Telluride Recreation

Colorado Fun!

Alpine Slide-LEADWhen it comes to winter thrills, Colorado ski resorts offer nearly everything snow lovers crave. But just because skis and boards have been mothballed for the summer doesn’t eliminate reasons for visiting slope-side resorts.

Here are 33 summer adventures to be found around Colorado’s top ski communities. Like the trails and terrain, we’ve categorized activities by difficulty—family-friendly easy greens, more-challenging intermediate blues and adrenaline-infused advanced black-diamonds. Pick a pursuit and have some fun.

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A New Ski Area in Bear Creek?

Photo by Katie Klingsporn

Photo by Katie Klingsporn

Ron Curry and Thomas Chapman of Gold Hill Development Company have unveiled plans to develop a ski area in Upper Bear Creek, Telluride’s legendary side-country playground.
Bear Creek at Telluride Ski Resort is being touted as a rugged, expert ski area accessed by human-powered traffic, helicopter or access gates, according to materials from “The Creek” Associates. The area would encompass 1,300 acres of land and would feature nearly 2,000 feet of vertical elevation and no permanent infrastructure. Though there would be avalanche control and patrollers, traditional resort trappings like lifts, groomers and restaurants would not exist.
“Deep powder snow, no grooming, no trees, no clear-cut trails,” reads a release from the company. “No lift towers, no permanent structures, no trace of wintertime skiing to the summer use of Bear Creek.”
The resort’s terrain would stretch from a high point of 13,555 feet on Wasatch Mountain to 11,562 feet on private lands in the West Fork of Bear Creek, according to the company. A warming hut yurt would be placed on a temporary deck and removed each June.

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Telluride’s Work Out Weekend

imagesThe many colorful festivals that pack into Telluride’s summer and fall calendar celebrate everything from jazz music to documentary films, fine wine, bluegrass and mushrooms.

Add to that: fitness.

Two Telluride locals are launching a new festival in late September that will focus on health, wellness and working out. Telluride WOW … Work Out Weekend will bring world-class fitness gurus, local instructors and a full weekend of classes to Mountain Village from Sept. 19-22.  The idea behind the festival is to bring together like-minded people for a spectrum of fitness sessions, along with presentations and lectures on nutrition, wellness and medical trends.

“It’s a health, fitness and wellness festival offering something for everybody, in that it is all modalities,” said Becca Tudor, a local Pilates and fitness instructor who is organizing the festival along with Albert Roer. “Our goal is to create an exceptional weekend for people who want to either get started on a new fitness program or advance their skills in a variety of activities.”

The festival will offer classes in cross fit, P90X, adventure racing, yoga, Zumba, boot camp, cycling, Pilates and more, as well as appearances by instructors like P90X creator Tony Horton, personal trainer Jonathan Ross and POUND founders Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom. Telluride and Aspen instructors, meanwhile, will include Alyssa Saunders, Tudor, Megan Heller and Sharon Caplan.

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Bring Your Mat to the Mountains. {Reflections from the Telluride Yoga Festival}

imagesMy sweat was real, and so was the rain. The two-and-a-half hour class—called “From Earth to Sky”—during last weekend’s Telluride Yoga Festival was so much more than just mindful movement; it opened up pathways of connection to all that is natural; all that is real.

“The Telluride Yoga Festival is really about deepening your practice in a truly sacred place,” said Aubrey Hackman, certified Jivamukti Yoga instructor and the festival’s founder and producer. “Telluride really has a special vibe to it, and it doesn’t look like anywhere else in Colorado. Instead of going somewhere that is more mainstream, it’s about getting off the beaten path and feeling Telluride’s powerful and unique energy.”

Aubrey said the Telluride Yoga Festival experience is potent, no matter if you are a beginner yogi or an advanced practitioner. “The festival allows for people to really tap into their full experience, in one of the most beautiful and powerful places in the world.”

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Elevation Outdoors Best Colorado Mountain Towns

EO_BestPartyTown_Logo-e1378226404172-150x125We thought it was too much to simply ask our readers to vote for the best single mountain town in the state. So we broke it down a bit into all the aspects that make living in the mountains so important. We put the poll up online and watched the winners slowly assert their dominance. And it ends up that we did find a single most popular mountain town, as Crested Butte took three out of the five categories. The only loss is the towns that didn’t win. Because just being in the mountains is best.


It’s sort of unfair to include Crested Butte in a “best bike town” poll. After all, this is one of two places in the world which claims to be the birthplace of the mountain bike (Marin County, Calif. the other) and the town’s whole identity seems to revolve around the famous 401 Trail. But, as the USA Pro Challenge continues to raise Colorado’s profile in the cycling universe and so many other towns in the state have made cycling a staple of their economy and identity, Crested Butte has still managed to lead the pack.

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Startup Weekend Coming to Telluride July 12-14

indexIt’s an event that occurs all over the world throughout the year but Telluride’s first ever Startup Weekend is coming July 12-14, so get your entrepreneurial ideas ready.
The nonprofit, community-building event brings together entrepreneurs of different backgrounds, including software developers, marketers, designers, and other enthusiasts. They will gather to pitch ideas, form teams and start companies in just 54 hours. Participants have 60 seconds to make a pitch (optional), the pitches are whittled down to the top ideas, and then teams form around those ideas to come out with several developed companies or projects.  Finally, the weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors.
According to event organizer Dennis Lankes, people from all over the region will come together for Startup Weekend in Telluride and build amazing teams that stick. The event will be held in the Hotel Madeline in Mountain Village.  “We have tools, prizes and sponsors to support remote teams working together even after Startup Weekend,” Lankes said. “We have tickets that include lodging at the event location, and we have a great grassroots movement of energetic and entrepreneurial people.”

