Telluride Women’s Weeks 2015

Girl Power at Telluride Women's Week

Girl Power at Telluride Women’s Week

Women, skiing, snowboarding, instruction, wine, apps, laughs, hot chocolate, girl talk, girl power, toasts, victories, sharing, learning, shopping, dining, fun. It’s that time of year again at the Telluride Ski Resort. The first session of Telluride Women’s Week starts this Thursday, January 22 with a kickoff reception at Mountain Lodge Telluride and continues through Sunday, January 25. The second session is a little longer, beginning in the evening of Saturday, February 7 and continuing through Thursday, February 12.

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Telluride Women’s Week: Skiing and Fun for the Ladies

Telluride Women's Week: Giving "Girls' Ski Trip" New Meaning

Rebecca and Me

It’s Women’s Week in Telluride this week, a super program of ski instruction and special events designed specifically for women. I taught skiing to three lovely ladies during the January Women’s Week and we all had a most memorable time. There’s one more Women’s Week program this year in March, so act fast and sign up for the time of your life.

Telluride Women’s Week was the first program of its kind in Colorado when it was founded thirty years ago. If you like the idea of girl power and fun, this is a great way to embrace skiing in one of the most spectacular resorts of the country.

Here’s what some of the ladies from the January program said they like about Telluride Women’s Week:

“The camaraderie.” Sandy, from Flagstaff, Arizona

“Skiing with a wonderful group of female instructors—it’s a fun way to learn.” Lee, from Flagstaff, Arizona

“The actual skiing part that pushed me to challenge myself.” Natalie, from Weston, Massachusetts.

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Telluride’s Women’s Week Celebrates Thirty-Five Years

My Ladies and Me

My Ladies and Me

I just finished teaching skiing to some great ladies during the January session of Telluride Women’s Week at Telluride Ski Resort. It was wonderful and since there are two more sessions this year (in February from the 7th to the 11th and the 26th to the 28th), I thought I’d let you in on some of the fun. Originally published in Masters of the Mountain 2015-2016, the new Telluride Ski & Snowboard School magazine, I’m posting my unedited version of my story below along with my own selection of Telluride Women’s Week photos from this year and years past.

Atop Prospect Bowl with My Ladies

Atop Prospect Bowl with My Ladies

Snowboard Instructor Lindsey Mesereau Photographed Atop Revelation Bowl by Her Lady

Snowboard Instructor Lindsey Mersereau Photographed Atop Revelation Bowl by Her Lady

Snowy Smiles

Snowy Smiles

Women, skiing, snowboarding, instruction, wine, apps, laughs, hot chocolate, girl talk, girl power, toasts, victories, sharing, learning, shopping, dining, fun. Of course all this and more occurs on a daily basis at Telluride Ski Resort, however, it happens tenfold during Women’s Week, ladies-only programs for skiers and riders interested in improving their skills within a supportive environment.

Founded by Annie Vareille-Savath, Telluride Women’s Week will be celebrating its thirty-fifth year this season with three sessions: one in January and two in February. “Whenever you immerse yourself with the same instructor and the same group of people for several days, you have the opportunity to get in depth knowledge followed up with consistent feedback and the support of the rest of the group,” says Annie, Telluride’s veteran ski instructor who is entering her forty-fourth season. “This really helps you to progress.”

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No Barriers Women’s Summit Kicks Off in Telluride

Yoga: A Vital Part of Any Healing Practice

Yoga: A Vital Part of Any Healing Practice

Female Warriors

Female Warriors

Telluride in Fall: A Great Place for Healing

Telluride in Fall: A Great Place for Healing

Who doesn’t have obstacles in life? We all do! Whether they are mental, physical, emotional or material, we all have challenges. Thankfully there are organizations such as No Barriers that help us face them head on in a fun, supportive environment.

Today, Telluride welcomes the first-ever No Barriers Women’s Summit to our beautiful Colorado mountain town. A group of some thirty women from as far away as Europe is coming together to participate in a roundup of activities and adventures with the goal of empowering themselves like perhaps never before. In addition to activities such as horseback riding and hiking, the ladies will also be gathering for morning yoga, an afternoon of painting and wine, a networking cocktail and a variety of other inspirational programs and social events.

