Your thoughts on Telluride?

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Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby snowave » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:24 am

I hope to go there in a month or so with my MC Pass to see for myself what the mountain is like, (albeit in a poor snow year). I have expressed some interest to the wife about looking into property near Ridgway perhaps in a couple years, so it would be considered my home mountain if we did move. We enjoy Pagosa a lot, but I am pretty bored at Wolf Creek most of the time. It's just too small and flat.

So,how busy it is at T-ride outside of holiday periods? Liftlines? (Looks like they avg under 500k skier visits, but that will likely increase a bit with the Epic starting next year. I read an estimated of 18k more people are expected).

Are they groomer friendly? Good amount of steepish groomers? (which is my go to terrain when it isn't a true pow day).
Trail map looks like it has some nice terrain for powder days as well. How is the mountain layout... looks a but disconnected on the trail map, but if it's easy enough to navigate, I'm OK with that.

I have done some searching here, but didn't find a whole lot other than a certain person who hates Telluride. :-s
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:51 pm

ChrisC loves Tellurude and has a brother who lives there.

Wolf Creek’s benchy terrain has to be a PITA on a snowboard. I did warn you about that in advance of the last move.

I think Telluride is remote enough to be nearly lift line proof.

Bushwacker and Plunge on chair 9 are excellent long steep groomers.

The expert terrain tends to be a lot of moguls. The lifts only go a little bit above tree line. I have not skied there since the Revelation lift was built. That is wide open but only 700 vertical.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby jojo_obrien » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:44 am

Well I'll be damned. First time I'm going to call b.s. on something by Tony .... but to his defense, he hasn't been there since the Revelation lift was built. I saw very hefty lift lines on Revelation last year when I was there. Reminded me of Mineral Basin on a weekend bluebird powder day -- same long lines, too. Mineral has far larger "back bowl" acreage and high-speed. Revelation is smaller and furthermore, not high-speed.

I'm sure everyone who has skied Telluride would agree it's one of the best mountains in the states. Views are unparalleled from the lifts and in town. Great on mountain dining, groomers for those who want groomers, tons of hike-to expert terrain. It has something for everyone. It definitely attracts some of most fit and best skiers you'll find around. The abundance of hike-to terrain reminds me of the great stuff you'll get at Aspen Highlands. Just prepared to huff and puff -- very high elevation.

It's a killer mountain and if you can hit it on a pow day -- it's a blast.

My TR from last year: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12337
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby Pajarito-Bred » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:24 pm

With Wolf Creek reporting a 31-inch base in mid-Feb, can't hurt to plan a road trip, although pointing north to the 'boat might be better, and not a whole further (about 3 hrs Pagosa to Telluride, hmmm no it's a lot further....)

Telluride is great experts and novice's mountain, with a huge gap in the moderate groomer/moguls realm. Plenty of flats to annoy a snowboarder. Bushwhacker is an awesome ripping steep groomer off Chair 9, but when there less-than-optimal snow, the frontside is Ice,Ice baby.
For an intermediate snowboarder, Telluride must really suck. For an expert, there's a lot to love.
Still waiting for decent snow to use my Telluride card this year (2.5 hours South for me). I could be waiting until 2019 at this rate.

No lift lines! One line at Rev on a powder day does not mean there's liftlines. (ever been to Copper or Vail on a Saturday?) Typical to have 2 or 3 people in front of you at Gold hill or Palmyra, 10 or 20 on Plunge chair 9.
Yep, I've got a love/hate relationship with Telluride. Love the view, the town, the steeps on Gold hill, lounging in the sun at Gorrono, fresh-groomed Bushwhacker. Hate that It's not 1980 and the pristine powder on the Plunge that required riding Coonskin, then chairs 4, 5, and 6 to access has been scraped off, along with my right meniscus. Hate that Joint Point no longer is a place without a sign pointing it out.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby ChrisC » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:56 pm

Like Tony said - I have been visiting Telluride since early 1990s and have a brother who runs a business in town. Now Telluride has a tonier reputation, but it was more common to see underwear hanging in a ski bums Victorian than an art gallery - until at least the mid 2000s. However, most houses/condos in town in the early/mid 1990s cost 70-300k - probably similar to a place in Sandpoint, ID or Whitefish, MT - than an Aspen, Vail or Sun Valley. So there is a generation still locked in before before the advent of the one week per year mansions culture took hold.

