First Telluride Winter
I came out to Telluride, in mid-January to spend two months doing the closest thing to ski bumming as possible, trading the bitter New York winter for San Juan powder. In the 21 days since I arrived, I’ve skied 19 – twelve more than I had ever gotten in a single year. I’m loving my time in Telluride but contrary to my gap-year intentions, I am not only receiving an education every day, but in subjects I wouldn’t have found in college.
I’m going to try to keep things focused on Colorado in my posts, but first I think my back-story is necessary to show why my time in Telluride means so much to me.
I am an eighteen-year-old kid born and raised in Connecticut and a fresh graduate from boarding school in New Hampshire. After a few years of talking about how great a gap year would be, I was able to defer my college admission for a year and begin planning. I was offered an internship in New York for the fall and spring, leaving the winter free for my ski-bum dream. Luck had it that a friend of mine from boarding school, Telluride local Carlos Cagin, would be working on his Bump Club documentary on the slopes of one of North America’s greatest ski areas. The Cagins graciously invited me to stay with them for the winter and my dream became a reality.
As for my skiing background, I first got on skis when I was four years old on the icy slopes of the Dartmouth College Ski-Way in Lyme, New Hampshire; vertical: 968ft. Family vacations took me to Alta, UT for my formative ski school years (5-9) before my mother fell in love with Vancouver and we started yearly trips to British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb. Blackcomb gave me my first glimpse of what was possible on skis, exposing me for the first time to off-piste and backcountry skiing.
I loved skiing from the first time I hopped on a chairlift, but in recent years I found myself drawn to the skiing way of life. I think what appealed to me most about taking a gap-year and heading west to ski was the chance to live in a new place at a different pace, and to ski as much as I possibly could.
I’m learning about the mountain. I’m learning how to ski the Telluride bumps. I’m learning about the sport of freestyle skiing, the Discoe brothers and the roots of the Telluride ski community and the Bump Club. I’m learning about a new community and a new style of life and as a result, I’d like to think I’m learning about myself.