Skiing Telluride
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5 users
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itdoesntmatter
one month ago
Member since 01/17/2007 🔗
129 posts

I've had the pleasure of seeing the town this summer.  It's absolutely beautiful and it got me thinking maybe it should be a once in a lifetime ski trip.  

I'm mainly a blue groomed skier.  I've skied Cooper, Breck, Keystone, and A-Basin.  I'm mainly a blue/black groomed slope person.  Steepness doesn't bother me.  I've even done some bowl skiing at Copper on a powder days that weren't too deep and did OK.  

Is Telluride too much for me?  I've seen comments that it has a lot of mogul runs (which I never do on knees that are 60 years old).

I know it's expensive, not easy to get to, etc...  

Looking for advice.  

JimK - DCSki Columnist
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts

It's a beautiful ski area.  The nearby mountains are very scenic. 

1631957373_jyzjwhbhmyrq.jpg

I believe there are plenty of slopes in the blue square and single black diamond category for you.  I had a nice visit there in April of 2019.

Revelation Bowl:

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Gold Hill, Chute 1:

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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
one month ago
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,938 posts

As an Epic Pass holder, Telluride is also on my radar screen for next season. I read Jim’s article and some of the posts on SkiTalk to get some info on the resort. There are also some videos on YouTube about it. From what I have read, it seems like a good choice for advanced and expert skiers but also has offerings for intermediates and even beginners. The high altitude raises some concerns as does its remote location. There are flight connections to Telluride from Denver (Key Lime Air), but I am inclined to fly to Montrose and take the shuttle from there due to the risk of the Telluride flight being cancelled in the event of inclement weather.  Lodging is also quite expensive there—equivalent to Vail/Beaver Creek/Aspen. Not sure I would go unless snow conditions are good. We’ll see. Many posters on SkiTalk rank it in the top ten for N. American resorts and some rank it even higher. 

Jim, how does Telluride compare to Crested Butte?

itdoesntmatter
one month ago
Member since 01/17/2007 🔗
129 posts

I would fly into Montrose and take a shuttle.  I don't want to have to worry about driving up to Telluride.  It was a long uphill in the middle of summer.   Elevation has never bothered me at Copper, so I should be ok with that.  

It would also get me to buy the Epic pass which get me back to Whitetail which I have avoided since it was bought by Vail.  I don't mind spending a lot for a once in a lifetime trip to Telluride, but I haven't skied whitetail because of the lack of an advantage card.

JimK - DCSki Columnist
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts

I stayed in a small motel/hotel (not especially attractive, but relatively inexpensive) in the town of Telluride and rode the lifts up from there to begin each of my two ski days.  I suppose that gets you a little lower sleeping altitude than staying up at the mtn village.  The town is nice to explore for apres-ski.  I stayed slopeside at Crested Butte which was great, but didn't see much of the town because it's a four mile drive from the slopes.

I have a few more ski days at Crested Butte than Telluride.  Crested Butte has quite a bit of green and blue trails and then jumps up to numerous double black diamonds.  Telluride has a nice mix of all levels.  I suppose for a once in a lifer I'd go to Telluride for slightly prettier scenery, but I really liked alternating the hard and easy runs at CB and the better accoms (slopeside condo with a full kitchen) there also added convenience to my experience. 

fosphenytoin - DCSki Supporter
one month ago
Member since 12/20/2017 🔗
150 posts
Just want to mention:  Telluride is included on Epic Full pass, NOT Epic Local pass.  
Full pass now is $799 (increased from $783 after Sept 6th).  
marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,544 posts

I did a trip to Telluride after a week with friends at Taos a few years ago.  We splurged and shared a condo in town, right across from the base of Lift 7.  It was Pres. Day weekend but really not real issues with lift lines except first thing in the morning.  Well, actually only on the powder day when I opted to take the bus over to the gondola base.  Got there early enough to wait inside a corner of the gondola base before they let day skiers on.

Telluride has great blues in my opinion.  I skied a couple afternoons solo so I could just explore.  Wasn't sure when I would get back to Telluride, or if I wanted to.  When I visit a resort for the first time, I like to ride every lift including the beginner lift(s).  Sometimes the best views are from a beginner lift.  Quite a few blue trails are long and wide.  The trail signs at Telluride are some of the best.  There are also short sections of easier bumps if interested in trying some.  Can see a few of them from one of the chairlifts before making a decision to give them a try.  There are at least five distinct sections to Telluride.  I think of the long blue on top of the ridge as a separate "section." because it's so long and has such great views.  Quite unique in my experience so far.

