It’s easy to do when skiing a mountain for the first time: You spend half your day navigating trail maps to figure out where the best skiing is for you. Then you get home from your vacation and someone asks, “Did you ski this run?” or “I hope you ate lunch at...” and you realize you’ve missed some great spots.
Maximizing your time on the mountain is key, which is exactly what instructors do for a guest: they take the guesswork out of getting to know Telluride. Noah Sheedy, Telluride’s Ski & Snowboard School Director, shares his inside knowledge on how to have a perfect day on the mountain.
EXPLORE THE GREEN RUNS
1 Morning Warm-Up
Start your morning off from Mountain Village with a warm-up run down The Meadows, then hop on the Sunshine Express (10). On the 10-minute ride up, you’ll immediately feel as though you’ve entered an entirely different resort. Along the chairlift ride, take in the magnificent mountain homes that dot the gentle and undulating terrain.
2 Like a Kid
Once at the top, follow the Double Cabins ski run to Bridges, and relive your childhood where everything was a playground—that’s the feeling you get skiing under and over bridges and through tunnels as you make your way to the bottom of the aptly-named ski run.
3 Ride the Express
Ride back up Sunshine Express (10), then disembark at the top into Ute Park and the Ute Park Express (11). As you ride the Ute Park Express, the uniqueness of Telluride and its green runs becomes apparent. On this lift, you are transported along at the top of the mountain where you can take in the same great views of Prospect Basin expert-level skiers have.
4 Fill Your Fun Tank
Although Prospect Basin will beckon you to explore it, hold off for a bit and make one lap through the Ute Park terrain (which may turn into 10 when you realize how fun it is). There are lots of natural and manmade features that are extremely fun but not intimidating, even for a novice skier.
5 Explore the Basin
Once you’ve filled up your “fun tank,” dip into Prospect Basin from the top of the Ute Park Express (11), following Little Maude and Madison ski trails through gentle meadows with seemingly endless tree islands that make your first Prospect Basin experience unforgettable.
6 Time to Hydrate
At this point, you’ve probably built up a bit of an appetite, so ride the Prospect Express (12) to the top, then swing into High Camp for hot chocolate, warm soup and some much-needed water. Rather than eat inside, head outside and post up in front in one of the Adirondack chairs on the snow. You can watch advanced skiers hike up the Prospect Ridge toward Palmyra Peak and see all the expert terrain the upper Prospect Basin has to offer. From here, you’ll see
Mt. Wilson to the southwest, while Gold Hill Ridge with more expert-level skiing terrain is to the east. This is when you truly realize that Telluride offers even novice skiers who stick to green runs unbeatable views and a top-of-the-world feeling. After all, you’re standing at 11,815 feet above sea level here, so have your camera ready!
7 Duck, Duck, Goose
Once you’ve refueled and rehydrated, hop on the 4.6-mile-long Galloping Goose trail that meanders through high alpine forests, spectacular vistas, and past beautiful mountain homes as you work your way back to the bottom of Sunshine Express (10) and The Meadows ski run.
8 The Road to Mountain Village
From here, ride the Chondola (1) back up to Mountain Village and load Village Express (4) to finish the day skiing with your family and friends who are exploring all the great intermediate trails this chairlift has to offer, all while staying on Village Bypass ski trail, a beginner-level run. At this point, all roads lead back to Mountain Village and a well-deserved après drink and appetizer at Tomboy Tavern.
CRUISING THE GREAT BLUES
1 Rise & Shine
Hop on Village Express (4) out of Mountain Village promptly at 9 a.m.—all the freshly groomed corduroy early in the morning is well worth making it to first chair. One of the best-kept secrets on this chair is Peek-A-Boo ski trail on a freshly groomed morning. Head right off the top of Village Express (4) and find your zen first thing in the morning by enjoying this trail, likely all by yourself.
