W I N T E R / S P R I N G 2 0 12-13 VOLUME 30, NO. 2
$4.95 PRICELESS IN TELLURIDE
REMEMBERING TELLURIDE IN THE ’70S | WHEN THE ROPE DROPS TELLURIDE’S TOP CHEF | FILMMAKERS | SNOWBIKING
t’s the lifestyle...
1 • Wild Skies Ranch, Wilson Mesa Exquisite log and stone home with 6,125 SF on 14.14 acres, incomparable views plus 3 horse pastures. $2,950,000
3 • 766 Golden Eagle, Horsefly Mesa This rustic home features 180° Sneffels Range views on 40 pristine acres with aspens, meadows & pond. $495,000
5 • 236 Pandora Lane, Telluride Located a short stroll from Telluride, this exquisitely designed home brings 2 waterfalls into your living room. $4,575,000
2 • Lot 912R, Mountain Village A secluded 1.73-acre lot on exclusive Victoria Drive with dramatic northern views & a private ski trail. $1,695,000
4 • 210 South Oak Street, Telluride Bank Owned! 7 total units, includes new 1-bed studio, ½ block from Gondola with great upside potential! $2,695,000
6 • Knightsbridge, Mountain Village This secluded, refined home provides dramatic views, 7 beds, 9.5 baths plus private ski trail on 1.97 ac. $9,200,000
Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | email@example.com | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 | www.TellurideAreaRealEstate.com
ou’ve been waiting for.
1 • 116 Lawson Point, Mountain Village Located in sunny Adams Ranch Subdivision, this attractive 4-bedroom home affords unobstructed views. $1,875,000
3 • Plunge Landing, Telluride Designed by award-winning architect, contemporary styled in-town 2 & 4 bedroom units plus commercial. $4,375,000
5 • 101 Christina’s Way, Aldasoro Ranch Exquisite stone work and finish detail highlight this 4 bed residence with spacious decks, aspens & views. $3,395,000
2 • Tract I Muddy Creek Meadows, Wilson Mesa Situated across from iconic Wilson Peak, 111 acres offer a flat building site, aspens & domestic well. $2,275,000
4 • Lot 7 & 11A Gregory Avenue, Telluride Two unique lots in the Town of Telluride share commanding views from an exceptional vantage point. $1,950,000
6 • 8121 Preserve Drive, The Preserve A significant compound on 28 idyllic acres with elegant interiors plus grand views of Wilson & Sunshine. $17,900,000
Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | firstname.lastname@example.org | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 | www.TellurideAreaRealEstate.com
PHOTO BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE what Telluride was like forty years ago. Fewer than six hundred residents, a small number of businesses, unpaved streets, ramshackle buildings, and a dream: that opening a ski resort might save the old mining town from extinction. “Think big,” was the advice that French gold-medalist skier and resort design consultant Emile Allais (p. 44) gave Joe Zoline as he pieced together his ski area plans. That advice proved prophetic, not just for Zoline, but for Telluride. Today, the broad swath of land that they envisioned becoming a world-class ski resort has done just that: Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked Telluride Ski Resort #1 in North America. Yet what distinguishes Telluride from other places prevails beyond the ski area boundaries. It has also become a place where culture and the arts flourish, with film festivals such as Mountainfilm (“Man in His Element,” p. 46), organizations such as Telluride Arts (“Potter Shapes Telluride,” p. 50), and some of the world’s top chefs (“Local Vies for Top Chef,” p. 20). Telluride is no longer a hidden gem, a secret powder stash, a mountain hideaway, or any of the clichés people have used to describe an up-and-coming resort. We have arrived. (I know this because people no longer say “Where?” when I tell them I’m from Telluride, and operators no longer ask for the spelling when I dial 411 looking for a local number.) Even though Telluride has earned renown, it still holds a certain sense of discovery for people who come here. It is embraced by ski bums who make the annual migration to town each fall, by workers who come from foreign countries with visas, by couples who travel here to get married, by people who call it home, and by the flock of revelers who lived here in the seventies and who come back each decade to celebrate the anniversary of what dawned on this town forty years ago (“Remembering Telluride in the ’70s,” p. 40). By all accounts, the seventies in Telluride marked a magical and transformational era for the town. But the magic still exists. The timeline for the “Remembering Telluride” piece is just a part of the story. Time doesn’t resolve—it is a continuum, and it will go on. The vision for the resort and community in the seventies was of expansion and development; today’s vision is about preservation, from the next generation of business owners at the Toggery (p. 52) and the Floradora (p. 54), to environmental activism (p. 22), to the resort’s commitment to become more sustainable and ecologically sensitive. What was just a vision four decades ago has become a reality, and it is the duty of all of us, everyone who has fallen in love with this place, to keep the dream alive for all who have yet to experience it.
Deb Dion, Editor-in-Chief 4
The Auberge Residences at Element 52 are a unique enclave of two to five bedroom luxury townhomes and flats offering owners full turn-key services and amenities, a ski-in/out location, and a design that sets it apart within the world-class resort town of Telluride, Colorado. Simply the best.
