Telluride Mountain & Ski Terrain
Telluride’s terrain covers just over 2000 acres (810 hectares), with 148 runs accessed by 19 lifts. Queues are rare. Telluride long ago quashed its reputation as an experts-only mountain by adding considerable amounts of intermediate and beginner terrain, and now this sector comprises 60% of all runs. What’s more, at least one intermediate run is accessible from every lift on the mountain.
The best known intermediate run is See Forever from where the view stretches as far as Utah’s La Sal mountains, while for a paradise of blue cruisers you cannot go past The Polar Queen Express.
Advanced to expert skiers have plenty to test them here and may even find their limit. Expert terrain in Telluride, along with that in Jackson Hole and Crested Butte, is considered some of the country’s most challenging. Many slopes are also particularly good for bump lovers.
Most of Telluride’s most famous steeps dropping away from the top of Lift 9 are wall-to-wall, top-to-bottom, cannot-escape-them moguls. Dive into Kant-Mak-M, Spiral Stairs, Mammoth, and much of Plunge, so be prepared to turn. The exception is Boomerang, a long steep black diamond run groomed daily to perfection. Experts should also seek out North Face, Joint Point, and further down, Mine Shaft and Jaws which lead all the way to town. Try them if you dare.
Beginners can range across the Meadows area, and there is even a magic carpet for adult learners. Big Billie’s family-friendly restaurant serving southwestern and American cuisine sits at the base of the beginner area.
Let’s get physical – and serious. Hike-to terrain here is extensive and challenging. Only the most confident experts should tackle these runs some of which are so steep it’s possible to see only a few turns ahead. There are four main areas, Bald Hill, Black Iron Bowl, the chutes on Gold Hill numbered one to 10, and Palmyra Peak. On average the hikes take 20-30 minutes with the exception of Palmyra Peak which holds what is considered some of the most spectacular in-bounds terrain in North America. Depending on fitness and weather conditions, boot-backing up the ridge can take from an hour to 90 minutes to access Palmyra Peak’s 197 acres 80 hectares of runs, some over 1968 feet (600 vertical m).
|Skiable Terrain||2,000 acres (810 hectares)|
|Vertical||1,349 m (4,425 ft)|
|Top Elevation||4,010 m (13,150 ft)|
|Base Elevation||2,659 m (8,725 ft)|
|Average Snowfall||838 cm (330 in/27ft)|
|Winter lifts Total||19|
|Longest Run||7.4 km (4.6 mi)|
|Snowmaking||220 ac (89 hectares)|