In late 1980s/90s, Telluride was somewhat forced to make a strategic decision - primarily due to its remote location - to go more upscale due to its inaccessibility. But in a more low-key way. This choice was helped as a result of a Hollywood/Entertainment/Fashion industry connection due to its numerous summer festivals (BlueGrass, Jazz, Film, Blues and Brews, KOTO) - many which were established in the 1970s. For example, the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner has debuted now at the Telluride Film Festival (started in 1972 - much before Sundance) for the last 10 years. Currently, summer visits and tax revenues surpass winter.

Of course Telluride always has the natural beauty. It's in a box canyon with many 14kers and a box canyon with 4k vertical walls.

Onto skiing.....

snowave wrote:So,how busy it is at T-ride outside of holiday periods? Liftlines? (Looks like they avg under 500k skier visits, but that will likely increase a bit with the Epic starting next year. I read an estimated of 18k more people are expected).


You might find a few lines December 27 to December 31 -- and maybe an odd day or two in February or March. Line = 5/10 minutes on a couple of core lifts. Otherwise it's a non-issue. Some of the worse congestion is on the beginner lifts (Chairs 1 and 10) and maybe a little on Chair 4 that comes out of the village.

That said ... locals will come out of the woodwork on a 6"+ powder day. Etiquette is to place your skis in line (~8am) and go get coffee or something - if you want to be on the first ten chairs. Lots of able bodied skiers for competition, but far less testosterone than Jackson Hole, Squaw, AltaBird.

Epic Pass? Oh they would be lucky to get a good bump - 6 hours from Denver. Telluriders think this is Armageddon. However, the airport was suppose to kill the town, certain hotels could kill the town, any change or lift replacement...I have seen people cry over roof angles on a house. The town is populated with drama queens.

The Mountain Collective did not kill the place. If Vail or Aspen/Alterra buy it out - I would support the plan. My thoughts on ownership later....

However, from the Master Development Plan, there has been a growth trajectory since the 2008 Recession.

As shown in Table I-1, TSR’s annual visitation over the past ten seasons has averaged 445,668 with
fluctuations resulting from varying snowfall and economic conditions. However, since the period’s low
mark of 419,476 in 2008/09, there has been a strong upward trend with a 20% growth in annual skier
visits between 2008/09 and 2015/16, with 10% growth over the last three ski seasons. TSR averages 138
operational days per season.
Table I-1. Annual Skier Visits (2006–2016)
Season Visitation
2015/16 505,592
2014/15 478,211
2013/14 454,259
2012/13 420,362
2011/12 423,927
2010/11 423,621
2009/10 454,257
2008/09 419,476
2007/08 450,730


snowave wrote:Are they groomer friendly? Good amount of steepish groomers? (which is my go to terrain when it isn't a true pow day).
Trail map looks like it has some nice terrain for powder days as well. How is the mountain layout... looks a but disconnected on the trail map, but if it's easy enough to navigate, I'm OK with that.


Telluride has the best steep groomers in the US. Period. This is for a couple of reasons:
1. Most large Western US resorts do not simply groom many black runs on a consistent basis. So a lack of competition.
2. Telluride implemented a large scale steep grooming program of exceptionally long runs in the late 1980s. Needed some way to get skiers down the front face.
3. Telluride does not get the ski traffic to destroy the groomers until much later in the day.

Town-side: You will find steep 1700-2500 vertical ft. groomers on the steep front face. At least 2-4 are groomed every night. You can find Lookout, Plunge, Bashwacker, Coonskin, Milk Run groomed at least 2-4 times a week - sometimes a split groomed with half bumps / half flat. Sometimes Joint Point/Mammoth.

