images-1There seems to be two names for many things in Telluride—the actual name and then what everyone calls it. Sometimes I find myself in hilarious situations as I recommend restaurants and give directions to visitors or tourists in town and on the Mountain. Turns out the local dialect does not always translate directly.

Case in point occurred a few years ago fourth of July. I told some friends visiting from the Bay Area to meet at the corner in front of The Buck to watch the parade. My friend arrived at the corner of Main Street and Pine Street and promptly walked into the Last Dollar Saloon and asked, “Can you tell me where The Buck is?”

When tourists ask for a not-so-fancy restaurant option, I often tell them to go to Lucas’s. One particular family perused the dining guide in their hands and looked at me blankly. There was no restaurant in Telluride called Lucas’s. “Sure there is,” I persisted and pointed to the picture which clearly displayed the interior of Lucas’s—a go-to place we eat at three or four times a month.

“You mean La Cocina de Luz,” they questioned.

“Is that what it’s called?” I asked. “Seems rather long.”

Obviously, the local nomenclature goes beyond town and onto the Mountain. I like to call the first three hike-to-runs on Palmyra Ridge the ex-girlfriends—Crystal, La Rosa and Genevieve. Years ago a friend referred to them as such and it stuck, at least with me.

And now that my six-year old is skiing more of the mountain, I’m realizing how much we speak in “code” as I share it with her. She was excited to tell me one day after ski PE that she had skied Lower Plunge. “Tell mom, you skied ‘LP’,” my husband coached her. On the flip side, she has also showed me secret runs on Lift Four like Narnia and Ghost Chair.

imagesMy awareness of our parlance continued as I skied with a colleague who moved to Telluride a year ago. We skied Lift Nine, and I taught her what a “local’s loop” was, how to get the shot below Awesome Rock and introduced her to Reduction. I also showed her how fun skiing ‘Mak’m (Kant’Mak’m) is when you catch the last chair at 3:30 creating an opportunity to ski the steep, fall-away run under the chair with no one actually  riding above you. A ‘Mak’m all to yourself at the end of the day.  In my humble opinion, there is no better way to end.

That is, of course, because we had already skied the ex-girl friends, were turning the last Mak’m into a Local’s Loop by adding lower Stairs and LP and were planning on grabbing a beer at the Buck and a burrito at Lucas’s.




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