Telluride: While Skiing is King, Adventures Abound in This Mountain Town

I’m seated at a white-linen covered table in the middle of a meadow at 10,000 feet altitude.

The Rocky Mountains of Telluride serve as the scenic backdrop. I’m among 20 guests about to indulge in a special “foraging dinner,” orchestrated by Telluride’s luxurious Hotel Madeline. An hour earlier, our group had been roaming the lightly wooded forests, searching out mushroom delicacies with our guide, John SirJesse.

With our baskets brimming, we returned to the meadow and delivered the delicacies to our chefs who began incorporating the finds into a delectable, six-course tasting menu. The sun began to lower on the horizon as our sommelier held up a glass of fine wine in a toast: “Many of us live in concrete jungles,” he announced. “Not today.”

Welcome to the wild luxuries of Telluride.

Telluride has long been a favored respite for those drawn to scenic mountain bliss but prefer a laid-back atmosphere rather than one of pretentious airs. Granted, the area draws its fair share of star power — Ralph Lauren’s 29,000-acre ranch is nearby as are the mountain retreats of Tom Cruise, Jerry Seinfeld, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and others.

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Telluride Helitrax Makes Top 4 in Forbes Magazine

With access to the San Juan Mountains—one of the few places to heli-ski in Colorado—TellurideHelitrax takes skiing to new heights, about 13,500 feet up in the air. You’ll have access to more than 200 square miles of some of the best skiable terrain in the country with vertical drops as high as 3,000 feet. If your plans take you to the slopes in Aspen, Vail or Beaver Creek, Helitrax offers chartered flights to Telluride that will have you back before happy hour so you can experience the après ski scene, too.

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Pot Votes in CO Raise Specter of Weed Tourism

Hit the slopes — and then a bong?

Marijuana legalization votes this week in Colorado and Washington state don’t just set up an epic state-federal showdown on drug laws for residents. The measures also open the door for marijuana tourism.

Both marijuana measures make marijuana possession in small amounts OK for all adults over 21 — not just state residents but visitors, too. Tourists may not be able to pack their bowls along with their bags, but as long as out-of-state tourists purchase and use the drug while in Colorado or Washington, they wouldn’t violate the marijuana measures.

Of course, that’s assuming the recreational marijuana measures take effect at all. That was very much in doubt Friday as the states awaited word on possible lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice asserting federal supremacy over drug law.

So the future of marijuana tourism in Colorado and Washington is hazy. But that hasn’t stopped rampant speculation, especially in Colorado, where tourism is the No. 2 industry thanks to the Rocky Mountains and a vibrant ski industry.

The day after Colorado approved recreational marijuana by a wide margin, the headline in the Aspen Times asked, “Aspendam?” referring to Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes.

Colorado’s tourism director, Al White, tried to downplay the prospect of a new marijuana tourism boom. “It won’t be as big a deal as either side hopes or fears,” White said. Maybe not. But many are asking about marijuana tourism.

Ski resorts are “certainly watching it closely,” said Jennifer Rudolph of Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade association that represents 21 Colorado resorts.

The Colorado counties where big ski resorts are located seem to have made up their minds. The marijuana measure passed by overwhelming margins, with more support than in less visited areas.

The home county of Aspen approved the marijuana measure more than 3-to-1. More than two-thirds approved marijuana in the home county of Colorado’s largest ski resort, Vail. The home county of Telluride ski resort gave marijuana legalization its most lopsided victory, nearly 8 in 10 favoring the measure.

“Some folks might come to Colorado to enjoy some marijuana as will be their right. So what?” said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director for the Colorado marijuana campaign.

Marijuana backers downplayed the impact on tourism. Aldworth pointed out that pot-smoking tourists wouldn’t exactly be new. Colorado ski slopes already are dotted with “smoke shacks,” old mining cabins that have been illicitly repurposed as places to smoke pot out of the cold. And the ski resort town of Breckenridge dropped criminal penalties for marijuana use two years ago.


Telluride Film Festival 2012

At the press conference kicking off this year’s Telluride Film Festival one of our fellow reporters kindly suggested some sort of ban on people talking on or texting with cell phones while in line for movies. The reason being that the lines are a great place to socialize and hear about movies. When the other half of the room, who were busy texting at the time, had this proposal re-told to them the uproar was overwhelming, definitive and final. No ban.

Actually the lines seemed fine, there is still plenty of socializing to be had. Besides the lines there is also the gondola which is the only way to get to the Chuck Jones Theater. This year I heard of a bus losing its brakes on the way down from the airport after a private party. Had there been an actual crash you would have heard about it too as Laura Linney was on the bus.

As usual passes were sold out a short time before the festival started. There did not seem to be any major upsets with large numbers of people getting shut out of a particular movie. Perhaps this was because George Clooney was not at the festival. Bill Murray was however, in support of his new film with Laura Linney, Hyde Park on Hudson. I did not see the film but I did inadvertently attempt to create shorter lines at the movies I was seeing by simply suggesting that Bill Murray might be at another theater. Me (to a friend): “We should start a rumor that Bill Murray is at the Galaxy”. Person three rows back: “What’s that rumor about Bill Murray!?”.. you get the picture.

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