Girl Power Extraordinaire: Women from the Telluride Ski & Snowboard School, Part One

Marti, Cristina and Me on a Ski Break

Marti, Cristina and Me on a Ski Break

As I ease into off-season mode, I find myself almost sentimental about all the camaraderie I share at Telluride Ski & Snowboard School. Indeed, I’m now shifting into a more solitary existence, left to fend for myself–as a lone freelance writer–instead of being part of the team that helps to make magic at Telluride Ski Resort. Within Ski School, we’re very much like a family; we’re part of a tribe that speaks the same language and shares many of the same passions even though we are a mix of astonishingly unique human beings.

The women at Telluride Ski & Snowboard School feel like sisters to me and over the years I’ve come to love many of them in my own special way. They are strong, beautiful ladies that radiate a sense of well-being that’s surely the envy of many. They’ve chosen a lifestyle that embraces the outdoors and the physical and a profession that focuses on how to share their remarkable love of the mountains with others. These gals are hot–not so much from what they wear (although a new pair of shades is always remarked). But rather their sizzle comes from how they turn their skis and boards; or even better, from the self assuredness that those skills give them, on and off the slopes. They exude a self confidence and authenticity far superior to anything you might see on the runway or red carpet. Solid and grounded, our band of Telluride Ski & Snowboard instructors serve as terrific role models for women of all ages.

There are many gals that standout at Ski School. So I thought it would be fun to start highlighting them in posts here at my blog, a series that I plan to continue next year. This lineup is by no means all-inclusive. The idea is to spotlight some of the girl power in our special club and also perhaps to provide a few beauty tips along the way.

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Transitioning from the Mountain Into My Writer’s Life

My Fortune

My Fortune

I came across the above fortune a few weeks ago in our local Chinese restaurant here in Telluride, Colorado. That was when I was in the throes of spring break craziness and the end of ski season was drawing near. It seemed most à propos since I was already contemplating my flip side, or how I would soon transition from a predominantly physical existence–that of a ski instructor–to the more cerebral ponderings required of a writer.

Indeed, at that point I was craving a good read and near desperate to sit still for a while and give my body a rest. As hard as I may try, reading and writing during ski season is always a challenge, especially from February on when I go full tilt. I’m just too tired at the end of the day to do much more than swill a glass of wine from my couch, and so the stack of books on my nightstand piles up as high as the writing assignments awaiting me at my desk.

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Telluride, Forbes and Me

The Inn at Lost Creek:  A Forbes Favorite

The Inn at Lost Creek: A Forbes Favorite in Telluride, Colorado

A Sake-tini from Siam's Talay, Another Forbes Favorite

A Sake-tini from Siam’s Talay, Another Forbes Fave

Exotic Delights at Talay, the Signature Restaurant of the Inn at Lost Creek

Exotic Delights at Talay, the Signature Restaurant of the Inn at Lost Creek

We’ve had a huge month of March here at Telluride Ski Resort and this weekend we’re slated to brake our all-time record for annual skier visits. And we still have a week to go before the mountain closes!

I’m utterly exhausted, since like most ski instructors, I’ve been going full tilt all month (actually all winter). I just had my first couple of days off in weeks and I can tell you it feels great to put my feet up and stretch my toes as I bang out this story.

It’s no wonder there’s been so much buzz about Telluride this year. In addition to the word getting out about our great ski mountain and town in recent years, Telluride Ski Resort has been receiving a lot of attention from Forbes Travel along with once again being ranked #1 in the Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards.

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Showcasing Cartier at the Denver Art Museum

Tempting Tiara from the Cartier Show at the Denver Art Museum

Tempting Tiara from the Cartier Show at the Denver Art Museum

It’s been snowing like crazy here in Colorado these past ten days. We had a couple of bluebird days in the middle of two huge storms, which made our sparkling blanket of snow diamonds shine all the more brilliantly.

