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Telluride, Colorado

Date: February 2 – 9, 2008
Trip Leader: David Macauley
Trip Leader: Melissa Redlich  

The trip ran with 43 people and included a wide range of ages and skiing ability. The first group of participants met at the Avaya parking lot in Lincroft about 5:30AM. 

The adventure began at the Newark gate when we were informed that due to strong headwinds, the plane could not carry all of the passengers with their skis.   A variety of plans were proposed by the airline, including flying people to Steamboat Springs and bussing them to Telluride.   Finally the airline realized that they could take everyone by just stopping midway for fuel.    We arrived two hours late but still smiling; there was lots of snow waiting for us in Telluride.   Our shuttles were waiting for us when we arrived and the airline only managed to lose a few pieces of luggage.  The snow started falling as we took the 2 hour bus ride to Telluride as we were treated to spectacular views of the mountains and valleys. 

Our group stayed at the Victorian Inn.  The hotel was modest in its accommodations, but it was centrally located in the town and provided easy access to the main town lifts.  Many of the rooms had a view of the box canyon and the mountains surrounding Telluride. Many of the shops and restaurants were an easy two block walk up the hill.  The whole village could be traversed on foot which was probably the best way to get around due to the drifts.

The ski conditions were magnificent.  Correction, unbelievably magnificent.  Telluride had one of the biggest snowfall seasons on record.  The town had major challenges removing the snow and keeping the streets passable. Fortunately we were able to park the bus directly in front of the hotel.  On Monday, we awoke to 8” of fresh powder.  There were many runs that were groomed the night before and then blanketed with light powder.   There is nothing like looking down a mile-long run and seeing an unbroken field of powder.  Snow fell for 5 of the 7 days.   We were in heaven.

Lunchtime at Telluride was a treat.  The Gorrono Ranch restaurant served wonderful food in a traditional post & beam structure.   There was usually a live band.   So what that you spent 90 minutes enjoying lunch, beer, and music – you’re on vacation!   There were only 2 days that you could go outside and bask in the sun on their Adirondack deck chairs, because it was snowing all the other days.   Then there was Giuseppe’s at the top of Lift 9 (the black diamond area) at 12,000’.   The inside space was the size of a hotel room but their meatball subs were awesome.   Privacy was non-existent.   The view was mesmerizing.

Skiing all of that snow at over 10,000ft could have been a challenge, but the entire group seemed to have more problems walking in town than skiing.  When the skies cleared we were treated to the magnificent beauty that is the San Juan Mountains.  There was plenty of terrain for all levels of skiers.  Some of us tried some cross country skiing down town. You definitely did not want to get off our skis or try braking new trail.  Many of the drifts were over 6ft high.  Others stuck to the high country and those double black diamonds.  Others really enjoyed the cruisers on the Village side of the mountain and Prospect Bowl.  If you ever had a fall, you were just a snow bunny in the powder.

A wine and cheese reception was held on Monday night.  Although the hotel’s accommodations were cramped, everyone seemed to have a great time.  Dining in Telluride could be expensive but surprisingly could be quite reasonable. One could easily find a good dinner for less than $30.   We had a group dinner at the Smuggler’s Restaurant.  Reasonably priced and able to sit 40 people.


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