Brian Oâ€™Neill / 970.708.5367 / email@example.com element52.aubergeresorts.com
#1 Hotel Brand CondĂŠ Nast Traveler 2012
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CONTENTS D E PA R T M E N T S
11 EVENTS CALENDAR
18 TELLURIDE TURNS
Headlines and Highlights from the Local News
Frack Free Colorado, Composting
Entrepreneur Develops App
26 M O U N TA I N H E A LT H
Pedometers for Students
F E AT U R E S
Like the running of the bulls, only scarier
Athletic Advice from Our Mountain Guru
BY ROB STORY
Behind the Lens
Meet the local cadre of documentary filmmakers
Local Books and Local Authors
BY KATIE KLINGSPORN
Essay: The Brewery Loop BY MATT BEAUDIN
A LAST LOOK
By Brett Schreckengost
W I N T E R / S P R I N G 2 0 12-13 VOLUME 30, NO. 2
Remembering Telluride in the ’70s
Timeline for the resort, forty-year reunion, Emile Allais Bill Kees, Jane Watenpaugh, John Fahnestock $4.95 PRICELESS IN TELLURIDE
52 54 6
40 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE: 1972-2012 | WHEN THE ROPE DROPS
Still in Style
Local Business: Telluride Trappings & Toggery
Comeback for the Kanes Local Flavor: Floradora Saloon
TELLURIDE’S TOP CHEF | FILMMAKERS | SNOWBIKING
ON THE COVER Dylan Sloan drops off Yellow Mountain’s Colorado Face into the Ophir valley. BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
Expressions of Beauty
W I N T E R / S P R I N G 2 012-13 VOLUME 30, NO. 2
Rob Story got his first writing job penning commercials for a Top-40 station in Vail: KVMT, or K-Vomit as it was known. Editors who never heard the commercials later hired him at Outside and Powder magazines. Story now writes about adventure travel, sports, and weird people for a variety of halfway decent magazines, including Men’s Journal, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and Rolling Stone. He is also a columnist for Skiing Magazine. His work, both excerpted and new, has appeared in the following major books: Faces: The 20 Greatest Athletes Now; Big Wave: Stories of Riding the World’s Wildest Water; and The Great Life. He won the 2003 Lowell Thomas Award for wintersports journalism, and the Northern Lights Award in 2001 and 2005 for Canadian Travel Journalism. Story is the author of the books Telluride Storys and Outside Adventure Travel: Mountain Biking (WW Norton). Though he respects ropedoff ski slope closures, he doesn’t necessarily like them.
[ ROB STORY ]
Heather Sackett is associate editor at the Telluride Daily Planet and a local freelance writer. Sackett is new to Telluride, having left the rat race of Denver behind last summer, but for this issue she got to interview longtime locals who have called the box canyon home for decades: Senior Mahoney, a former miner who helped start the ski resort 40 years ago, and Jane Watenpaugh, the resort’s first female ski patroller. Sackett wasn’t even born when the ski resort first opened in 1972 and she certainly isn’t the first woman to enjoy skiing here, but she does hope to get the first chair when Lift 9 opens on a powder day.
Copy Editor / Proofreader MIRA PERRIZO Advertising Sales JENNY PAGE Web Director SUSAN HAYSE Contributing Writers Stephen Barrett Matthew Beaudin Thom Carnevale Chris Gibbon Elizabeth Guest Beth Kelly Katie Klingsporn Jessica Newens Heather Sackett Emily Shoff Rob Story Lance Waring
[ BRETT SCHRECKENGOST ]
Creative Director KIM HILLEY
Born in Caribou, Maine and raised in ski boots, mountains have always been the focal point of Brett Schreckengost’s life. A photojournalist at heart, his work has taken him on adventures near and far from his home in southwest Colorado. This is his 19th ski season in Telluride, and he has been on hand for more than a few rope drops as ski patrol opened new powder terrain. After being clotheslined while shooting the grand opening of Revelation Bowl in December of 2008, he has since retired from documenting the chaos in order to take part in it directly. When the snow melts, he can be found chasing light on rivers, oceans, and deserts in search of moments that define the culture of the mountain dweller. www.TellurideMagazine.com
Editor-in-Chief DEB DION
Matthew Beaudin Ryan Bonneau Brenda Colwell Max Cooper Brad Foley Steve Harbula Damon Johnston Ingrid Lundahl Dean Rolley Travis Rummel Brett Schreckengost
[ HEATHER SACKETT ]
Publisher DAVID W. OSKIN
Telluride Publishing also produces Telluride and Mountain Village Visitor’s Guide and the TELLURIDE CALENDAR. Our products are for sale at retail shops in Telluride and on our website: telluridemagazine.com For correspondence, subscriptions and advertising: editor@TellurideMagazine.com. phone: 970.728.4245 The annual subscription rate is $11.95. ©2013 Telluride Publishing Co., Inc., a division of Big Earth Publishing Cover and contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. ••••••••• COVER PHOTO
PHOTO BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
NOVEMBER 16 Gondola Opens The gondola opens for the 2012-13 winter season. NOVEMBER 22 Opening Day Telluride Ski Resort opens for the 2012-13 ski season. NOVEMBER 23 Joint Point and Friends Local musicians perform at Sheridan Opera House to kick off ski season. 970.728.6363 NOVEMBER 30 - DECEMBER 2 Cindy & the Saddle Shoes Sheridan Arts Foundation Young People’s Theatre middle school actors perform a musical theatre production at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 DECEMBER 5 Noel Night Shop early and partake of the holiday caroling, discounts, and cheer in Telluride’s retail stores.