But let me tell you about the other kind of diamonds–the real ones, prized stones whose glistening facets have held people in rapt attention for centuries. These stones become even more magnificent when they have been placed into exquisite settings by world renowned jewelers such as Cartier. You’ll see an avalanche of them as well as emeralds, rubies, sapphires, onyx, turquoise and other precious and semi precious stones that have been crafted into fabulous jewelry and objets at Brilliant:  Cartier in the 20th Century at the Denver Art Museum (DAM), a world-exclusive exhibition open–now for extended hours–through March 17th.

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The West’s Dry, Sunny and Warm Winter of 2015

Still Lots of Snow Atop Prospect Bowl

Still Lots of Snow Atop Prospect Bowl at Telluride Ski Resort

Whoa, what a busy time it has been. Today is my first real day on my computer in about two weeks. I’ve been tied up teaching skiing in Telluride and have enjoyed having many clients book me for extra days. It’s tiring though and I’m happy to report that yesterday–my first full day off in weeks–was spent lounging. I didn’t change out of my pajamas until 6pm and that was to take a hot tub. As much as it’s exhilarating to be on the mountain, it‘s also exhausting and sometimes a simple task such as unloading the dishwasher seems monumental.

What a crazy winter it has been! I’ve stopped counting, but I’d say we’ve had super sunny and warm weather for the better part of the past six weeks. The high pressure system that’s been hanging over the West has kept it oh-so dry–we hardly had any snow the past month and a half. It’s been killing most of us to see the incredible snow totals produced in the Northeast and we’ve all been doing the snow dance in the hope that some of that gorgeous white fluffy stuff comes our way.

View of Wilson Peak, One of Colorado's Renowned Fourteeners from Giusepei's

View of Wilson Peak, One of Colorado’s Renowned Fourteeners, from Giuseppe’s Restaurant in T-ride

Despite this, the skiing has remained very good–remarkably-which is why I’ve been working as a ski instructor more than I had planned for this period. People have not been canceling their trips at all. Instead, they’re thrilled about our gloriously sunny days and spring skiing conditions in the middle of winter. Back East I’m sure the one run, then in for a break, rule is being strictly enforced.

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Chef Bud Creates an Elevated Dining Experience at Mountain Lodge Telluride

Chef Bud Thomas at The View at Mountain Lodge

Chef Bud Thomas at The View at Mountain Lodge

“We’re delighted to have Chef Bud with us,” says Neil Hastings, Sales and Marketing Director for Mountain Lodge Telluride during a recent dinner at this renowned place of lodging in Mountain Village. “He really elevates our food and wine experience here at The View Bar and Grill.”

Ever since word began to leak out this fall that Chef Bud Thomas was leaving Rev, the signature restaurant of the Hotel Madeline and the establishment he catapulted to Forbes Travel Guide five-star and AAA five-diamond standing over the course of the more-than two years he worked there as Chef de Cuisine, diners in-the-know have been abuzz about this unexpected change.

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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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Wishing You the Best for 2015

Skiing is Fun

Skiing is Fun

How are you, dear reader?

I wish you good health, love and joy in this new year. It might seem like these well wishes are coming a little late, but strike it up to the French in me. In France, it’s tout à fait acceptable to extend new year’s wishes–both verbally and in writing–through January 31. I love how most everyone you encounter in France echoes choruses of “bonne année, bonne santé” throughout the whole month of January. I’m sure that this year those wishes are even more sincere.

After a super busy holiday season teaching skiing day after day at the Telluride Ski Resort during an extremely cold period of time, I finally collapsed from a mega head cold and sheer exhaustion (perhaps partly brought on by my big move the first part of December). I spent a whole week on the couch, one marked by the tragedy of the events that unfolded in Paris. So very sad. Like so many, my heart ached for all involved and for my beloved France. I checked in with my friends in Paris to express my love and support, many of whom attended the demonstration that was held a week ago today. Vive la France! Vive Franco-American friendship and may the French forgive us for the faux pas of not sending proper representation on their important day of solidarité.

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