Happy Thanksgiving and a very Happy Opening Day! As is tradition, mountain lovers started the queue around 7 am to ensure their spot on first chair for Opening Day. This year’s first chair crew included Aaron Peña, a Colorado native from Meeker, Jak Tucker of Manchester, New Hampshire, and father-son duo Paul and Austin Messenger from the Houston, Texas area.
Aaron Peña and Jak Tucker work at local favorite Big Billie’s and have been in the area for several years. One of Jak’s favorite memories of Opening Day at Telluride is being fed bacon while in line two years ago. So this year, to pay it forward, he used a backpacking grill to cook up some bacon for the early risers this morning. Aaron is planning to head straight to the Apex Lift (Lift 6) that opened this morning to catch first tracks.
Austin is 14 years old and has been skiing since he was three years old with his father Paul in tow. The Messengers have been commuting from Houston to their home in Telluride since 2008 and they call skiing the family’s “baseball.” Instead of traveling for home runs, the Messengers trek for powder days.
The quad headed up the mountain with the traditional Opening Day sign made by art students in the Tuesday art class at Ah Haa School for the Arts in Telluride. With skiers and boarders in line to kick off the season, the mountain is abuzz with excitement.
Take a look at what a great Opening Day we had with big smiles and great snow prior to a big turkey dinner: