January 2017: One of the Snowiest on Record for Colorado

Spectacular Telluride Weather

Spectacular Telluride Weather

Our Cold and Snowy Mountain Town

Our Cold and Snowy Mountain Town

Cold and Snow Make for Great Skiing

Cold and Snow Make for Great Skiing

Brrrrr

Brrrrr

Into the Mist

Into the Mist

Whoa! What a month it has been. With over eight feet of snow that fell in Telluride–as well as tons in other mountain towns of Colorado–the skiing and riding have been epic. It seems as though visitors and locals have been alternatively stoked and exhausted. It takes a lot of energy to plow through all that fresh powder whether it’s on the slopes, in your driveway, on your deck or on the snow-packed roads you travel on to go to work. (I’m an exceptional driver on our windy, mountain roads, especially with the help of my Arctic Claw snow tires, however, many aren’t, so it takes an infinite amount of patience to putz behind slow-moving vehicles when driving to work in such wintry conditions. That’s after the morning departure has already been greatly delayed by having to defrost and clean off the car. No, the start-of-the-day routine in the dead of winter in the Rockies is not for sissies.)

My Windshield

My Windshield

January: A Big Month for Ongoing Ski Instructor Training

January: A Big Month for Ongoing Ski Instructor Training

Avalanche Control Work on Ajax

Avalanche Control Work on Ajax Mountain

But we made it! The past few days have almost felt like spring. Sure, there will still be a lot of cold and snow left to this winter–let’s hope so at least–but I doubt we’ll see a string of days like the many we just endured in January. It must have been one of the greyest months on record, too. And as much as I like the cold and snow, there was many a morning when I felt a sense of dread about going out and freezing my butt off yet again. No matter how many layers I wore and despite electric boot warmers, boot gloves and hand warmers, it was hard most days to shake off the chill. When the sun doesn’t shine here in Colorado, it can feel mighty cold indeed. more »

Yay for Skiing, Riding & Holiday Making in Telluride

Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado

Telluride Town All Wrapped Up for the Holidays

Telluride Town All Wrapped Up for the Holidays

Yay, it’s December! Yay, the ski area is open! Double yay, we have a good amount of fresh snow–a season total of over fifty inches so far! Yay, it’s the most beautiful time of the year in the most picturesque mountain town in America. Really. Telluride, Colorado gives festive new meaning all winter long and most especially right now and throughout these upcoming weeks.

Driving Toward the Mountain

Driving Toward the Mountain

Getting Closer

Getting Closer

After a super warm and dry November, the Telluride Ski Resort lifts are finally powering  us up to the tops of the mountains we love so dearly.

Do you remember how you felt on Christmas Eve when you were a child? Well, that’s how many of us have been feeling lately. The excitement is palpable; it seems that just the thought of cruising down the hill basking in the fun and freedom that’s part of most every on-mountain experience has half the town giddy. I woke up at 5:30 in the morning on opening day in anticipation of the thrill of being out on the hill.

Our Mountains

My Neighborhood

Even the Driving Is Fun

Even the Driving Is Fun

Although Telluride opened a week later than usual with just a handful of trails, more terrain will be available to us as of this Saturday. Then more after that, then more and more until the whole mountain reveals its full splendor. It’s like unwrapping presents during the Christmas season–it’s wonderful to savor opening them piecemeal instead of unfurling all faster than you can sip an egg nog. To me, holiday gifting is at it’s best when I give and receive packages over an extended period. And no, I can’t imagine the ski mountain opening up full-on on opening day. My legs couldn’t handle it! I’m still recovering from the three days on the hill I enjoyed this past weekend.

Me on Opening Day

Me on Opening Day

If you don’t live in T-ride, consider planning a pre-holiday getaway. This is when you can snatch up some great lodging deals and even some fresh pow before the Christmas crowds charge in. Voted #1 for scenery by SKI magazine, Telluride, Colorado truly is the prettiest mountain town in America, a Victorian gem that glitters even more brightly during the holiday season. Believe me, the views of both the mountains and the town rank among the most magical in the world. And that’s coming from a gal that lived eleven years in Paris, the City of Light extraordinaire.

Blowing Snow

Blowing Snow

I have to wrap up this post now so that I can head out to Noël Night one of the headline events of the season. Don’t worry, there’s more fun to come–from now through the New Year.

Best of all, you can still find great lodging, restaurant and spa deals through December 24 (and beyond, in some cases). You also can revel in free airfare throughout most of the season on flights originating from Denver and Los Angeles. Yes, that’s not a typo–see below for details.

So why not come here to ski, shop, celebrate or just get away from it all in one of the most  festive places on earth?

