Record snowfall in the winter months piloted the charge for a memorable year in skiing in 2008, with a few skiers representing the cream of the local shredding crop putting the Telluride name in the spotlight – while the rest of us reveled in a ton of new terrain making its debut on Telluride Ski Resort maps in 2008.
The Telluride Ski Resort presented local skiers with some of the ski industry’s most awe-inspiring terrain, with the opening of Black Iron Bowl, Palmyra Peak, and Gold Hill Chutes 6-10 in early 2008. These hike-to behemoths, located off the Resort’s Prospect Bowl and Gold Hill Express lifts, opened a new dimension in Telluride skiing: It’s called ultra-extreme, and there’s nothing like it at any other Colorado ski resort. Black Iron Bowl boasts steep chutes that fall dramatically from the flanks of 13,320-foot Palmyra Peak, the ski area’s towering Grand Dame who hosted her first ski area visitors in February. Before the 2007-08 ski season had ended, Telski also dropped the ropes on Gold Hill Chutes 6-10, which combined with Black Iron Bowl and Palmyra Peak, creating an extreme skiing Trifecta in which powder turns were almost guaranteed.
The extensive hike-to terrain that opened in early 08 wasn’t the end of Telluride’s recent cultivation of bold new lines, either. Revelation Bowl, and its accompanying chairlift, opened for the first time this December. Revi Bowl, as it has already lovingly been nicknamed by locals, sits high on the resort – above treeline, in fact – dropping eastward from the Gold Hill Ridge and onto the dramatic slopes of the Upper Bear Creek basin. Lift 15’s opening earlier this month marked the first time a new lift had opened at Telluride since the Prospect Bowl expansion of 2001 brought us Lifts 11, 12, 13, and 14.
Helping spearhead the Ski Area’s efforts to dish out brave new terrain were a few infamous newcomers: Telluride became the only ski area in Colorado, and one of only two ski areas in modern history, to receive new permitting to operate U.S. Army Howitzers in their permit area. The two completely refurbished, vintage World War II howitzers were installed on the resort in October, and will be used for avalanche mitigation in the area’s new hike-to terrain.
A few local skiers who learned to rip on Telluride’s steep flanks stepped onto the national ski stage this year, with two Discoe brothers winning berths onto the U.S. Ski Team and lifelong local Gus Kenworthy carving his way into the ski film spotlight.
Jimmy Discoe, the youngest of three bump skiing brothers who grew up skiing on the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club’s freestyle team, handily won the NorAm Cup tour and proceeded to post three top 10 results in World Cup mogul events last winter. Those results landed him a coveted position on the U.S. Ski Team’s Freestyle C team, but an ACL injury he sustained while competing at a World Cup moguls event in Sweden last March put a halt to this local skier’s achievements. Now, Discoe is ahead of schedule with his rehabilitation, coaches report, and has already been out on the mogul course for training this December in preparation for the upcoming competitive ski season.
Joe Discoe recently joined his little brother on the U.S. Ski Team Freestyle C Team roster, thanks to his second-place finish at the U.S. Ski Team Selection event’s single moguls contest in Winter Park in mid-December. The two Discoes will no doubt be a major force to reckon with in the acclaimed international mogul skiing circuit, with the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver on the horizon.
Rage Films spotted 16-year-old local ripper Gus Kenworthy killing it on some video clips posted on the internet, and promptly signed him up to star in their new ski film Such is Life. Young Kenworthy has also been building a name, and blowing away his competition, as a member of the CoreUPT team.