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More Expert Ski and Snowboard Instruction and Fun in Telluride

André Koslowski:  Ski Instructor/Yoga Teacher Extraordinaire

André Koslowski: Ski Instructor/Yoga Teacher Extraordinaire

Annie Vareille-Savath with Her Women's Week Ladies

Annie Vareille-Savath with Her Women’s Week Ladies

Instructor Patty Lowe and Her Lady on Top of the Telluride World During Women's Week

Instructor Patty Lowe and Her Lady on Top of the Telluride World During Women’s Week

Telluride Ski Instructor Vince Boelema Skiing Fresh Pow (photo credit:  Tommy Pyatt)

Telluride Ski Instructor Vince Boelema Skiing Fresh Pow (photo credit: Tommy Pyatt)

There hasn’t been much of a January lull this year—at least not for me—and it’s been hard carving out time at my desk. I’ve been busy teaching and training with the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School and have also managed to eke out some “free” ski days to enjoy the wonderful snow we received mid month. Lately we’ve been blessed with super sunny days, glorious, near March-like weather which has left visitors and locals grinning.

People lucky enough to travel to Telluride Ski Resort outside of the busy vacation weeks feel like they have the mountain to themselves and, of course, never wait in a lift line (a rarity at this ski resort even during busy times). Now with Telluride Ski & Snowboard School’s new Multi-Day Camps, there are new benefits to coming outside of peak times. These clinics offer several days of instruction on a variety of themes including Ski Biomechanics, Nastar Race Camp, Ski, Ride, Yoga!, Intermediate Breakthrough, Heli Ski Camp and Women’s Week, a long-standing program that has existed for over three decades. The others are new yet hopefully they’ll become part of the regular lineup in Telluride as word gets out about all there is to learn and experience on the mountain with the assistance of T-ride’s professional ski and snowboard instructors. (Some of these camps include fun and relaxation off the slopes, too.)

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Starting the Year Off Right: Taking Care from Head to Toe

One of My New Year's Resolutions: Go More to the Pool at The Peaks Resort & Spa

One of My New Year’s Resolutions: Go More to the Pool at The Peaks Resort & Spa

Phew, these have been the busiest mid-winter weeks of any ski season I’ve experienced. As I wrote in my story, January 2017: One of the Snowiest on Record for Colorado, the snow totals from the past month have been ridiculous! The fluffy white stuff just kept coming down.

And Telluride Ski Resort has remained busy–at least by our standards. But don’t worry, lift lines are still a rarity. There were surely a few records broken during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, characteristically our busiest week of the season. I know that private ski lessons sold out during that period and I was grateful to have been blessed with some lovely clients. It was rewarding to see that I helped them to improve their turns and, of course, we had lots of fun and good chats, too. (Take that as a heads up in case you want to book a private lesson in Telluride during the upcoming busy vacation weeks.)

It looks like the days of a January lull are over. In addition to Americans, more and more international skiers have discovered Telluride. I had a Russian lady and a Brazilian in my class the other day and then offered some assistance to Chinese people looking for directions as I left the mountain. No sir, Telluride is no longer a best-kept secret.

As usual, after the holiday rush, resort workers were falling ill like clumps of snow off the pines on a sunny day, however, I have not been slammed with sickness this year. I have been weakened these past weeks but have fortunately been winning the battle. So instead of keeping up with my writer’s life, I’ve been focused on catching up on my rest and taking care of my body when not on the mountain.

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7 Dec 2015, 10:41am

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Faves

There’s nothing like someone providing firsthand recommendations for lodging and other travel services. It’s even better when those tips come from a travel writer.

Well, that travel writer is me! I’ve written four guidebooks on France and have traveled the world, so believe me when I say I’m very particular about where I choose to stay. A place has to have charm, warmth and a feel of its own. Luxury helps, too, but as long as a property possesses spirit and authenticity, then I’m apt to add it to my list as well. As far as the travel services are concerned, the product has to be top notch.

The below establishments and services now sponsor me in my endeavors. I discovered them first and made up my mind that these were the kind of travel suppliers I wanted to recommend to you, my dear reader. I do indeed consider them among my faves or favorites.

I encourage you to contact them directly for the best deals and feel free to mention BonjourColorado.com. Here’s an important travel tip:  It’s a fallacy to think that you’re going to obtain the best deals on sites such as Expedia.com.  Once again, it’s best to check out the property’s own site for the best rates and then even call them for a possible upgrade.