There’s nothing like a great ski day, particularly when it happens in Telluride, Colorado. And the time spent afterward in the shops, restaurants, bars and hotels is vraiment magique.

Happy holidays to all!

Admiring Elks in the Alpen Glow: Another Reward of December Skiing

Admiring Elk in the Alpen Glow: Another Reward of December Skiing

Check out the specials from my favorite lodgers in Telluride: the New Sheridan Hotel, Mountain Lodge Telluride, The Peaks Resort & Spa, Inn at Lost Creek and Telluride Resort Lodging. Go to my Faves page to read more about what I’ve written on these landmark properties over the years. See below for more details on current news and special offers.

Getting Ready for Christmas

Getting Ready for Christmas

The Ski Tree

The Ski Tree

Visit Telluride Tourism to find out about the Holiday Prelude activities lined up in the town of Telluride and Telluride Mountain Village these upcoming weeks. Aside from Noël Night, one of my other best loved holiday times takes place in Telluride Mountain Village when Santa appears on the scene (often on the ski slopes with his elves). This year there will be a sleigh-full of activities taking place Saturday, December 17, including ice skating, free holiday movies and tree lighting and caroling. Be sure to check out Bootdoctors for some of the best holiday cheer around.

Our Beloved Gondola

Our Beloved Gondola

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, December 20 from 6 to 9pm at Club Red, when Telluride will be celebrating the 20-year anniversary of its beloved gondola. Here’s to the most fabulous gondola in the world–not only does it offer jaw-dropping views in a friendly, fast, efficient and super clean manner, but it remains free to all year-round! Come and toast this Telluride icon at this party that’s sure to be memorable.

Telluride Ski Resort Firing Up the Guns

Telluride Ski Resort Firing Up the Guns

Telluride Ski Resort

The biggest buzz on the mountain is that Telluride Ski Resort has joined The Mountain Collective, a superlative collaboration among the world’s best ski resorts. If you purchase The Mountain Collective Pass, you’re entitled to an avalanche of free ski days in over a dozen first-class resorts as well as lots of other perks and privileges. In Telluride, for example, Collective guests enjoy ski benefits as well as a special lodging offer at The Peaks Resort & Spa. And that’s just for starters; check out The Mountain Collective for more.

Mountain Lodge Telluride

Mountain Lodge Telluride

Mountain Lodge Telluride

This elegant mountain property offers a cozy cabin of lodging specials now through December 24. Keep checking in throughout the season for other exciting deals as well. New this year:  Lunch at The View, Mountain Lodge’s signature restaurant, which also serves breakfast, après ski and dinner. Ski in for delicious food at excellent prices served within a spectacular great room. And as you might have guessed, the view ranks among the best in Telluride. (Read my story on The View and Chef Bud here.)

New Sheridan Hotel and Chop House Restaurant & Bar

New Sheridan Hotel and Chop House Restaurant & Bar

New Sheridan Hotel Chop House Restaurant & Bar

Indulge me while I sigh over this oh-so lovely hotel, restaurant and bar. No one can hide their affection for the beloved New Sheridan, let alone me. I could live the rest of my days at the New Sheridan Hotel, Restaurant & Bar. Considered the hub of Telluride for over a century, this historic gem may be considered the cherry on the cake of our town. I love the fact that despite their world-renowned reputation, they, too, offer sweet deals on lodging, food and adventures.

FREE AIR

OK, I think here I’ve saved the best for last. Telluride Ski Resort and Mountain Lodge Telluride will be offering free flights to travelers originating from Denver and Los Angeles throughout the 2017 ski season, provided people book a stay at their properties. Mountain Lodge requires a three-night stay minimum; Telluride Ski Resort, which includes The Peaks Resort & Spa, Inn at Lost Creek and Telluride Resort Lodging, extends this offer with varying requirements, depending on the property. Promotions are subject to availability and some restrictions may apply, however, either way, this is a screaming deal.

Call Telluride Ski Resort at 877-635-3792 and Mountain Lodge Telluride at 866-368-6867 to chat about the particulars and/or to reserve. Be sure to mention the Free Air package!

Yay for travel to the Rocky Mountain West. Yay for deals in Telluride, Colorado.

Here’s wishing you a great season!

Goodbye to Dad

Dad Taking His First Look at the Grand Canyon in 2010

Dad Taking His First Look at the Grand Canyon in 2010

Yesterday was a tough day. From the first look at the notifications on my phone, I woke up sad about the news of the terrorist attacks in Belgium. My heart goes out to Belgium, my Belgian friends, Europe and to all of humanity in general. It’s hard not to feel down about the state of world affairs today.

