Telski prepares for winter 2010
32 days and counting
By Katie Klingsporn
Published: Sunday, October 24, 2010 6:16 AM CDT
There it was on Friday morning, short-lived but undeniable: snow on the rooftops.
And with that, the first accumulation in town, winter’s approach became tangible.
With just thirty-some days before the scheduled opening day of the 2010/11 ski season, The Telluride Ski & Golf Company is gearing up. The ski company has been working all summer to prepare the mountain for the season, is all staffed up and could begin snowmaking as early as Sunday.
While there is no major terrain expansion planned for this season, Telski does have some treats in store for skiers. Namely, the ski area has cleaned up a great deal of its forested areas to improve gladed skiing. It has also added a goat path on the Gold Hill Ridge, built a new snow-roller specifically for Gold Hill 2, renovated restrooms and purchased a snowcoach to take guests up to Alpino Vino for dinner.
“I’m just really excited for the upcoming season,” said Telski CEO Dave Riley. “Telluride has a lot of forward momentum, and there’s a lot of word of mouth that is positive about this resort.”
New gladed terrain is sprinkled across the mountain. On Lift 9, the whole right side of Logpile has been gladed, along with Satisfaction (the trees to skier’s left of Joint Point). Over in Prospect Basin, crews gladed the trees to the right of Stella and left of Upper Magnolia. On Chair 5, Silver Tip was widened (it has almost doubled in size) and a new run called Gold Rush has been created right of Henry’s Run.
In addition, ski area crews cleared willows and brush from Stumper and Jaws on the lower north side of the mountain.
“I think people are really going to be blown away when they see the new glades,” Riley said.
The push for more gladed skiing was a response to feedback from the people who ski the mountain, he said.
“I’ve had a lot of input from our customers that they would like to see more gladed terrain,” he said. “So many of our forest blocks are really chunked up with dead and dying trees and they are just unskiable. We wanted to open up some of these forests and get good access and good skiing in them.”
He added that along with creating better conditions, the work is beneficial for the health of the forests.
Other notable projects: There is a new goat path on Gold Hill 2, and the ski area has built a snow compactor specifically for that chute with an aim is to get it open more often. The restrooms at Giuseppe’s and High Camp have been redone. And Telski has purchased a snowcoach, which will offer guests an enclosed and heated trip from Allred’s up to Alpino Vino — the tiny restaurant high on the mountain — for dinner. The Hop Garden is getting new outdoor heating for its patio, and improvements have been made to its outdoor bar.
In addition, the ski company has installed new snowmaking pumps, which will double capacity on Misty Maiden. This should help Telski prepare for the LG FIS Snowboard World Cup event in December.
Telluride’s four terrain parks will offer new features/jibs this winter, and Nastar’s new location becomes permanent with start/finish buildings for the top and bottom of the racecourse on Butterfly.
Finally, Telski is opening two new retail establishments in Mountain Village: a new women’s boutique called The Swanky Buckle and a new print gallery called Gold Hill Gallery.
Riley said the company has a close eye on the weather, and is hoping to start snowmaking on Sunday night (temperatures are expected to drop this weekend).
The ski area got some serious love in the press this fall (see Powder Magazine’s October spread about Telluride, and the magazine’s November inclusion of Telluride as a top place to live and ski) and Riley hopes that it will help draw more skiers to this pocket of Colorado.
Now, if that snow would keep falling.