Telluride: Another Season

Telluride: Another Season

A few moments ago (or is it my age?), we returned from our Autumn travels to find Telluride, and especially the surrounding mountains, blanketed with early season snow. So the opening of the ski area just before Thanksgiving was a skier’s idea of paradise, the terrain available to ski only limited by the economics of running all the lifts for our small local population.


Christmas Day, Telluride

And it continued: by Christmas, when we did have the guests and locals to justify a wider opening, the conditions were just about perfect. While the East skiing was minimal to nonexistent, I had a chance to ski with a grandson, who came to Loveland Basin with his school team, because there wasn’t enough snow at Sugarloaf.

With Dylan Klein at Loveland

With Dylan Klein at Loveland

And still it got better. So good that there often were lifelines (by Telluride reckoning) on the most powder days I have seen in years, maybe decades. Even after the snow stopped and a surprisingly early “Spring” from early February to mid-March reduced the snowpack dramatically, the skiing was still great on the groomers because of the depth of the early snow.


Loading Up the CMC Snowcat

Early in February I had the chance to ski for a day at the Cimarron Mountain Club just after a dump of over 2 feet of Colorado champagne powder. A year earlier CMC General Manager Johnnie Stevens had sweetened the pot of a charity auction with the offer of a day with CMC guides to ski the steep and deep via snowcat, and the day was perfect: sunny skies, cold temperatures, and steep acre upon steep acre of uncut powder. Lovely!

Bur it wasn’t necessary to leave Telluride to ski deep powder on steep terrain: there were wonderful days of hiking to untracked pow above Prospect, skiing in barely tracked terrain in Revelation Bowl, or even days of 4 inches of new on top of impeccably groomed intermediate runs. Something for everyone.

With Austin Shepherd in Telluride

With Austin Shepherd in Telluride

I had time to teach 24 days at the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program with a wonderful group of children and adults with a variety of ailments or injuries, some of whom I’ve worked with for years. And there were a lot of days of skiing just for me. It really was a great Winter. Unfortunately, the warm weather shortened our season of cross-country skiing on the groomed tracks on the San Miguel Valley Floor, so I still haven’t advanced in the beautiful sport of skate skiing, but there’s always next year…

Susan and I are on the road right now, but looking forward to another Telluride Summer of hiking, biking, runs in the hills, music and film. Some say that it is Summer that causes us to stay. And I know that Summer is a fleeting time also. But we will greedily reach out to grab all that is available.

That was how I saw my Winter in Telluride. How was yours?


1 Comment
  • Joanne Steinback
    Posted at 05:37h, 11 April

    Clint, I very much enjoyed how you captured winter in Telluride.