I headed out to ski–to teach a lesson to a little boy I had been with the past few days–and experienced the worst day on the mountain of this season. It was windy, icy and horribly bleak. Fortunately I was skiing with a joyful six-year-old who was thrilled to be on the hill, no matter the conditions.

We stopped for a hot chocolate break. I settled my little guy into his seat at the table with another instructor and his young charge. Just as I was plopping the marshmallows into the chocolate at the beverage counter, I got the call. Yes, THE CALL. The one I had always dreaded, the one that informed me of the passing of my father. It was, of course, from Mom. We spoke no more than a couple of minutes and although this was unexpected news, I got it right away. Mom and I connected on this and then we let each other go.

I almost passed my boy off to another instructor but I decided to keep him; I chose to complete my assignment, largely because we had done some serious bonding and I didn’t want the last part of his Telluride Ski School experience to be with someone new. I shed some tears with other members of my Ski School family while my little dude twirled ice cubes in his frothy drink. We then headed out to ski.

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Telluride Ski School History: A Rich and Storied Tale

Instructors Lined Up at the Gorrono Meeting Place

Instructors Lined Up at the Gorrono Meeting Place

Teaching a Student

Teaching a Student on Skinny Straight Skies

The Early Days

The Early Days

Originally published in Masters of the Mountain 2015-2016, the new Telluride Ski & Snowboard School magazine, I’m posting my expanded version of my Telluride Ski School History story below along with photos from days gone by and shots from this season.

The mountain was raw. We were into steep skiing. The town was wild. We never knew it was going to go this far,” says longtime Telluride ski instructor Cindy Smith about the early days of Telluride. “There was a lot of craziness,” she adds, “but boy, was it fun.”

From people riding horses into the New Sheridan Bar to lines of cocaine laid out on the tables of certain establishments, there was some outrageous behavior going on in T-ride during the old days (the seventies through early eighties) and indeed some blatant lawlessness. “Some people even say that firemen would come in and hose people down in the the bars on really rowdy nights,” Cindy continues.

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Ho, Ho, Ho, Happy Snow Year

Sugar-Frosted Trees at Telluride Ski Resort

Sugar-Frosted Trees at Telluride Ski Resort

Rainbow Snow and Cold

Rainbow Snow and Cold

Sunrise at T-ride

Sunrise at T-ride

Me in Telluride: One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

Me in Telluride: One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

You can tell the snow has been great since I haven’t posted in a while. Here in Telluride, we’ve had thirteen feet of snow so far this year. It’s turning out to be an epic season for Colorado!

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Grateful for Telluride and the Telluride Ski Resort

The Town of Telluride, Colorado After the Storm

The Town of Telluride, Colorado After the Storm

With all that’s happening in the world, most of us are feeling extra stressed these days. This is true even in Telluride, Colorado, one of the safest and most beautiful places on earth. No one is immune to feeling reverberations from all these horrific terrorist acts. As I wrote in my story, Paris Attacks Hit Home, we are one.

The Telluride Scene

The Telluride Scene

Still though, we are so privileged in this sweet little ski town. Few people lock the doors to their cars and houses except during bear season, since our local bruin population has become pretty savvy about entering spaces redolent with lingering pizza, berry and pie smells. We live in a bubble of sorts where our biggest threats come from pushing it too hard on the slopes or getting caught in an avalanche during a backcountry ski.

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Bike Riding In and Around Our Beautiful Mountain Towns

Biking in Telluride

Biking in Telluride

Family Bike Adventure in Crested Butte

Family Bike Adventure in Crested Butte

Penelope Gleason from Bootdoctors in Telluride

Penelope Gleason from Bootdoctors in Telluride

The hills are alive with the sound of cyclists clicking their way over all kinds of bike trails from single track to old railroad grades to paved bike paths to smooth and bumpy swaths cut through our forests for your recreational pleasure. Our towns and valleys are popping with cyclists clad in brightly-colored garb, too. Whether you’re looking for a scenic ride along one of our rushing rivers or interested in snagging a momentous climb or a descent of World-Cup order, Colorado’s mountain towns offer some of the best bike riding options in the United States. Young or old, skilled or amateur, mountain biker or road rider, there’s something for everyone set within some of the best drop-dead gorgeous scenery in the world.

Below is a rundown of a few of Colorado’s major mountain destinations and some of the cycling options they offer. Read them over, make some enquiries and/or reservations, then enjoy the ride. Most of the mud has dried up and the wildflowers are beginning to bloom, so there’s no better time to freewheel it through and around our mountain towns.

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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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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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