Snow Sunday: The Beauty Of Winter

Telluride's Ski Mountain Opens

Telluride’s Ski Mountain Opens

There are several reasons to love this time of year in Telluride. The opening of the Telluride Ski Mountain, especially on a year with so much snow, reinvigorates families and friends. It’s as if subconsciously, we’ve all been holding our breath during off-season. With the turning of that first chair, there’s a collective sigh in the town. Even if you’re not a skier, the beginning of the ski season transforms this town. In the same way that Telluride Bluegrass marks the start of summer, the ski season marks the start of winter.

For my family, the start of this ski season is particularly wonderful as it is this first year that we can all ski together. In the past, we’ve always had to take turns staying with Quincy, our younger one, while one of us skis with Siri, the older one. But this year, the baby has grown up: at 4, she can make her way down most blue runs! Shushing down chair 5 today, I was overcome with emotion as I looked at the peaks, backlit with sun. There was no negotiation in getting out of the house. There was no one complaining (for the moment!). There were just the 4 of us, living in the mountains, playing outside. It felt like a change I’d been waiting for without knowing I’d wanted it; it felt glorious.

Another reason I love this time of year is Noel Night. I don’t even need to shop. I love seeing the lights brighten Main Street, love seeing family and friends gather together in Telluride’s core. This time of year can feel lonely and dark. Noel Night reminds us all of the value of this community.

Finally, I love the parties that always happen right about now. Yes, it can feel like too much. Too much chocolate, too much wine. Yet, there’s also a beauty in that excess. It only happens this time of year, and once again, amidst the long, cold nights, the gathering of friends is a welcome respite.

When we travel, people often wonder about our existence in Telluride. “Isn’t it cold there? Isn’t winter long?” Yes, we tell them to both. Winter often stretches from September to May, with guest appearances in June, July, and August. But there’s always something lacking in my answer. I tell them about the community. I tell them about the mountains. I sing all of Telluride’s praises, and they nod their heads. Maybe they say marvelous or maybe they don’t. Either way, I always feel like I haven’t said it all. Perhaps, next time I should start by telling them this: one of the best parts about living in Telluride is the start of winter. It’s a little bit about the ski mountain, it’s a little bit Noel Night, it’s a lot about family and friends. Telluride’s magic works best in small ways on the smallest of days.

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