Telluride at its Best
Just over a week ago now, I wrote a post about the day of freeskiing that Jesse and I spent in Squaw Valley. And while the skiing was a pleasant surprise, and the High Camp hot tub party sounded like a good time, it was still California, and let’s just say that after a week of skiing back in T-ride capped off with a sweet End-of-Season celebration at Hoot’s Hut, it was good to be home.
And what a great season it was to celebrate. As I mentioned in my first blog post of the winter, this has been my first full winter back in Telluride since my freshman year of high school, and it definitely did not disappoint. There are never enough powder days, but we had a few good ones, even though I missed the apparently epic, two-foot dump a couple weeks back.
To me, the annual but unofficial gathering at Hoot’s Hut perfectly demonstrates what makes Telluride such a great ski community; it really is a community. The Hot Tub party at Squaw had a couple of weak MCs, a bar serving drinks that I was scared to even ask the price of, and a heated pool and hot tub. Sweet.
But Telluride has something so much more organic. I talked to a few of the guys who apparently started the celebration six or seven years back with nothing more than a six-pack (I’m guessing of PBR), and have watched and helped it grow in the time since. In the few days leading up to the last day of the season, they lugged BOBs (boxes of beer, bags of burgers (and hot dogs and brats), and bags of buns) all the way up to Hoot’s Hut, so huge kudos and thanks to them. And from there, they grilled those burgers, brats and hot dogs, and tossed those PBRs among the crowd, all for nothing more than the tips we left and the enjoyment of hosting a group of good people having a good time.
That’s just a phenomenal thing guys, by far the highlight of a season with many highlights for me.
It was also cool to watch a group of talented skiers (and a boarder) each try to one up the last, seshin’ a pretty sweet cliff-drop off to skier’s right and to cheers and support from the crowd below.
I unfortunately missed Nick Kenworthy’s drop, which as far as I know at least, kicked off the sesh. But I did catch Kolby Ward’s Rodeo 7, and later, whoever that snowboarder was who floated that huge back flip. It was cool to see the party feed the skiers/boarder and vice versa, and really, I think that kind of dynamic lies at the heart of any great ski community.
One dilemma I’m facing in this blog post is that I think part of what made the Hoot’s Hut party so cool was that it is still kind of underground, and I’m not sure I should be the one to blow the lid. Now I am fully aware that not too many people read this blog anyway, but I would love some feedback as far as how much I should write and reveal. I’ve intentionally left the location at least somewhat unclear with the hopes that only people truly who belong will be able to find it next year with the clues I’ve given. But I do want to put a short video up, which I’m sure will give more away. So if you like or dislike that idea, or have any other feelings on how much I should tell about it, please feel free to leave a comment and/or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I don’t hear feedback either way, I’ll just put up a short video that I think strikes a fair balance.
I left Telluride for Chamonix with my parents on Tuesday. We arrived yesterday afternoon, and what a beautiful place. Speaking of great ski communities, this is one of the first and greatest in the world. I’ll do my best to keep blogging regularly over the course of our 10-day trip so keep an eye out for those.
Check out more ski coverage and opinion on Ski Watch.