My ski buddy who lives in Ohio is going to Telluride with his ski club in March.  Telluride is popular with ski clubs.  There are club trips where most of the skiers are intermediates or advanced skier who are old enough (over 70) to be staying on groomers most of the time.

Flying in/out of Montrose is probably the way to go.  Since my primary ski buddy lives in Albuquerque, I rode back with him and flew Southwest from ABQ.  The scenery on the drive back was gorgeous since it was a blue sky day.  We even drove into Silverton for a quick look.  He's stayed there for XC ski trips with local friends.

Blues headed towards the main base and gondola mid-station.

1631990282_zpothmmkylmt.jpg

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,544 posts

johnfmh wrote:

As an Epic Pass holder, Telluride is also on my radar screen for next season. I read Jim’s article and some of the posts on SkiTalk to get some info on the resort. There are also some videos on YouTube about it. From what I have read, it seems like a good choice for advanced and expert skiers but also has offerings for intermediates and even beginners. The high altitude raises some concerns as does its remote location. There are flight connections to Telluride from Denver (Key Lime Air), but I am inclined to fly to Montrose and take the shuttle from there due to the risk of the Telluride flight being cancelled in the event of inclement weather.  Lodging is also quite expensive there—equivalent to Vail/Beaver Creek/Aspen. Not sure I would go unless snow conditions are good. We’ll see. Many posters on SkiTalk rank it in the top ten for N. American resorts and some rank it even higher. 

 The beginner terrain at Telluride is very good in my opinion.  There is a super wide green run that feeds into the ski school where kids go.  Also a long green, Galloping Goose, around the far side that apparently has great views.  A mountain host I happened to ride up with on that side told me about it.  Then I followed him into the blue glades.  Only problem was that the snow was heavy that day, so it was hard to keep up speed in a few places where it was a down-and-up situation.

Only problem with Telluride is that if the upper mountain lifts are close due to low visibility and/or high winds, it takes 20+ minutes to get to the far side.  It's a bit hard to interpret the trail map without having skied a run in each section.  If there is a free mountain tour, would be well worth the time.  I do remember there were plenty of mountain hosts around at the base who were quite knowledgeable about terrain suggestions.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
one month ago
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,938 posts

Thanks @jimk and @marzNC for all the insights. I tend to gravitate towards single blacks and blues in the West, but will occasionally ski greens and on very rare occasions, double blacks. It seems like Telluride has it all if you are willing to go the extra mile to get there. Lack of crowds seems like another plus. I am thinking of two 7-day Epic pass trips next season—one to Snowbasin and another to Telluride. An alternative would be to take a 14-day, single trip combining Crested Butte and Telluride. I tend to think through trips in advance but book last minute depending on snow.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
one month ago (edited one month ago)
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,544 posts

johnfmh wrote:

Thanks @jimk and @marzNC for all the insights. I tend to gravitate towards single blacks and blues in the West, but will occasionally ski greens and on very rare occasions, double blacks. It seems like Telluride has it all if you are willing to go the extra mile to get there. Lack of crowds seems like another plus. I am thinking of two 7-day Epic pass trips next season—one to Snowbasin and another to Telluride. An alternative would be to take a 14-day, single trip combining Crested Butte and Telluride. I tend to think through trips in advance but book last minute depending on snow.

 Booking last minute for Snowbasin is relatively easy.  Perhaps not as easy for Telluride.  CB is probably in between with more budget lodging options than Telluride.

My ski buddy who lives in Albuquerque likes CB a lot.  Years ago I got put off of joining a few SkiSoutheast folks at CB because it seemed like a really cold place.  But that was before I was skiing off-piste on a regular basis.

Snow can be an issue for Telluride.  One reason they have invested so much in snowmaking.

During my trip there I met up with an Aussie who was doing a ski safari that was meant to include Telluride as a warm up to Silverton and some other guided backcountry skiing.  The backcountry stuff got cancelled because it was a low snow winter.  He was quite a character.  I "met" him on the the Aussie ski forum after he posted his plans for his American trip that season.  Over 70, traveling solo, and clearly not going to slow down any time soon.  We met up for lunch and then he followed me over to the other side so he could ski the only open hike-to (5 min walk) terrain.  So he was with me on the chair when I was chatting with the mountain host.  When the host said he would show me a blue trail, he said "no way" he was going to ski a groomer. :-)

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