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Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Telluride Ski Resort. Dubbed "the most beautiful place you'll ever ski," Telluride Ski Resort once was known as an experts-only ski area. Indeed, the north-facing trails are impressively steep and long, and the moguls can be massive. Chairlift 9 services primarily expert terrain, including the famed Spiral Stairs and the Plunge, while Gold Hill, Bald Mountain, Black Iron Bowl, and Palmyra Peak provide challenging chutes and other double-diamond runs, as well as hiking options for expert skiers.
But then there is the other side—literally—of the ski area, the gently sloping valley called the Gorrono Basin, with long groomed runs excellent for intermediates and beginners. On the ridge that wraps around the ski area's core is the aptly named See Forever, a long cruiser that starts at 12,570 feet and delivers views over the San Juan Mountains and into Utah's La Sal mountain range. The best areas for beginners are the Meadows, off Lift 1, and Galloping Goose, a long winding trail off Lifts 12 or 10. Near Gorrono Basin, off Lift 4 (the ski area's main artery), is another section that includes super-steep, double-diamond tree runs on one side and glorious cruisers on the other.
Mid-mountain, Lift 5 accesses a wealth of intermediate runs. From there, slide through a Western-style gate and you come to Prospect Bowl, a 733-acre area with a network of runs cut around islands of trees. Prospect Express (Lift 12) appeases not only experts–who can navigate double-diamond chutes, cliff bands, and open glades–but also beginners and intermediates, who can ski some of the highest green and blue terrain in North America.
Telluride also has three terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. 565 Mountain Village Blvd., Telluride, CO, 81435. 800/778–8581. www.tellurideskiresort.com. Late Nov.–early Apr., daily 9–4.
3,530-foot vertical drop; 1,700 skiable acres; 24% beginner, 38% intermediate, 38% advanced/expert; 2 gondolas, 7 high-speed quad chairs, 2 triple chairs, 2 double chairs, 2 surface lifts, 1 moving carpet.
Lessons and Programs
Telluride Ski & Snowboard School. At this well-regarded school, adult half-day group clinics are $85, and full-day adventure classes are $150. Lessons are available for alpine and telemark skiers as well as snowboarders. Children's programs are $170 per day and include a lift ticket, lesson, and lunch. The school also offers Women's Week programs, which include three or five days of skills-building classes with female instructors that cost $550 to $875, including lift tickets. Bumps and steeps camps are available as well. 565 Mountain Village Blvd., Telluride, CO, 81435. 970/728–7540. www.tellurideskiresort.com.
The one-day walk-up rate is $92. On multiday, advance-purchase tickets the daily rate can drop as low as $59.
Bootdoctors. Despite its name, Bootdoctors services go way beyond boots, renting all manner of skis, boots, and snowboards, along with backcountry gear and snowshoes. It also offers ski tuning, boot fitting, and repairs. It also has a sister location in Mountain Village. 236 S. Oak St., Telluride, CO, 81435. 970/728–4587. www.bootdoctors.com.
Telluride Sports. All manner of ski and snowboard rentals are available from the ubiquitous Telluride Sports, with several locations in Telluride and Mountain Village. The shop will deliver everything to your hotel for no extra charge. 150 W. Colorado Ave., Telluride, CO, 81435. 970/728–4477 or 877/754–7991. www.telluridesports.com.
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