Happy travel planning!

COLORADO PROPERTIES

The New Sheridan: A Telluride Landmark

New Sheridan Hotel: A Real Gem

New Sheridan Hotel, Telluride

This Telluride landmark has served as the hub of T-ride for well more than a century. Definitely check out my story on this destination hotel here. It also includes reasons why Telluride is so great. I also mention the New Sheridan Hotel in Fall in Telluride:  A Beautiful Time for Sightseeing and Winter Travel PlanningFilling in Nicely in Telluride:  Snowstorm After SnowstormColorado:  A Stunning Place for WeddingsGrateful for Telluride and Telluride Ski Resort, June in the Rockies:  A Gorgeous Time of the Year and Dealing with Altitude Issues at Our High Mountain Destinations. The terrific New Sheridan Chop House is reviewed in Favorite Telluride Restaurants. This stellar property and Ray Farnsworth, the New Sheridan’s GM, is featured in Telluride Tourism’s Top Dogs.

Mountain Lodge, Telluride

Mountain Lodge Pool Deck

Stay at this handsome lodge to experience luxury mountain living in Telluride. (Most of the units and all of their high-end cabins boast fully-equipped kitchens.)  Located in Telluride’s Mountain Village, Mountain Lodge Telluride also offers great ski in/ski out access. There’s mention of Mountain Lodge Telluride in the following posts:  Night out in Mountain VillageTogethering in the RockiesTelluride’s Beauty Boutiques, Three Men, Three Telluride Mountain Village Restaurants, Great Rocky Mountain Decks:  Spectacular Views Year-RoundFilling in Nicely in Telluride:  Snowstorm After SnowstormGreat Fall Travel in the Rockies,  Ski In/Ski Out to Great Snow in ColoradoColorado:  A Stunning Place for WeddingsChef Bud Creates an Elevated Dining Experience at Mountain Lodge TellurideGrateful for Telluride and Telluride Ski Resort and Dealing with Altitude Issues at Our High Mountain Destinations. Steve Togni, Mountain Lodge’s GM and my beau, is highlighted in many of these stories, most notably Telluride Tourism’s Top Dogs.

The Peaks Spa: Where I Go to Relax

The Peaks Spa: Where I Go to Relax

The Peaks Resort & Spa, Telluride

As one of the anchors of Telluride Mountain Village, locals and visitors alike enjoy experiencing The Peaks Resort & Spa year-round. I’m crazy about their spa and love the feel of their Palmyra Restaurant, a stunning showcase for panoramic views and fine culinary offerings. On a nice day—winter or summer—their expansive new deck is a must. Read about The Peaks at Telluride’s Ultra Luxe Mountain SpasSpray Tanning: Bronzage in a Bottle,  Great Rocky Mountain Decks:  Spectacular Views Year-RoundFilling in Nicely in Telluride:  Snowstorm After SnowstormSki In/Ski Out to Great Snow in Colorado and Dipping, Dining and Viewing at The Peaks Resort & Spa.

Camel’s Garden, Telluride

Camel's Garden on the Gondola Plaza

Camel’s Garden on the Gondola Plaza

If you’re looking to stay in the historic town of Telluride and are perhaps in search of a condo-type unit, I recommend the Camel’s Garden. Situated at the base of the gondola, you can’t beat its central location. And since this fresh-faced property also operates as a hotel, you enjoy all the amenities offered by a fine place of lodging including in-house breakfast, concierge service and more. Read more about this boutique hotel at Camel’s Garden:  A Telluride Favorite and Ski In/Ski Out to Great Snow in Colorado.

Sheraton Steamboat Resort

Sheraton Steamboat Resort

Sheraton Steamboat Resort

There’s nothing like being right at the base of a ski mountain and at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort, that’s exactly where you’ll be. You can ski, hike and bike right out your door. Read Skiing Steamboat Powder and Bike Riding In and Around Our Beautiful Mountain Towns to find out what I have to say about Steamboat as a destination and this premier resort.

ppl fsl sm

Cozying Up at the Redstone Inn

Redstone Inn, Redstone

Just fifty minutes outside of Aspen and nestled in some of the most unspoiled nature of Colorado, you’ll find the quaint town of Redstone with the Redstone Inn as its anchor. Read about this charming place of lodging in the stories Redstone Rendez-Vous and Bike Race Spectating, Colorado Touring, Book Promoting, Travel Adventures Galore Oh My.

