Two Utahns to Telluride (Blog by Steve Weiss)
Why would two Utahns who have easy access to world-class resorts, with still great conditions leave their homes and travel to Telluride for closing weekend?
That’s a complicated answer. Well, maybe not that complicated. For me, I’ve always wanted to check out Telluride as it has been talked about in ski and snowboard magazines as a mecca for steep terrain. Also, it’s closing weekend and I knew there was going to be spring shenanigans based on the way I’ve seen Coloradoans party in the past.
So I called my buddy Brendon, planned it out and we were off to Telluride that weekend to see what this place had to offer. To cut to the chase, we already want to go back, and here’s why.
Because of the people
As soon as we got in at 11pm on Friday, after the short 6.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City, I instantly fell in love with the town. It’s exactly what you would think of when you think of mountain towns.
We rolled in, stashed our stuff at the Aspen Street Inn
, and walked 5 minutes to see what the town had to offer for a nightlife. All we could hear was loud music from the Last Dollar Saloon and found the crew we were looking for. Young (or young at heart), outgoing and looking to live life to the fullest, is how I would describe this place. This was a great start to our perception on the people in the town because it reflected everyone we crossed while either on the mountain, at the inn, or the restaurants/bars at Telluride. Living in Utah, we know all too well that tourists are sometimes not accepted in the ski community. Information pertaining to pow stashes and cool lines are withheld and being in the bar, you are instantly pegged as the tourist. I’m not totally sure what people thought of us, but the ones we got drinking and talking with accepted us and helped us fully enjoy Telluride.
Because of the mountain
It doesn’t happen very often where I feel like I am challenged like I am in Utah, that is rightfully described when talking about our terrain and snow as “steep and deep”.
Telluride doesn’t disappoint.
You can find mellow terrain and terrain parks, but for me I like it steep, fast and a little scary. Trying to hit everything on the mountain to really get a feel for it, we always ended up on the steep stuff, and man, was it good! The mornings were a bit icy but as the sun came out on the beautiful April day the snow turned to corn and was perfect for spring conditions.
We are already planning on getting back here for a powder weekend. I can’t even imagine how it is, and I’m already getting excited about it.
Because of the town
If you’ve never been here, there are two towns - the town of Telluride and the Mountain Village where the resort is.
The town of Telluride, like I said above, is what you would expect in a mountain resort town: small, rustic, with down-to-earth people living in it. The food is great and with variety from barbeque at Oak, Thai at Siam, or Italian at Rustico Italiano, etc you will have a hard time deciding what to get. Then the nightlife is, full of fun, energetic, mistake-making people who are always down to dance late into the morning of 2am.
What I loved most about this place was the convenience of everything. With literally a two minute walk from the Gondola to get to the resort and maybe 10 minutes from downtown, the Aspen Street Inn was the perfect place to be. Getting around town itself, is almost comically easy. I kept asking myself, why would anyone have a car here? I’m sure there’s a purpose but for a tourist it’s so easy.
Then there is the Mountain Village. Especially during closing weekend, this place was just nonstop fun. After surfing in the sun, the crowd would meander off the mountain and to concerts with local bands that seemed to never end, and into the local bars.
We met many of the transplant-locals while at Poacher’s Pub that never wanted to leave because of the lure of Telluride and were hilariously fun to hang out with. So many different states represented in this tiny place, but one thing did hold constant. The reason to be in Telluride – “why not?” I’d probably say the same thing, why not is right. That place just draws you in and you never really want to leave.
Because of the spring shenanigans
Raised in a non-ski town in Ohio I had only really experienced the spring debauchery in Utah. I had high expectations for Colorado though, and when looking at the event card for the weekend, you instantly get excited.
Sun, corn snow, concerts, parties, dancing, pond skims, looking like fools; this pretty much encompassed our routine while in Telluride on this particular weekend.
The shenanigans were in full effect and people were taking advantage of it donning on capes, wigs, and other hilarious outfits including a banana costume, a group of 80’s snowbikers, and a tribute to Michael Jackson wearing his sweet red jacket, one glove, and wig.
On Saturday, the party started sometime around 4pm at mid-mountain at Gorrona Ranch, where The Great Funktier
played and the beer flowed. Tons of people were lounging on the patio as they watched on as people were feeling the vibe and danced the afternoon away.
On Sunday, the real entertainment started at noon when they opened up the pond skim. Costumes and one-up-manship was encouraged. If you were skier/rider number 30 in the line you better come up with something impressive or the crowd was not impressed. I think the guys that stole the show was either the skier coming in switch or the one-footed skier. How they did that (especially talking as a snowboarder) is beyond me. Props to those guys and to everyone who put themselves in front of that crowd to possibly get embarrassed.
Now, when can we go back?
That is the real question, when can we go back? Every time I visit Colorado, I always leave wondering why I don’t live here and Telluride does this to the nth degree. The town, the people, the vibe, the mountain, the parties – how could you not love it? It’s an incredible place that I think whether you are from the Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, South, or even Utah, should consider going to. I will forewarn you though; you will not want to leave. Unless of course there is a predicted foot of snow falling in your home state!
----Meet the Author: Steve W Weiss, a backcountry snowboarder, rock climber, travel-addict starting in Ohio but now based in Utah. Blogger at MountainEnthusiast.com
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