telluride a great place?!

Telluride's airport is the highest commercial airport in the United States, and the 8th highest commercial airport in the world (elevation: 9078 feet). It is located on top of a mesa, with a big drop-off at the end of the runway and a dip in the middle! You can fly into this airport on commercial carriers during ski season, but I think most of the traffic is private jets of the rich and famous. The common folk mostly fly into Montrose or Grand Junction.

Looking down into Revelation Bowl on a "flat light" day.

Bear Creek Overlook - we headed straight here for lunch (we got a bit of a late start).

Michael perches on the precipice.

Telluride has some of the most amazing mountain scenery of any ski resort in the world! This is the view from the Bear Creek Overlook.

This is outside the ski boundary folks - but looks like some amazing steeps! Not sure, but there might be unskiable cliffs below.

It's a little climb to get up to the overlook - tricky in snow boots!


Before eating lunch, we had to clear away the 10-14" of fresh snow. What a chore . . .

Mmmm, snacks make the ski day better!

Plenty of seats available here! We were the only ones taking lunch at the overlook.

Yours truly.

The skiing gangsta' pasta'.

The ultra-rich live in the outlying parts of Telluride, somewhere on these mesas.

See-Forever. This is the side of the mountain which goes down towards the town of Telluride.

There's the town, yep, right down there!  If it looks steep, that's because it is! You can ski all the way down to the town.

Michael strikes a pose before we start down 2000 vertical feet of moguls.

Looking down 'The Plunge' (I think).

Telluride is a mountain with views that take your breath away at just about every turn.

Looking down onto the town of Telluride (from the top of Bushwhacker). This view could give you vertigo! And yep, we skied down it.

We decided to head over to Andy's Gold for a little double black diamond action.

Looking over to the shoulder of Palmyra Peak (El. 13,320 feet). When the snow conditions are right, you can actually climb all the way to the top and ski down.

Looking across Prospect Bowl from near the top of Gold Hill Express lift.

Here's a short video clip of heading over to Andy's Gold.

File size: 14.2 MB     Length: 0:52

Unfortunately, it turned out that the 10-14" of fresh snow that fell last night and today was on top of bare ground here (the base had recently melted). So some nasty rocks were hiding underneath, and I had to get my skis repaired (for $43) after we were done today. I wanted my skis to be good for the powder at Vail tomorrow!

And here it is, not only double black, but double black ET (extreme terrain) - kinda like triple black.

Solitude - there weren't many people on this part of the mountain.

Michael had a humorous fall, getting caught between the stump and a steep place!

Fresh tracks in the middle of the afternoon - is this heaven or what?

In this short video clip, we are heading down into Prospect Bowl in some nice powder!

File size: 17.9 MB       Length: 1:04

Recouping on the lift and deciding where to go next.

Looking up toward Palmyra - she was being shy today.

I need to come back here when there's more snow and try her out!

Well, there's not too many ski areas on the continent with scary mountain views like THIS, right above where you're skiing. (Sunshine and Lake Louise, up in Alberta, come close though).

Pretty craggy! I'm not sure where you're supposed to ski down this - maybe the far left?

Here's where you start hiking to go up Palmyra Peak - about a 1500 foot climb which takes maybe an hour to an hour and half - or you can also hike just a few minutes to Black Iron Bowl.

We are heading back down towards Bushwhacker and The Plunge on See-Forever. Time to get back to Montrose - Michael was really tired, so I took one last speed run down Bushwhacker.

File size: 12.2 MB    Length: 0:44

But first another neck-craning view! Telluride, you're an amazing little town! About 3000 people are lucky (or rich) enough to live here.

Can't say this is the most graceful way to go down steep slopes - but hey, whatever works!

Here's a very short clip of Michael demonstrating the "Turtle Back" technique! 

File size: 3.9 MB       Length: 0:12

They want to make sure the citizens here are law abidin'.

The town library was locked up - I guess they just want you to ski in this town!

Wait - actually, this also looks like the town jail! I guess when you're a small town, it's more efficient to have multiuse buildings. So at least the inmates are getting some book learnin'.

After skiing, we went through town for a little house hunting - figure it's never too early to start, right? Telluride has the most expensive real estate in Colorado, with an average price of $3,000,000. Once I get a couple businesses off the ground and make a few million in the stock market, I too can live here!

Actually, the average house price is skewed upwards by the $15,000,000 homes owned by all the movie stars. I'm sure the home prices here in town are a bit less.

But the yards are so small!

At least there's not much to mow. And you're really close to your neighbors - hopefully they're friendly folk.

Note the avalanche arresters on the roof - this keeps people from getting buried when they walk out their front door (it happens!).

A nice touch of color.

Ohhh, I like this one. How much?

Actually, the place I'd really like to end up was about 8 miles out of Telluride towards Placerville. There was a beautiful little valley by the river with several homes and enough land for horses. And I think the average house price in Placerville is only $800,000. So maybe in 10 years . . . you never know!

Heading back to Montrose . . .

Hope you enjoyed this little taste of Telluride!

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