CALENDAR DECEMBER 7-9 Telluride Arts Bazaar Local artisans vend handmade jewelry, sewn and knitted clothing and accessories, toys, local foods, housewares, candles, and more unique items at the Telluride High School. DECEMBER 8 An Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration The Telluride Historical Museum presents, “An Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration” at Schmid Ranch, complete with Santa Claus, horse-drawn carriage rides, a bonfire, cowboy coffee and hot chocolate, wreath-making, and you can cut down your own Christmas tree, from 12–4 p.m. 970.728.3344 DECEMBER 8 Wine 102 University Centers of the San Miguel hosts a wine and food pairing seminar/fundraiser at the Hotel Telluride. The evening features wine tasting and a silent auction. Register online at ucsanmiguel.org, tickets are limited.
DECEMBER 13-15 World Cup Races Telluride Ski Resort hosts the Audi FIS Skicross World Cup Races on Dec. 13 and the U.S. Snowboardcross Cup on Dec. 14-15. Check out the races on the ski resort or at the base of the gondola in Mountain Village. 970.728.6900 DECEMBER 15 Winter Concert Telluride’s Rock & Roll Academy students play at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 DECEMBER 14 & 16 Palm Arts Nutcracker Palm Arts dance performers stage “The Nutcracker” at the Palm Theatre. 970.369.5690 DECEMBER 18-22 “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” Second Stage Theatre impresarios Jeb Berrier, Ashley Boling, and Buff Hooper present the original play “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363
PHOTO BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
DECEMBER 19 Fourth-Grade Play Telluride School District students perform a school play at the Palm Theatre. 970.369.5690 DECEMBER 23 Golden Dragon Acrobats The premier Chinese acrobatic company travels to the United States and performs at the Palm Theatre. 970.369.5690 DECEMBER 23 Warren Miller Film Legendary ski filmmaker Warren Miller screens a new movie at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 DECEMBER 24 & 25 Torchlight Parades Skiers descend into Telluride and Mountain Village, carrying torches and forming a bright string of lights.
DECEMBER 27 - JANUARY 3 Holiday Concert Series The Sheridan Opera House hosts a whole series of concerts over the holidays, individual shows are listed according to the dates. DECEMBER 27 Peter Yarrow Folk music legend Peter Yarrow takes the stage at the Sheridan Opera House as part of its Holiday Concert Series. 970.728.6363 DECEMBER 28 Cabaret Fundraiser Local dancers and thespians perform cabaret at the Palm Theatre to support Telluride Theatre and Palm Arts organizations. 970.369.5690
DECEMBER 29 Marc Broussard Catch this performance by New Orleans funk/soul musician Mark Broussard at the Sheridan Opera House as part of its Holiday Concert Series. 970.728.6363 DECEMBER 30 Vaudeville Variety Night Don’t miss the homegrown Vaudeville Variety Night, with comedy, melodrama, magic, and can-can dancers at the Sheridan Opera House as part of its Holiday Concert Series. 970.728.6363 DECEMBER 31 Torchlight Parade Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a parade of lights down the ski slopes and fireworks in Mountain Village.