2 A Gold Mine of Trails
Head back up Village Express (4), this time following the upper section of Boomerang to Cake Walk and Polar Queen Express (5). The trail network encompassed by Polar Queen Express (5) chair is perfectly tailored to the intermediate skier. Take the time to explore every run accessed by this chair, as none will disappoint and each is unique. Ophir Loop and Stormin’ Norman—named after Norman Schwarzkopf—are the most mellow and are great warm-up runs. Then up the intensity a bit with Polar Queen and Alta. As you gain confidence and with your legs feeling great, make your way to Gold Rush to explore the perfectly-spaced trees hidden between Henry’s and Silver Tip. Make one last run to test your mettle on one of Telluride’s steepest blue trails, Henry’s.
3 Beat the Lunch Rush
By now, you’ll have worked up an appetite. If it’s a sunny day, you’re in the perfect spot
to beat the crowds and take an early lunch at Bon Vivant, which offers authentic French cuisine in an amazing outdoor dining setting. The French onion soup is to die for, as are many of the dishes on Bon Vivant’s menu, but pace yourself–you have plenty of spots in Telluride Ski Resort left to explore.
4 Look Closer
As you contemplate which is better, the soup or the outstanding views of Prospect Basin, look closer at this terrain because—believe it or not—this is where you’re headed next. Tucked within the seemingly sheer cliff walls of Gold Hill and the extreme terrain of Upper Prospect Ridge lies some outstanding intermediate skiing. As you exit Bon Vivant, don’t pass up the opportunity to stop into arguably the nicest on-mountain public bathrooms before clicking back into your skis.
5 Pure Magic
Head out on Lower Woozley’s Way as it winds through the Prospect Bowl basin, and follow the signs for the Prospect Express (12). Once on the chair, it’s easy to get inspired—and maybe slightly overwhelmed—at the immensity of skiable terrain that stretches in all directions. Don’t worry, you’re going to really enjoy the blue trails that Prospect Express (12) offers. Sandia and Magnolia are perfect intermediate trails, both offering a combination of short, steep pitches to get your heart racing, and playful lower-angle terrain that bobs and weaves through forested alcoves that make you feel as though you are the only person to ski the pathway you just did. It’s pure magic!
6 Enjoy the Ride
Regardless of the trail that you took through this magical area that is Prospect Basin, veer toward Sandia and follow the signs to the Gold Hill Express (14). This will be an intense chairlift ride where you’ll get to watch some of the best skiers on the mountain play on expert-only terrain. Just like during your chair lift ride up the Prospect Express (12), you may feel a bit overwhelmed at the terrain that is in front of you. Not to worry though, you’re about experience Telluride’s signature blue trail: See Forever.
7 Savor the Views
At the top of the Gold Hill Express (14), move out of the way and off to the side so that you can get your camera out—you’re going to want it here! The views into Bear Creek and toward the town of Telluride are better here than anywhere else within the resort. Be prepared to spend a solid 5-10 minutes simply taking in the unbelievable views. I promise you that if it wasn’t winter and you weren’t itching to ski, you’d probably want to stay here all day—but eventually your toes will start to get cold and your excitement to ski See Forever will take over.
8 Experiencing Forever
See Forever is one long ridge, with never-ending views and a wide-open groomer the entire way back to Mountain Village. You’ll go by Alpino Vino, North America’s highest elevation restaurant, as well as Tempter House, a private vacation home perched above a permanently-closed chute of the same name.
9 An Après to Remember
Just as you ski the final pitch of See Forever, your legs will surely be ready for a well-deserved break. Rather than following the ski traffic into Mountain Village, follow the signs to the San Sophia Gondola Station, take your skis off, and walk through the station to Allred’s for an après experience like no other. Trust me when I say that the view from the bar in Allred’s is one of the most special views in all of Telluride. No words can describe it, but it will surely make you forget about how tired your legs are after the perfect day of exploring Telluride’s blue ski trails.
Now is the perfect time to plan your next winter trip to Telluride. To learn more about our Vacation Packages or to check rates and availability, call Telluride Resort Reservations, (855) 517-2906, or visit our website.