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Looking for info about Telluride, Sun Valley and Aspen area

Looking for info about Telluride, Sun Valley and Aspen area

Old Oct 24th, 2011, 08:59 PM
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Looking for info about Telluride, Sun Valley and Aspen area

We are planning to go on a week ski trip to one of the above places this winter. Looking for good skiing, a fun town, and some snowmobiling. Any thoughts and ideas are appreciated. We have done, Utah, Ca, Vail, Copper Mtn, and Jackson Hole and liked them all.
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Old Oct 25th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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Telluride is the highest and smallest of the three; the base of the mnountain is over 9000'. We went there for a week and found that it wasn't large enough to really hold our interest for that long. The town is small, and is connected to the mountain base by a gondola. It is 60+ miles from Montrose, where there is a small airport.

Sun Valley is, by far, the lowest, with a base of just over 5000'; if you have any difficulty with altitude, that's a plus. It's larger than Telluride, but still on the smaller side. We stayed at the Sun Valley Lodge and had to take the bus to both the hill and town. It's about a three hour drive from Boise.

The Aspen area has three small ski hills and one large one (Snowmass); Aspen Mountain is right in town, and there is a good bus system to get to the other three. The bse is around 8000'. The ASpen airport is a short drive away.
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Old Oct 25th, 2011, 06:32 AM
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Who will be going?? That makes a big difference. What ages, ski abilities?

When? That might make a difference.

How much do you want to pay for rooms, lift tickets,meals etc?

Fun things to do? Like??

I can give you input on Telluride, Durango, Wolf Creek, Taos -- sw Colorado area and NM if you'd give me a bit more info.
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Old Oct 25th, 2011, 08:20 AM
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Aspen is a large fun town, with fabulous dining (albeit very expensive for the higher-end places), great shopping and people-watching. Have you been to Park City? It's not like that! In that Park City's main street 1) looks like the old mining town it is, and 2) is really ONLY one street that runs for 5 or 6 blocks. Aspen is more like a mini-city. We love both places.

FWIW, the bus of which abram speaks is free and Snowmass is only 20 minutes from town. Aspen mountain caters more to experts and Snowmass and the others to intermediates and lower. When we go, we prefer to stay in Aspen and "commute" to Snowmass (which is a ski resort, no town) vs. the other way around.
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Old Oct 25th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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Telluride gives it all to you in one place. A tremendous variety of terrain for all ability levels and slopes that descend directly into its historic, vibrant downtown. It's smaller than the others but has more than enough to keep you busy. It also may be a bit harder to get to, but all of that translates into zero lift lines and wide-open slopes. The charm and convenience factor is maximized when you stay in the old town (as opposed to the mountain village) and stay at one of the places directly on the lifts. The Camel's Garden is tops in this regard. The Ice House, a block off the lifts, is an excellent, less-expensive option.
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Old Oct 25th, 2011, 09:45 AM
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Interesting article from the Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...2PJ_story.html
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Old Oct 25th, 2011, 09:46 AM
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Sorry, wrong thread.
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Old Oct 25th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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One of the best ways to get to Aspen from Glenwood Springs if you don't want to fly. http://www.rfta.com/valley.html
I like arriving in Glenwood Springs on the Amtrak California Zephyr.
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Old Oct 26th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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There has been some rather odd comments made about Aspen.

.....three small ski hills and one large one .......

That doesn't make a lot of sense. Nothing small about any of the ski areas and certainly not hills. Aspen is a very glitzified town with very expensive shopping and dinning. The old days of local bars and Hunter Thompson are long gone. Still a physically attractive town if you can afford it. And there is a McDonalds. Aspen sits at the foot of Ajax Mountain which is a very tough mountain to ski. You really need to be a high intermediate to expert to enjoy the mountain. If Jackson Hole was easy for you, then you will have no problem with Ajax. Next north is the Highlands kind of tucked into a area behind Aspen. A good high intermediate mountain. Further north out of Aspen is Buttermilk mountain which has traditionally been viewed as the beginners mountain. In 25 years of skiing the Aspen area, I have never skied Buttermilk. Just for that reason Aspen Ski Corp is trying to change the perception of Buttermilk to appeal to a broader range of skiers. May have even changed the name. Further north is massive Snowmass, my favorite area is all of Colorado. It is basically a intermediate mountain with 10 to 15% beginner runs and the a little less for experts. It has some huge cruising areas, lots of lift capacity. Good accommodations with a large amount of ski in/out properties which is very handy also with some good restaurants. It is a convenient base for group skiing.
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Old Oct 26th, 2011, 08:14 AM
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>>

There are "middle-priced" restaurants as well - there's a very popular barbecue joint, there's Mezzaluna, etc. The high end restaurants are very very pricey, but you don't have to eat in high end restaurants!
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Old Oct 26th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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fmpden, I consider ski areas (like Ajax, Highlands, and Buttermilk) that are only a few hundred acres to be small. Of course, I think that what I said does make sense.
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Old Oct 26th, 2011, 09:03 AM
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If you liked all of the places you have been, why are you only looking at the Colorado ski resorts?
When you tire of Colorado, remember to check out Mt. Bachelor near Bend, Oregon. There is a god bus service from Bend to the mountain and the skiing is great. Bend has a lot going for it.
A former NE Patriots QB (Drew Bledsoe) built his retirement home there and his kids attend public school.
Mt. Bachelor is the 6th largest ski area in the US.
I don't ski, but I do snowshoe in the Cascades.
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Old Oct 26th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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Since OP hasn't come back - I will play devils advocate and suggest a place not asked about. Durango Mountain offers great skiing at more reasonable lift ticket prices. Nice terrain too.