DECEMBER 26 Mountainfilm Friend-raiser Mountainfilm in Telluride hosts its annual “friendraiser,” a benefit for the film festival and its programs, at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 DECEMBER 27 Matchstick Productions Ski Film Thursday at the Palm Theatre, check out the latest ski flick by Matchstick Productions. 970.369.5690
DECEMBER 29-30 Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre A unique, family-oriented act, these trained cats and dogs that were once strays perform tricks and stunts to accompany the comedy-juggling talents of Gregory Popovich at the Palm. 970.369.5690
DECEMBER 28 Shawn Colvin Singer, songwriter, and pop star Shawn Colvin performs one night only at the Sheridan Opera House as part of its Holiday Concert Series. 970.728.6363
DECEMBER 31 Ah Haa New Year’s Eve Gala Ah Haa School for the Arts hosts its 4th annual New Year’s Eve Gala featuring artwork, a champagne reception, a four-course dinner, entertainment, and a wine auction. 970.728.3886
Ongoing Events Open Recreation The Telluride Parks and Recreation department offers open hockey and ice skating at the Hanley Ice Rink and Pavilion in Telluride Town Park and drop-in basketball, volleyball, and indoor soccer at the high school gym. 970.728.2173 Reliving History Telluride Historical Museum hosts several programs periodically throughout the winter and spring: Tours of the Sheridan Opera House, Historic Architectural Tours, and the Telluride Unearthed Lecture Series. 970.728.3344 Telluride Film Festival Presents On the third Thursday of each month at the Nugget Theatre, catch one of the recently released films selected by the festival directors of the Telluride Film Festival. Business / Tech Programs at the Library Every Thursday, the Wilkinson Pulbic Library presents Open For Business, a program that offers free business consultations from 1–2 p.m., and WPL Tech Guy, a program which offers free technology consultations from 2-3 p.m. 970.728.4519 Metropolitan Opera at the Palm The Palm Theatre presents opera performances on a large HD screen throughout the winter on Mondays and Saturdays, dates and times vary. 970.369.5670 Sunday at the Palm Telluride Film Festival, Telluride Foundation, and Telluride’s R-1 School District present family-friendly films on the first Sunday of each month at 4 p.m. at the Palm Theatre. 970.708.4001 Open Classes at the Ah Haa School for the Arts The Ah Haa School offers an open ceramics studio with different projects and instructors each week on Tuesdays from 4:30–7:30. Wednesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. you can join Robert Weatherford’s Painting From Within classes, and on Wednesday evenings, Canvas and Cocktails is an open class from 5:30–8 p.m. featuring local artists. There will also be one-day jewelry-making classes on the first Monday of January, February, and March. 970.728.3886 University Centers of the San Miguel UCSM offers a host of classes and seminars, some with college credit available. Topics include computers, business, Spanish, French, literature, and sustainability. Check out the full schedule and register online at ucsanmiguel.org.
PHOTO BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
DECEMBER 31 The Wailers Celebrate New Year’s Eve and the centennial of the Sheridan Opera House with Jamaican reggae music legends The Wailers. The Wailers are a part of the Sheridan Opera House’s Holiday Concert Series. 970.728.6363 JANUARY 3 Who’s Bad? Put on your best vintage Michael Jackson outfit and your dance shoes—the Michael Jackson tribute band Who’s Bad? returns to the Sheridan Opera House as part of its Holiday Concert Series. 970.728.6363 JANUARY 23 Reverend Horton Heat Country-rockabilly musician Reverend Horton Heat performs at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 JANUARY 25 KOTO Lip Sync Locals perform hilarious lip sync routines in costume at the Palm Theatre, in a benefit event for local radio station KOTO. 970.728.4333 FEBRUARY 1 Guest D.J. Day Local business owners take over the airwaves at KOTO. 970.728.4333
PHOTO BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
FEBRUARY 1, 2 & 4 “Godspell” Young People’s Theatre high school actors perform the play “Godspell” at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 FEBRUARY 2 Chocolate Lovers’ Fling Sample chocolate confections made by local chefs, dress in theme costumes, and dance at this annual benefit for the San Miguel Resource Center, held at the Telluride Conference Center. 970.728.5842
PHOTOS BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
FEBRUARY 8 Name That Tune Teams compete to test their music knowledge at this annual KOTO event. 970.728.4333 FEBRUARY 9-12 Telluride Theatre The local theatre company performs an original play at Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 FEBRUARY 12 Cribbage Tournament KOTO’s fourth annual cribbage tournament is held at the Cornerhouse Grille. 970.728.4333 FEBRUARY 14-17 14th Annual Telluride Comedy Festival The Comedy Fest features famous comedians from The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, and 30 Rock performing skits and improv. This year’s theme is the “Dawn of Telluride” and ends with a dance party on Saturday after the show. 970.728.6363 FEBRUARY 16 Dawn of Telluride A 1970s ski-themed costume party, with dance music, at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 FEBRUARY 17 Hot Club of San Francisco The Hot Club of San Francisco presents Cinema Vivant at the Palm Theatre—silent, vintage films accompanied by live gypsy swing. 970.369.5690 FEBRUARY 20 FDR, Live at the Library The Telluride Historical Museum presents a firstperson characterization of Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Wilkinson Public Library program room, free, at 5:30 p.m. 970.728.4519