Powder Day Strategies
Control work is usually done with chairs 7/9 opening, then 6, then 12/14, then Revelation. Bigger storms prevent 12/14/Revelation openings leaving terrain for the next day. Gold Hill Chutes and Palmyra hike-to's after that. Watch openings after storms - you can score 1-2 days later. My personal powder tour is hitting 1-2 of front face groomers with powder, next a powder bump run, then go into the woods (Logpile/Jack's). Then drop over to chair 6. Apex or Chongos stay hidden. Than onwards to 12/14. There are lots of places all over this area: Rockslide, Mudslide, Bald, Traumer's Trees, etc.....

Terrain
There is also a lot more tree skiing than the trail map reveals. Tons of gladed areas off of chairs 9, 6, and 14 - some of which have been manually helped. Lots of tight chutes all over. Lots of steep bumps. Open bowl terrain/alpine is a little week. Revelation Bowl is nice, but too small - both in height and width...but the lift gets you to the Gold Hill Chutes and slackcountry quicker.

Side Country
http://www.tellurideoffpiste.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There is also a 4000 ft vertical side country area called Bear Creek that is more like the Alps. Care should be taken with San Juan snowpack though - there is about one death every other year.

Naviagation
Telluride skis like a series of pods versus a truly integrated mountain. A skier is fine. However, there are some catwalks that could challenge a snowboarder.

snowave wrote:I have done some searching here, but didn't find a whole lot other than a certain person who hates Telluride. :-s


There is some hate on many ski boards (TGR/this one) for any mountain that has large upscale development. But for me, this disqualifies too many places with great terrain and snow.

However, Telluride could have done a better job with zoning to get more mid-range hotel / "hot" beds when development was occuring. They have done a much better job with affordable housing for locals.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby baldyskier » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:13 pm

Chris thanks for your detailed post. Lots of useful information there. I was intrigued by photos of Telluride even before I started skiing. I haven't made it there yet, but it's definiitely on my list.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby snowave » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:04 pm

Thanks a bunch guys, and especially Chris for the details and opinions. I have been to T-ride in Summer, but not Winter. With my Mountain Collective Pass, it was supposed to happen a few weeks ago, but we went to Jackson instead (which was pretty good, but crowded and not that great lower mtn conditions). Now that SW CO is finally getting some more snow, I'm excited to get over there and explore... but probably can't happen until Mid March due to scheduling.

I will let you guys know what I think.


p.s. Had a good day at Wolf yesterday... heavy powder 8:1?! ), but it was actually pretty surfy and fun since I really focused on finding the best (steepest) lines. I May go to Monarch next week for a couple days as I've never been before and its only ~ 3 hrs from here.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby snowave » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:09 pm

Well, I made it over to Telluride on March 18-21. It snowed a foot on the 18th, so it was a powder day on Monday and all the locals were out. Chair 9 had a 10-15 min wait for a couple hours, but then no lift lines the rest of the trip. I followed ChrisC's advice for powder day strategies, and scored some nice turns (although off piste stuff is still pretty thin with only 150" snow this year).

All in all, I loved the mountain, and Chris was dead on with its description. The traverse to the different lifts wasn't all that bad, and I only got stuck traversing from 7 to 9 for my first run... (my lodging was at the base of 7). Nice varied terrain... loved the steeper groomers, but the face/town runs were a bit hardpack due to the low snow. Nice vibe on the hill, even on a powder day. Locals were very friendly and open to advice on stashes. The town was also great, as I spent alot of time in the pubs and talking to people. Again, very friendly laid back vibe and really didn't find it snooty at all.

The only bummer was one of my last runs, I was bombing a groomer and in the flat light, hit a divot...had a bad crash and broke my upper humerus (just below the rotator). Ski patrol and the local medical center were fantastic and quick... but I am laid up for about 2 months.

My next decision will be what pass to get. Would have loved if Telluride stayed with the Mountain Collective, as I'm not thrilled with the Epic options. Might just wait to see if T-ride has some 5 or 7 day pass options that would allow me 3 or 4 2 day trips next year.

Thanks again to you guys for the tips. Here's a few pics...

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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby baldyskier » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:34 pm

Snowave,

Thanks for the report. Nice pics. Sorry about your injury. At least it's the end of the season. I fractured my hip socket in a road bike accident in December, 2015, missing the whole ski season.

