Telluride Ski Resort

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

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Telluride is a major tourist destination for skiers, celebrities and artists in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Hiking to the perfect skiing spot high above the town of Telluride. (Colorado Tourism Office)

Located in the Four Corners region of Colorado, where Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona meet, people from all walks of life make Telluride their winter home and add to the already varied resident population.

The mountain provides a genuine skiing experience for all levels of skiers with a variety of fantastic terrain spread all over the mountain. Beginners feel comfortable on the smoothed groomers and advanced skiers love the challenge of the mogul runs.

Even the beginners have the opportunity to ride to the highest peaks at Telluride, with easy trails leading them back down, a joy usually just reserved for advanced skiers and riders.

The base elevation at Telluride is 8,725 feet and the highest lift served terrain is at 12,570 feet above sea level. The maximum one can reach at Telluride is 13,150 feet, a beautiful but arduous hike well above the tree line.

The resort receives an average of more than 300 inches of snow a year, habilitating over 2,000 acres and 120 trails. The longest trail at Telluride, Galloping Goose, stretches 4.6 miles.

Set in a sculpted, glacial box canyon, the town of Telluride and Mountain Village (where the ski resort is) are connected by a free pedestrian gondola that runs year-round. Don’t miss the shopping around the town’s restored Victorian downtown.

Stop by the Telluride Historical Museum for additional information about the gold mining history in the area.

Current day Telluride is known as “The City of Festivals,” thanks to its frequent festivals, including its famous international film festival.

Only one road reaches Telluride year-round, which goes through Imogene Pass. The isolated location within the canyon may have even given the town its name. Some people say Telluride comes from “to hell you ride,” because of the tricky, difficult terrain you have to cross to get there. Guess they didn’t have snowboards yet. If they had, it might have been a version of “to heaven you ride.”

Even today, airplanes have a hard time reaching the town nestled within the steep, forested mountain cliffs. Telluride Regional Airport is the highest commercial airport in the United States, which is regularly beset by storms.

The slopes at Telluride benefit from this isolation, with uncrowded terrain and non-existent lift lines. The slopes are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seven days a week.

The terrain is rated as 23% beginner, 36% intermediate and 41% advanced/expert. More advanced hike-to terrain includes Bald Mountain, Black Iron Bowl, Gold Hill Chutes and Palmyra Peak.

Eighteen lifts take skiers and riders up the 4, 425 of vertical rise: 2 high-speed gondolas,
 7 high-speed quads, 1 fixed quad, 2 triples,
 2 doubles, 2 surface lifts and 2 magic carpets.

Christy Sports: The future of ski and board rentals has arrived! Reserve your gear online and pick it up at one their two Telluride locations! Or use their Door 2 Door service and get the gear delivered right to your condo or hotel! The website also has a clothing store with all the major brands, like Burton, K2, Helly Hansen, Spyder and more! Also selling kayaks and all the paddle gear you could want! Save up to 20% by renting online!

SnowVentures: Take the guesswork and logistics out of your ski vacation. Let SnowVentures plan everything for you! Their local insider tips will save you money, time and effort. Offering packages, SnowVentures customizes each client’s unique travel needs and budget! From the airfare to the gear rentals- leave it to them and save yourself the hassle!

Door 2 Door Ski Valet: This innovate company will send their expert technicians to deliver and custom fit your boots, skis and boards. Rent online from Christy Sports and they’ll bring your gear to your door slope-side! Forget about waking up early to battle those long lines in your all your sweaty ski gear. Head right to the slopes to make first tracks!

  • Telluride’s terrain may be steep and challenging on the town side, yet it has plenty of intermediate and family terrain as well on the Mountain Village side. If you are staying in town, which would be my choice. The other side of the mountain, the town side, is where the goods are. Lift 6 has short steep bumps that can get pretty skied out, but when the snow is good it offers some fast steep tree or bump skiing. Lift 8 is what you would take to access the steeper terrain from town which leads you into lift 9.

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