FEBRUARY 22 - MARCH 3 Gay Ski Week Come out and ski at this annual event produced by Straight Out Media & Marketing in conjunction with the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association in support of Telluride AIDS Benefit. FEBRUARY 23 Seryn Texas indie bluegrass band Seryn takes the stage at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 FEBRUARY 26-27 Leftover Salmon Bluegrass stars in the jamband Leftover Salmon perform at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 FEBRUARY 27-28 TEDx Telluride Live Local discussions at the Palm Theatre surround video presentation of TED talks about science and innovation. 970.369.5690 FEBRUARY 28 - MARCH 4 Telluride AIDS Benefit A multi-day event for HIV/AIDS prevention and education, the benefit includes a signature fashion show, art and clothing auctions, and a trunk show. 970.728.0869 MARCH 4-8 Phenomenal Women’s Week San Miguel Resource Center presents film, arts and educational events to celebrate women. 970.728.5842 MARCH 8 Going Cowboy at the Opera House Telluride Adaptive Sports Program hosts this annual Western-themed fundraiser at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363
Avalanche Awareness Forums and Rescue Clinics Sponsored by the San Juan Field School, the San Juan Outdoor School/Telluride Alpinism, and Telluride Ski Patrol, the free series takes place on select Monday nights starting in December and educates backcountry travelers about avalanche safety. Free avalanche beacon rescue clinics are offered throughout the season, starting in January. Multiday avalanche safety courses with field sessions are also available. 970.728.4101 Films at the Library Wilkinson Public Library hosts several film series. On the first Monday of each month, Telluride Film Festival Cinematheque presents a series of classic films about vampires, zombies and werewolves. On the third Wednesday of each month, ITVS Cinema presents advanced screenings of PBS documentaries. On the last Thursday of each month, Cine de Montañas presents Spanish documentaries from Mountainfilm. On the second Thursday of each month SparkFilms presents classic films from decades past. All films screen at 6 p.m. and are free to the public. 970.728.4519 Telluride Art Walk On the first Thursday of each month, the Telluride Art Walk celebrates art at the local galleries from 5–8 p.m., with a self-guided tour of the exhibits in downtown Telluride. A dozen venues open their doors to showcase new exhibits and artists, and restaurants feature art walk specials. Maps are available from local businesses and Telluride Arts. 970.728.3930 Fitness and Meditation at the Library Get moving for free at the Wilkinson Public Library’s zumba classes on Saturday mornings or yoga classes on Wednesday mornings. There is also a dharma talk and meditation program offered on the third Wednesday of every month. 970.728.4519 Storytime, Poetry, and Cookbooks Celebrate the written word on the first Tuesday of each month at the Wilkinson Public Library with the Talking Gourd’s free poetry readings and an interview with a poet. Also on the first Tuesday of the month, the Books and Cooks program presents a culinary demonstration featuring cookbook authors and hosted by Chef Bud Thomas. Kids can enjoy the reading program where stories are read aloud at Storytime on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and a special bilingual Thursday Storytime has stories in English and Spanish. 970.728.4519
PHOTOS BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
MARCH 29-30 Burlesque Telluride Theatre’s holds its annual risqué fundraiser, a vaudeville-style strip-tease performance at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 APRIL 5 Street Dance KOTO hosts the annual block party in front of the county courthouse to celebrate the end of the ski season. Prizes are awarded for the best pink flamingo costumes/attire. (Snow date is April 6.) APRIL 7 Closing Day Telluride Ski Resort closes for the 2012-13 season. MAY 2-9 Art Festival Telluride’s school district hosts an Art Festival at the Palm Theatre—on May 5, there is also a drama showcase as part of the festival. MAY 6-7 Fifth Grade Shakespeare Students present a Shakespeare play at the Palm Theatre. 970.369.5690 MARCH 13-18 Telluride Theatre Musical Local theatre company performs an original musical production at the Palm Theatre. 970.369.5690 MARCH 16 Steve & Steph Tie the Knot A 1980s wedding-themed costume party at the Sheridan Opera House. Talking Heads tribute band “This Must Be the Band” performs. Break out your wedding dresses and powder blue tuxedos from the ’80s. 970.728.6363
MARCH 21 Paperbird/He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister Two powerhouse indie folk bands, Paperbird (of Denver) and He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister (of Los Angeles) perform at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 MARCH 24 The Dunwells British folk rock band The Dunwells, who performed at the sunset concert series last summer in Mountain Village, return to the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363
MAY 24-27 35th Annual Mountainfilm in Telluride Mountainfilm is a film festival that screens documentaries, and hosts symposiums, breakfast talks, and other events. 970.728.4123 MAY 31 Dance Recital Palm Arts dance students perform a spring dance recital at the Palm Theatre. 970.369.5690
Erik Fallenius 970.728.4454
40 Granite Ridge
An equestrian paradise, 72 acres of alpine meadow and forest trails, rare alpine irrigated pasture and timberland. Adjacent to national forest yet located a mere 20 minutes from Telluride at the base of Wilson Peak, this fully improved and subdivided ranch tract has solid driveways, extensive stone work and landscaping, with utilities installed to two incredible home sites.
With its perfect ski trail location off Lift 4 of the Telluride ski resort, just above the Town center, 40 Granite Ridge is a Mountain Village treasure. Seven stunning bedrooms, wine cellar, fitness room, massage studio, a large jetted tub and morning and sunset patios, multiple stone fireplaces, and a country kitchen â€œwhere everyone gathersâ€?, designed and built to withstand the test of time, this home already has the presence of a mountain classic.
35.18 acres - $1,300,000 / 37.44 acres - $1,300,000
SunnySide Ranch - Lot 4
Kayenta II - UNIT 9
Within the Sunnyside Ranch properties, Lot 4 will stand out to those who want the most incredible views in the region. The photograph above, looking into the Telluride valley, was taken from the homesite. This low density community of only one homesite per 35 acres assures significant privacy, only 13 minutes from town, the ski area, and the airport.