That's also a bummer re. Telluride dropping off the MC list. I didn't see that. I went with the MC again for next year, as I have a place to stay in the Salt Lake City area, and I don't see myself getting out enough to justify spending $200 more for the lower tier IKON Pass. A trip to Mammoth after the recent 5 foot dump that yielded a lot of wind holds/crowded liftlines and wind blown snow convinced me that I wouldn't have a lot of use for a Mammoth season pass, even though it's my "home mountain" as an LA resident.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby ChrisC » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:53 pm

I am so sorry you hurt yourself. I have broken every bone on my right side in Telluride. Knee, collar bone, hand, etc. Mostly off of chair 14. As I get older, these injuries are more felt.

Telluride is my favorite - Im glad you enjoyed!

It does not get old to me ..... it's always magical!

I love Gus Kenworthy - who grew up 4 houses down! First gay Olympian! My brother employs his brother.

I love the attitude of the place - it's more liberal than Berkeley.

And it's warmer - the shadows on the town suck, but it's warm like Tahoe, etc.

Telluride is my home. It's imperfect, but I will talk to anyone about it.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby kingslug » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:07 am

Might go there next season..guess I'll stay away from chair 14.......... [-X
Maybe meet the guy who made my skis..Pete Wagner.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby snowave » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:34 pm

weird.. my accident happened near the base of chair 14, which is where I stopped for help.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby egieszl » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:21 am

I too know several people who've gotten hurt skiing Telluride. Almost all on powder days, but from low-tide snow conditions that are almost always the case there.

Next year you could consider buying a Telluride card in the Fall. They sell them online for about $80. The Telluride card includes one-day of skiing, no blackout days, and additional days are at 50% off the window rate. It's a direct to lift access card so additional days are immediately charged to your on file credit card.

Telluride is being a brat about leaving the Mountain Collective. Clearly they feel threatened by Aspen Snowmass leading and forming the IKON-Alterra group. Joining Vail is not the answer.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby ChrisC » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:26 pm

Have you met the owner of Telluride? Chuck Hornig? Hmmm....let me try to be nice.

He's a total drunk narcissistic a-hole - generally running (no, slow drunken walk) around the Sheridan at 11pm-2am - being gross - grabbing, burping, farting - having no vision of what to do with Telluride.

I would assume if the combined women from Telluride & visitors came together .... the lawsuit from the "Me-Too" movement could put Telluride into bankruptcy.

Really - Chuck is a sad ex-SoCal cancer commercial real estate owner. And he is pissing his time away in the mountains of SW Colorado. And taking a community with it. However - the macro forces of the desire for beautiful ski towns and mountains - saves Telluride - from a leader who has to be bottom 10%, 5% or 2%.

Telluride is severely under-capitalized. In the last 15 years - almost nothing. One quad chair for a minor bowl. Some upgrades that have been sidelined for 15+ years .... Chair 9 to HS Quad. A real restaurant on top of chair 5 with a physical structure.

I am really being too nice with my above description. Locals like his reign of because it is total NIMBY-ism. However, compare what places like Jackson, Sun Valley, Sunshine Village, Snowbird, Big Sky - have done in this period.

I hope Vail or Alterra buy Telluride.

Telluride Sports is just a VAIL brand .... also, I here Telluride wants the RFID chip reading .... hence Telluride going with Vail/Epic next year.
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Re: Your thoughts on Telluride?

Postby ChrisC » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:38 pm

egieszl wrote:I too know several people who've gotten hurt skiing Telluride. Almost all on powder days, but from low-tide snow conditions that are almost always the case there.


I have multiple powder low-tide injuries from Telluride:

1. Right hand --- hit tree root/stump under chair 14 (Gold Hill) on powder day --- hand first into tree trunk. Late December.
2. Right side broken collarbone/clavicle --- hit rock --- went flying into another rock shoulder first. Early January.
3. Somersault from hitting one rock - smack into next rock. Knee ligaments. Mid - January.


The saddest low tide injury/death was this season ... exceptional local and snowboarder

https://www.telluridenews.com/news/arti ... bcbd1.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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