For folks living in mountain towns, essential winter gear puts function before style (but in the best case scenarios incorporates both) and isn’t limited to apparel, but is comprised of custom items invented and engineered specifically for mountain living.

To experience all Telluride has to offer this winter, here is one upcoming event, and four fun items, worth checking out.

The Event

Free Dynafit Demos This Friday At Jagged Edge: As mountains around the West are opening access gates to the side country, more people are becoming exposed and hooked on backcountry skiing. (Hopefully with that exposure is education and time spent learning and practicing safe protocol). And, each year as the gear gets better and lighter, the choices regarding what to buy become harder.

Folks often find themselves asking: Do I go for a light set up, at the possibility of losing a little performance? Do I go for something a little heavier, but that I can use on mountain as well as off-piste? Or, do I lay it all down, and go for the latest, greatest, lightweight, highest performing gear?

The problem with answering these questions is there are not often (or ever) opportunities to “demo,” or try out, backcountry gear before buying it. This Friday, December 16th at the Jagged Edge in Telluride, there will be an opportunity to try the latest backcountry skis, boots and bindings from Dynafit.

A representative from Dynafit will be in the store to answer product questions and provide free demos of the new Radical binding series, Stoke skis, and the Titan Ultralite & TLT 5 Mountain ski boots. The Jagged Edge urges interested skiers to call ahead to reserve the product(s) and sizes they would like to try. The demos will be available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., are free, and can be used on the mountain or in the backcountry. San Juan Outdoor Schools will be on hand to shuttle interested parties to Lizard Head.

My Essential Telluride Winter Gear Picks

The Studded Bike Tire: As you circle around and around Main Street looking for parking, do you ever wonder how those folks efficiently running their errands (or kids to school) on bikes are able to keep their balance on the slippery, snowy, streets?

The answer: Studded bike tires (or the Surly Pugsley, studded tires are much less expensive).

Just like with the snow tires on your car, you can buy a set of studded tires for your bike, put them on after the first snow, and then take them off when the spring sun melts it away. The investment will run you about $50 to $80 a tire, and the tires can last three to four seasons, depending on use.

With a Chariot (bike trailer intended to haul kids) attached to your bike, you’ll find yourself carting your friends’ skis and poles to the mountain and waiting patiently for them lift side as they look for parking. Biking means available Gondola parking, every time.

The Ski or Board Backpack For Hike-To Terrain: With the hike-to terrain on Gold Hill Ridge, Prospect Ridge and Palmyra Peak, almost everyone skis with a backpack these days. And if you don’t have one, all it will take is one ascent up Palmyra Peak, old-school style, with your skis over your shoulder, to convince you of the investment’s value. The important thing when picking out your pack is to make sure it fits comfortably when your skis are on it, and that you can get your skis on and off easily.

There is nothing worse than having to take your gloves off, on a cold day, to attach your skis to your pack, or getting left behind because you’re always stuck fiddling and micro-adjusting it.

Remember, there are no friends on a powder day, if you can’t get it together quickly, you will get left (the jury is still out, however, regarding how the husband and wife dynamic fits into this universal, skier, truth).

The Après Ski Hat: They’re everywhere. The cute, ski town, après cap. They come knit, flannel, corduroy, and wool. They look cool, because they are cool and they’re the perfect solution to not showering after skiing with your hair under a helmet all day. Ski, après, go.

Stabilicers or Yaktrax: Below the beautiful, white, layer of snow that often blankets the trails and roads around town, there is always a layer of ice. And every winter, the simple act of walking around town leaves unsuspecting pedestrians with broken bones. Companies like Stabilicer and Yaktrax have developed a spiked sole that can be easily attached and adjusted to fit the bottom of shoes and boots. With a Stabilicer or Yaktrax, next time you hit a slick spot, you’ll stay on your feet. Avid, year-round, runners have also been known to use them for winter runs after a storm.

Just be careful about walking on someone’s kitchen rug with the spikes attached, chances are that they’ll snag and you’ll go down pretty hard (just ask my mom).

Outside use only is a good policy.

Snow Sunday is a weekly column by Jesse James McTigue and sponsored by Jagged Edge intended to deliver tips, news, musings and stories about the people, places, events and experiences that make the Telluride winter an epic adventure.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.