Kayenta II Unit number 9 is a terrific ground level, 2 Bedroom/2 Bath, 1,350 square foot condo that opens onto the Lift 4 ski runs and the Kayenta hot tub. Steps from the gondola, ski lifts and the Village commercial core. The master suite has a king bed and private bath. The 2nd bedroom has a queen bed and a twin bunk bed. A spacious kitchen, dining for 6, gas fireplace, cable TV, stereo and deeded Blue Mesa garage parking. Selling fully furnished.
Jim Jennings 970.729.0065
AWESOME DECK ON RIVER!
RiverCrown - UnitS 1 & 2 Accessed by a private bridge and completely surrounded by open space, Units #1 & #2 are very private, yet, just a few minutes walk from the Town of Telluride Gondola Station and all the amenities of Telluride. These units have hot tubs, master bedroom decks, distressed fir and Idaho quartzite floors, stainless steel appliances, oak cabinets, 10 and 12 foot ceilings in the great room next to a huge east facing deck above the San Miguel River and River Park Trail. These units are the best of the best and a must see!!
Unit #1 - $2,995,000 - Unit #2 - $2,995,000
icehouse unit 318 Icehouse #318 is a south east facing corner unit with direct views of Bear Creek overlooking the San Miguel River, South Pine Street Bridge and Icehouse Ponds. The building is constructed out of concrete, is very quiet and is in original, well maintained condition. The master bedroom features views of Ajax Peak, partial Box Canyon views, a ample master bathroom and a walk in closet. The building features under ground parking, hot tub, steam shower, rental management services, ski lockers and is conveniently located one and one half blocks from the Gondola.
lot 100 mountain village
Lot #100 is one of a very few remaining vacant core of the Mountain Village single family residential lots. The building site is perched over the core of the Mountain Village and looks directly down on the Mountain Village gondola station. The building site has unobstructed views of the entire wilson range with three 14,000 foot peaks.
Sixty four acres of spectacular views, sun, irrigated meadows, forrest, ponds, and creeks, at the base of fourteener Wilson Peak. The ranch includes the Chrysler cabin , and is located within Ptarmigan Ranch, a comfortable 20 minutes from Telluride. This is an unusual opportunity to own one of the few irrigated ranch parcels in the Telluride region.
TELLURIDE TURNS Headlines and Highlights From the Local News
PHOTO BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
SOMEWHERE OUT THERE lays a hidden stash of Telluride ski run signs unsuitable for public display. The collection was amassed this June secretively and quite illegally. The thieves’ haul includes trail signs for the most iconic runs on Lifts 9 and 6, including the Plunge, Joint Point, and See Forever. Law enforcement believes they were equipped with a ladder, a rugged vehicle, and apparently a great deal of motivation. Telluride Ski and Golf Company estimated each sign’s value at $300. Surely that amount represents their replacement cost rather than their street value, but it’s still a collective theft of more than $3,000 —enough to make the crime a felony and keep the loot off the black market for a long time to come. The signs were not the only things to make their exodus from the Telluride Ski Resort this summer. CEO Dave Riley, who came on board in 2007, left this year to run Sunshine Village, a Canadian ski area near Banff National Park. During his five-year tenure, Riley’s expansion into Revelation Bowl and his opening of the extreme terrain on Palmyra Peak and Gold Hill chutes won rave reviews from ski and travel magazines, as well as happy skiers and snowboarders. Riley also crusaded to make backcountry access from the resort legal, allowing skiers and boarders to drop into the out-of-bounds runs in Bear Creek and conducting snow safety studies of the steep and avalanche-prone terrain; this put him at odds with the property owners of mining claims in that area and conservationists who created the Bear Creek Preserve that connects the upper runs in Bear Creek to the town of Telluride. The Forest Service has since closed the access gates Riley opened, although skiers can still gain entry to the backcountry terrain beyond Bear Creek. Riley was also an outspoken member of the local business community, providing his own cogent analysis of the region’s economic ills and an unwavering vision for how to overcome them. He was always accessible and never shied from engaging the public, whether it was through his ski area blog or impromptu talks on community radio. As of the start of the 2012-13 season, the ski resort’s current owner, Chuck Horning, has yet to announce a replacement for the CEO. —Stephen Barrett
Ski Signs and CEO Exit Telluride
SUSTAINABILITY, at least as we know it, was the last thing on the late Bulkeley Wells’ mind when he had the iconic Bridal Veil Powerhouse built to provide electricity for the Smuggler-Union mine. Completed in 1907, nothing about the cliff-top building appears designed for practicality, except for its ability to provide reliable, renewable, and locally produced hydroelectric power. More than a century later, those values are once again in vogue for very different reasons, which is why San Miguel Power Association has agreed to buy the electricity generated atop Bridal Veil Falls for the next 25 years. SMPA estimates the 500-kilowatt
FOR THE RECORD W E AT H E R H I G H L I G H T S BY THOM CARNEVALE