Chipeta Sun Lodge: Southwestern Charm in the Rockies

Chipeta Sun Lodge: Southwestern Charm in the Rockies

Chipeta Sun Lodge, Ridgway

Conveniently located near Telluride and Ouray, Colorado, this Chipeta Sun Lodge provides the perfect base for experiencing the best of the San Juan Mountains. Chipeta also offers an affordable alternative to staying in Telluride and most of their units have been outfitted with kitchens. Be sure to check out Chipeta Sun Lodge & Spa:  Spirit of the the Southwest in the Rockies and Garden Love.

Gateway Canyons, Gateway

Southwestern Sensation Just Minutes from the Mountains

What kind of a retreat do you think would be created by the man who founded the Discovery Channel? A pretty, darn spectacular one, don’t you think? Gateway has become one of my favorite resorts in the West. Read what I have to say about it at Gateway Canyons:  One Big Discovery, Going to Gateway, BBQ, Blues and Beauty at Gateway,  Ferraris, Blues, Brews and the Rocky Mountains and Road Tripping in the Great American West.

 

Rochester Hotel, Durango

Rochester Hotel, Durango

Rochester Hotel, Durango

A wagon train of western movies were made in and around Durango, Colorado and the Rochester Hotel pays tribute to many of them. I love this hotel, one of the coziest outposts in the West!  Read more (and listen to a podcast) about Durango, the San Juan Skyway and the Western Movie Culture of the Four Corners Region here. The Rochester is also highlighted in On the Trail of Western Movie-Making in Colorado and Utah and Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad:  An American Treasure. Check out Sultry Summer Evenings at Durango’s Rochester Hotel to find out about some of their special events.

 

More Fine Colorado Hotels

For families visiting the lovely little mountain town of Ouray, I recommend Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. Read about it at Our Ouray. You can also peruse my Colorado hotel category here.

UTAH PROPERTIES

Goulding’s Lodge, Monument Valley

Monument Valley

The Four Corners area is about a two-hour drive from Telluride, Colorado, my home base. Just a couple of hours beyond that, you find yourself at one of the most spectacular sites in the United States, Monument Valley. This historic lodge, trading post and museum is a must. Read what I have to say about Monument Valley and Goulding’s Lodge at Touring the Southwest with My ParentsOn the Trail of Western Movie-Making CultureThe Lone Ranger Showcases Monument Valley, Southwest Colorado and MoreTelluride, Monument Valley and the Oscars and Road Tripping in the Great American West.

Hotel Monaco, Salt Lake City

monaco

Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City

The place to stay in SLC, you’re always guaranteed a fun time at this swanky hotel. Dogs love the Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City, too, as you can tell from my story Dogs on Vacation.

OTHER U.S. HOTELS

If you’re headed to Washington, D.C., be sure to experience—even just for a drink—The Fairfax at Embassy Row. I feature it and its renowned restaurant, The Jockey Club Restaurant & Lounge, in The Elegance of Paris in Our Nation’s Capital:  The Fairfax at Embassy Row.

Check out my Hotel category for many other lovely establishments around the world.

MORE TRAVEL SUPPLIERS AND EVENTS

Gorgeous Golfing at Telluride Ski & Golf

Telluride Ski & Golf

As a travel writer that lives in Telluride and more than moonlights as a ski instructor at the Telluride Ski Resort, I’ve posted a gazillion stories on this blog that highlight Telluride Ski & Golf. Here are just a handful of them:  Grateful for Telluride and Telluride Ski ResortTelluride, Forbes and MeGirl Power Extraordinaire:  Women from the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School, Part OneSkiing with Rock Stars:  Schussing with Telluride’s Synchronized Ski TeamsReflections on My Ten Years as a Ski Instructor, More Expert Ski and Snowboard Instruction and Fun in Telluride, Teaching, Training and Torchlighting with the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School, Telluride Ski Resort Opening Weekend:  A Great Kickoff to the Season, Ski FeverAll in the Day of a Ski InstructorSki In/Ski Out to Great Snow in Colorado, Telluride Women’s Weeks 2015Telluride Women’s Week:  Skiing and Fun for the Ladies, Talking about Telluride Ski and Snowboard School, Why Telluride, Playing Tourist in Telluride, Snowboardcross World Cup:  Telluride Goes International, Family Fun Facilitators. By now you should gather that I think a visit to Telluride, Colorado should be tops on your list.

