A Crazy Happy Holiday Season in Aspen, Telluride and Redstone

Hitting the Fresh Pow in Telluride

Fresh Powder Turns Today in Aspen

Yay, I knew that if I were to write this story, the snows would come! Telluride received 9 inches of fresh overnight, 11 inches the past 24 hours and 15 inches the last 48. And boy, was it needed. Aspen is enjoying a good blanketing as well. In addition to the fresh snow, let’s hope this signals a significant breaking down of the high pressure system that has been sitting over Colorado (and Utah, Arizona and New Mexico actually) for the past two months!

Yet despite the paltry snow conditions, the resorts have managed to crank out a good product.

The Top of Buttermilk this Week

Teaching Snowboarding at Buttermilk

I’m back in Aspen dealing with some family matters. I arrived here Thursday night, just a month after I flew in here from a very extended stay on the east coast. Wow, what a month it has been!

Happy Clients in Telluride at Christmas

Perfect Outside Dining Weather in Colorado this Winter

After an initial few days in Aspen in December, I threw myself into the busy-ness of gearing up for ski season; this entailed rounding up my ski clothing and gear, stocking the house with an almost winter’s-worth of provisions and working my ski legs back into shape by doing my Telluride Ski & Snowboard School training.

Ski School Training in Telluride

Piles of Provisions

A nasty cold almost thwarted the start to my ski instructing schedule but thanks to mega doses of Vitamin C, fluids and fresh, chopped garlic (yes, I even had two cloves for breakfast, lunch and dinner a couple of days–followed by a chaser of Listerine of course) I was able to knock it out of my system pretty fast. I pulled it together–training, shopping, cooking and even a little decorating–to embark upon a super busy holiday season that required me to teach skiing ten days in a row.

Winter Light Show in Telluride

Phew! We always go from to zero to 150mph in no time flat. But that’s life in a resort town, especially one that typically has its busiest week of the year between Christmas and New Year’s.

Torchlight Parade: A Telluride Tradition

Happy New Year to All

By now, you must be wondering when I’m going to mention the elephant in the room–the fact that we’ve all been going about business as usual without much help from Mother Nature. Yes, indeed, it has been shocking how little natural snow we’ve had. Up through the end of last week, the snow totals for the season in Aspen and Telluride rang in at barely 20 inches. Yikes!

more »

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.

more »

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.

more »

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.

more »

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!

more »

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.

more »

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.

more »

  • Follow A Tour of the Heart

     Follow A Tour of the Heart
  • Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign Up Today for My Email Newsletter
    For Email Marketing you can trust
  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Ads





  • Meta

  • Disclosure

    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.
  • Permission

    Please note that unless otherwise attributed to someone else, the content that appears on this Web site/blog is the property of the author, Maribeth Clemente. Written permission is required if you choose to use or excerpt any of this material.