NOVEMBER 2011 High 58° (Record 73° in 1941) Low 8° (Record -22° in 1931) Precip. 1.14” (Avg. 1.53”) Snow 22.5” (Avg. 21.5”; Max. 57” in 1991) DECEMBER 2011 High 49° (Record 92° in 2001) Low -7° (Record -27° in 1949) Precip. 0.90” (Avg. 1.58”) Snow 18.5” (Avg. 25.5; Max. 107” in 1983) JANUARY 2012 High 53° (Record 58° in 1990) Low -4 ° (Record -32° in 1963) Precip. 1.79” (Avg. 1.64”) Snow 27.75” (Avg. 26.9”; Max. 80.5” in 1979) FEBRUARY 2012 High 54° (Record 65° in 1986) Low -3° (Record -36° in 1933) Precip. 2.21” (Avg. 1.72”) Snow 37.75” (Avg. 26.8”; Max. 97.9” in 1936) MARCH 2012 High 73° Low -4° Precip. 1.19” Snow 15.5” APRIL 2012 High 79° Low 19° Precip. 1.22” Snow 11.75”
(Record 73° in 1986 & 2012) (Record -20° in 1932) (Avg. 2.19”) (Avg. 33.9”; Max. 127” in 1995)
(Record 79° in 2012) (Record -10° in 1992) (Avg. 2.17”) (Avg. 22.8”; Max. 64.5” in 1917)
plant can meet the equivalent demand of 2,000 homes. While the utility cooperative has also helped develop a solar farm in the Paradox Valley and is buying hydropower from two modern plants in Ouray, the history behind Bridal Veil Powerhouse provides SMPA’s green energy portfolio with its most prominent symbol yet. Negotiations on the power purchase agreement began two years ago with Eric Jacobsen, the man who restored the power plant, and they resumed with the Idarado Mining Company after it rescinded Jacobsen’s lease. Although it’s more expensive to get electricity from a boutique power plant, the town of Telluride immediately offered to pay San Miguel Power a premium for it. That arrangement allows the town to boast that it has lowered its carbon footprint, while SMPA can channel the extra revenue into rebates and other renewable initiatives. Such concepts would be foreign to the men who built the power plant atop Bridal
Crews Overhaul Bridal Veil Hydroelectric
Veil Falls. Still, they might be pleased to see that their work has been embraced by future generations. As the town develops a new water system in the box canyon, crews have shored up the penstock and crib wall that connect the plant to its water source, Blue Lake. Eventually, some of that water will be siphoned into a new treatment plant that has likewise been designed to generate hydroelectricity. —Stephen Barrett
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Proposed Uranium Mill Still Under Fire THE SAGA OF THE PROPOSED Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill entered its most dramatic phase in November with a six-day hearing in Nucla as attorneys, technical experts, and embattled townsfolk gathered in a wood-paneled meeting room in the town’s Moose Lodge, one of the few public buildings remaining from the last uranium boom more than 30 years ago. While the room’s decorative taxidermy called attention to the town’s stasis, the discussion was very much focused on its future. Once again, area residents continued to support the mill and the possibility it might spark a nuclear renaissance. Others from the region cautioned that its construction posed too many risks to public health and the environment. The one player conspicuously absent from the proceeding was the town of Telluride, which made a separate peace with the mill’s developer, Energy Fuels, just weeks before the hearing convened. Under the terms of their settlement, Energy Fuels has agreed to take corrective action if any radioactive dust is found in the town’s water supply sixty miles downwind. It was an easy settlement for Energy Fuels to reach. The company is confident that its proposed mill poses no such threat. Still, it continues to face opponents who say the mill is incompatible with a regional economy that’s become dependent on tourism and a landscape unscarred by new mines or a massive pile of radioactive tailings in the Paradox Valley. That argument was left to residents of surrounding communities like Telluride, Ridgway and Moab, who contend the mill is a disaster in the making, and the environmental group Sheep Mountain Alliance, which scoffs at Energy Fuels’ assertion that technology has much improved since the country’s last uranium mill was built more than a quarter-century ago. Sheep Mountain successfully sued for the right to plead its case before an independent arbiter, rather than state regulators themselves. The court agreed that the mill’s license application required an adjudicated hearing and threw out a license granted by the state in 2011. Now that the arbiter has heard all the testimony, he’ll make a recommendation in January about whether or not to approve the mill. Whatever the eventual decision, it will be appealed by one side or another, but after years of review there’s not much left to say and even fewer legal remedies available to opponents. All that’s left is a final licensing decision, and then a watchful wait to see which side proves more prophetic. —Stephen Barrett 20
Local Vies For Top Chef Title IT USED TO BE that if you wanted to catch up with Eliza Gavin, you either had to go out to eat at her Telluride restaurant, 221 South Oak, or else you had to go to a Widespread Panic concert. Now all you have to do is turn on your TV. Eliza earned a spot in this season’s Top Chef competition on Bravo, and the local restaurateur and award-winning chef says she loved the challenge. “Owning my own restaurant, I haven’t been tested in a while,” she admits. “My typical challenges are bears in the trash or problems with the water heater.” This summer, she left on a secret journey to film the show and to test her culinary talents against a select group of chefs from across the country. She says she enjoyed networking with and learning from the other chefs, but when she walked into Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in L.A. to shoot the first episode, she was starstruck to meet the iconic celebrity. “I never thought he would be there. Getting to meet Wolfgang Puck was a monumental experience. My knees turned to jelly! I thought, How the hell am I going to be able to do