 

Bootdoctors/Paragon Outdoors

Bootdoctors/Paragon Outdoors

As a ski instructor and outdoor enthusiast, you can bet I have favorite shops and outfitters here in Telluride. Bootdoctors/Paragon Outdoors, a beloved choice by locals and visitors alike, keeps us active types properly suited up and geared out all year long. And they actually guide us to the fun here in southwestern Colorado. Read my story Spring Skiing, Spring Shopping to find out how they got me hooked up with great skis. Check out Bootdoctors Offers Further Adventures and Bike Riding in and Around Our Beautiful Mountain Towns to hear about their summer doings. Read The Look on the Slopes:  Early Ski Season 2013-2014 to find out about their fantastic array of fashions and Finding Happy Feet at Bootdoctors to learn about the magic they can work on your feet and Grateful for Telluride and the Telluride Ski Resort to find out how much they’re loved by us locals.

 

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival: The Place to be Mid-September

You have to experience a Telluride festival at least once in your life. And if you’re like most people, once you take in one of our renowned gatherings in our pristine mountain setting, you’ll be back again for more. Telluride Blues & Brews Festival is one of the best, especially since it takes place during the golden season of late summer, usually the third weekend on September. Read Always on My Mind:  Telluride Blues & Brews Festival and Willie Nelson, Telluride Blues & Brews Promises More Fun than Ever this YearFilm, Blues & Brews, Telluride Makes Saying Goodbye to Summer Easy and KOTO Broadcasts the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival to All. Listen to my interview with the founder of this festival at Steve Gumble Brings Us Telluride Blues & Brews and More.

One of Au Château’s Many Grand Properties

au Château

What could be more dreamy than staying in the French countryside in a centuries-old château? You can find just the place suited to your taste and itinerary at au Château. Read what I have to say about this wonderful lodging experience at Oh Château Life!

TLC from Medjet Assist

TLC from Medjet Assist

 

 

Medjet Assist

Do not leave home without it, especially if you’re an active person! I’ve obtained a special 10% discount for BonjourColorado.com readers so if something not-so good happens to you while you’re away, you’ll be taken care of with much TLC. Click here to find out more and to sign up; note that prices have already been discounted for you by 10%. Read my story and listen to the podcast here.

Fine China

Fine China

Imperial Tours

Thinking about taking that once-in-a-lifetime trip to China? Or maybe you want to go back to this fascinating land to take a closer look at perhaps the gumdrop mountains of Guilin or the brave faces of the Terracotta Warriors. The main thing is to do it right and whether you’re interested in a private or group tour, you’re sure to do it in style with Imperial Tours. Check out my story Touring China:  Imperial Allure. There you can also listen to a podcast that provides lots of information about travel to China. Read Imperial Shopping to China to find out about a special shopping trip.

 

 

 

Reflections on My Ten Years as a Ski Instructor

Celebrating My Tenth Anniversary with Ski School Top Dogs

Celebrating My Tenth Anniversary with Ski School Top Dogs

As I ease back into my writer’s life, I’ve been considering my other life:  that of a Telluride Ski & Snowboard School instructor. The mountain closed just over two weeks ago and I again turned in my uniform with a big sigh of relief. I’m always grateful when I finish the season without having had an injured student or client on my watch. And I’m always relieved when I wind up unscathed myself (except for a variety of aches and pains and gross fatigue). I’m grateful that this has been the case for the past ten seasons:  My sterling record of safety has remained intact.

That’s not to say I don’t challenge my charges and sure, I’ve had some tricky moments of over-terraining just like all the other instructors on our mountain and elsewhere. But fortunately, everyone has come “back to the barn” safe and sound and seemingly happy from their ski experience with me.

But way beyond my actual job as a ski instructor, I can’t help pondering what this newly adopted profession means to me, especially after a decade of working day after day on the mountain with children and adults beneath sunny skies, bitter cold, balmy weather and blustery snowstorms. It has made me a better person; it has made me more whole. I was never very athletic and the physicality of this job has given me strength and confidence that spills over to other areas of my life. I have embraced the notion of self empowerment through sports, a concept that I came to know late in life, one of the themes of my travel memoir/love story A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France.

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