The town is much larger than Telluride and offers more to do off the slopes and a wider range of lodging, restaurant etc than Telluride. It is more "down to earth" too. It is overall a nice town, with better prices and should be considered.
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Old Dec 12th, 2011, 09:53 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I had technical difficulties and couldn't respond! Looks like we will be trying out winter park for the first time and then do Copper Mtn, and Beaver Creek. Winter Park is new for us, any thoughts or suggestions?

We almost choose Aspen, we loved the town but had crummy pea soup fog both days we skied, but it is harder to get to as well. Durango is a great town. My family owned a restaurant there for many years, so it's still a little bitter sweet for me. I skied in Bend 25 yrs ago and remember how pretty it was. Do they have a non puddle jumper airport?
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 05:05 AM
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As I recall - there is a decent sized airport close to Bend and Redmond.

And as for size of ski areas, have skied all over the West and do not consider Ajax, or Aspen Highlands to be small mountains. Plenty of runs - and while we never skied it - Buttrmilk was said to have good powder on the day after a storm, as all the powder hounds went to the other more challenging ski areas first.

Snowmass is known more for being a huge area with plent of intermediate runs.

Now if you want big - Whistler and adjacent Blackhomb are BIG and have gret skiing. We were lucky and had a week of dry powder, but they can get a bit wetter snow there, which is great for base.

We probably skied the most at Lake Tahoe when we lived in SF - at very beautifuly Heavenly Valley - which has both a Cal and Nevada side and plenty of great runs, and Squaw Valley - which is also beautiful with plenty of challenge, and adjacent Alpine Meadows is also a fun area.

And you have the beauty of Lake Tahoe to boot, and there are some great runs on the Cal side of Heavenly that really give you a nice view of the Lake. If you are into bumps (we are at the Warren Miller age now - where we have used up most of ze bumbs in our knees - then check out Gunbarrel - right above the entrance.
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 05:07 AM
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BTW - Copper Mtn. is a great ski area, but so are nearby Breckinridge and Keystone, and if you want high altitude - A Basin is the place. The whole "Summit" is great - and cute little Frisco is our favorite town there.
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 05:56 AM
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We love skiing at Winter Park, but I wouldn't call it a fun town. We stay at Timber House Ski Lodge, owned by the same family for many years. The rooms are 1970s motel, but breakfast, apres ski snacks, and dinner are included, which makes it very relaxing for me, the trip planner, who doesn't have to find any restaurants. Nicest fellow guests we've ever encountered, and they drive you to/from the hill every day, although you can ski home.
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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 08:30 AM
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Gunbarrel looks awesome -- but I've only ever seen it from high above, as I took the chair (now gondola) back down to the main lodge
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 08:39 AM
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We have owned a home in Winter Park for over 30 years, so needless to say, it is our favorite mountain destination. And we have been to most all of them.

The WP ski mountain is awesome. The scenery is gorgeous. It is certainly not glitzy; more a home-spun atmosphere. The people are friendly. Restaurants and shops are reasonably priced.

But, to be honest, it is lacking in that cozy town feeling that Aspen has, for example. Winter Park is actually in the Denver park system. So, it has been historically operated as such, with income going into the entire Denver Park system, without development of nighttime entertainment by the city. Winter Park town is a free shuttle ride from the ski area, and it has everything you would want, with reasonable prices.

There is now a new village at the base of the mountain, which I think is a huge improvement. It is very cute, with a 'contemporary' Old West look to it, heated cobblestone walks, a parking garage, and a free gondola to take you to the upper parking lots.

We like the Cheeky Monk restaurant there. (Skip "Lime", it has been extremely disappointing food anytime we have tried it, or friends have. Ok for a drink, I suppose.)

If you go to Winter Park, post another thread asking for recs for food and lodging, if you need some ideas. Our all-time favorite special restaurant there is the Ranch House at Devil's Thumb. Not at the downhill area, but well worth the trip.

PS Driving to Copper or Beaver Creek from Winter Park is not the short trip it might appear to be on the map. You would drive Berthoud Pass, then the Eisenhower Tunnel, and the Vail Pass if going to Beaver Creek. Or drive the 'back way' which is very scenic, but slower, with two-lane treacherous driving and lots of deer.
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Old Dec 19th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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Far charm, I'll take Telluride.
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