VIDEO BLOG Storm Chasin’ USA 4 – Two Days in Telluride and a Heli Ski

February 15th, 2011

The ride. Funny thing, on one of our drops we came across a group who’d skinned up, made us feel a little lazy

Words & Images | Tess Cook

Nothing says ‘welcome’ like a heavily stocked, help-yourself candy cart. The Hotel Madeleine in Telluride has one in the lobby. Valet parking and bell boys are a nice way to arrive too. Are we living the dream? I think so.

We pulled into the gorgeous Hotel Madeleine in Telluride’s Mountain Village – it’s a new enclave of luxury homes and hotels half way up the mountain, the town of Telluride is at the bottom of the valley – with just enough time to do a few cartwheels around our enormous apartments (yes, one for me, one for the boys) before heading off for drinks at All Reds – a bar with A VIEW, and a thoughtful collection of slippers for those who want to apres sans ski boots.

Following that, the gondola down to Telluride itself. Talk about town of contrasts. In Mountain Village everyone wears fur coats and possibly spends more time in the day spas than in ski boots, it’s luxury living to excess. Telluride, the frontier mining town, retains all the charm of its past and has the vibe to match. There are legalised marijuana shops – Colorado has decriminalised marijuana – cowboys riding horses down the street, Saloon bars and Balinese peace flags everywhere.

Boen’s heli video edit

So you can take your pick – kick back in Mountain Village luxury or kick up your heels in Telluride. Or… you can do as we did, stay in Mountain Village, catch the night gondola down to town and kick up your heels with oversized tequila shots at the Sheridan, a wicked Saloon-style bar on Main Street. But, miss the last gondola ride at midnight and you’ll need a taxi to take you round via the road. It’s worth it though.

Another way to live the dream, a day of heli skiing. Our friends at HeliTrax had us up in the bird on Saturday skiing the incredible San Juans. This mountain range, which runs through southern Colorado, is fierce, but HeliTrax have been conquering it for 29 years now. They have 200 square miles of terrain in which to ski, which means everyone’s gonna get fresh tracks. Seriously, it was amazing. The heli ride alone made my day, the freshies under perfect bluebird weren’t too bad either. HeliTrax are set up to cater for everyone. We had one drop on top of an Alaska-esque peak with a ski into a gaping couloir, but for guests who don’t want to feel like they’re filming an extreme skiing movie there’s endless friendly bowls of fresh powder.

If you want to give heli skiing a try, a one-day HeliTrax is so ideal. But you don’t need a heli to get extreme in Telluride. First, this place is ENORMOUS. Like the resort just keeps going, and the vertical rise is thigh burning 1349m. Second, there’s a smorgasbord of side country and third the back country is just right there. You don’t want to be leaving the resort without a full avalanche kit but when you do, it’s right on your doorstep.

Where’s Charlie?


Perfect day for shooting

Sponsor Tees!

All Reds apres – with a VIEW

Because the candy cart in the lobby isn’t enough

Telluride – too fun

Telluride shopping – for all your cowboy accoutrements