this?” Her first hurdle was creating an omelet and surviving the first elimination round. Every program has a “quickfire challenge” in which to prepare food in a short amount of time and an elimination challenge—whoever makes the food the judges like the least has to leave the show. Luckily, Gavin serves brunch during the summer at 221, and she hadn’t lost her touch. “It’s high pressure,” she says. “It’s about the dish, really. Its creativity, originality, presentation, and taste.” At some point, every chef that competes except one—the top chef—has to turn in their toque and pack up their knives, but exactly how far into the season Gavin gets is something the network won’t disclose—viewers will just have to keep tuned in and see for themselves. Gavin did say that she did gain at least one thing from the experience, and that was a renewed passion for the art of cooking. “I am definitely taking away a more intense focus on my food. As a restaurant owner, I was constantly wearing all these hats—I was even doing my own accounting. It reignited my passion for food and for being creative.” The other gift? She was able to step away from the rigors of running a business, taking care of a family, and authoring several cookbooks and just concentrate on her other love: cooking. She has boundless appreciation for being able to make that culinary journey. “I’m one lucky girl, to have such a supportive husband. And I have also taken away a newfound love for my staff—they were just fantastic, and I am incredibly lucky to have them.” —Deb Dion
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Local Efforts Spawn ‘Frack Free’ Rally In Denver
PHOTO BY STEVE HARBULA
From Cuisine to Compost
THERE ARE A FEW WAYS to get a message across to state lawmakers—letters, phone calls, petitions, Internet campaigns—but Telluride environmentalist Allison Wolff came up with a more tangible way to convey her message asking for a ban on fracking in Colorado. She helped organize a rally on the capitol, with hundreds of “fracktivists,” bands, and celebrities. Supporters carried signs and wore t-shirts emblazoned with clever anti-fracking slogans, and Jakob Dylan and Elephant Revival provided the live soundtrack for the event. Celebrity/activists Darryl Hannah and Mariel Hemingway spoke, as did author and ecologist Sandra Steingraber (Living Downstream). The event was festive, but the message was serious. Hundreds of communities far and wide have passed regulations against fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. Fracking is used in the extraction of natural gas—wells are drilled below the aquifer, and sand, water, and chemicals are injected at high pressure to fracture the rock and release methane and oil. The natural gas industry’s fracking process is exempted from The Safe Drinking Water Act, The Clean Water Act, The Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. According to Frack Free Colorado, each well drilled requires 2–8 million gallons of fresh water and 10,000–40,000 gallons of chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic. There are more than 45,000 fracked wells in the state and that number is set to triple over the next decade. Wolff started her own environmental company, Vibrant Planet, in 2004. Vibrant Planet helps businesses and nonprofits to position themselves in today’s world, where consumers are interested in ecologically sustainable or socially positive options. But this Frack Free rally wasn’t about work—it was personal. Wolff grew up on the Front Range in Colorado, where the effects of fracking are increasingly visible. “I have friends from high school who live in Erie, Colorado. Their kids go to Erie Elementary, where there is a drill pad 1,400 feet from the school. Many of the kids have bloody noses, GI tract problems, and skyrocketing asthma rates. They have to listen to the noise of a drill pad day in and day out, breathe benzene, and avoid dozens of trucks carrying toxic chemicals coming in and out of the facility every day. Where is our common sense? This absolutely has to stop.” —Deb Dion 22
IT SEEMS LIKE everyone is trying to be more environmentally conscious these days, switching to fluorescent bulbs, conserving water, growing their own food. Even commercial businesses are stepping up their efforts. Hotel Madeline, in Mountain Village, no longer gives guests plastic bottles of water—they use glass instead. And forget the paper towels in the hotel’s srestrooms; you will be drying your hands on linens and tossing them in a basket to be washed, just like you do at home. Hotel Madeline’s Food and Beverage Director Patrick Laguens decided to take the environmental efforts a step further; he has a new “farm to fork” policy at the hotel’s REV restaurant and SMAK bar, where all the food items come from within a 100-mile radius of the establishment. That’s not all—he also started a compost program. Each chef station has a compost bucket and a posted list of acceptable scrap items that should go into it, and at the end of the night the buckets go to the holding room at the loading dock to be picked up. The restaurants have teamed up with a local zero-waste company called Smartspark to help produce the compost. So next spring, when you are planning your garden, you will be able to buy compost that was produced here—that braised pork shoulder you enjoyed at REV might actually end up pushing up your poppies. Laguens is proud of the program. “Will Rogers, who lived through the great dust bowl, once said, ‘They’re making more people every day—but they ain’t making any more dirt.’ We here at the Hotel Madeline and our good friends at Smartspark aim to do just that.” —Deb Dion
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Entrepreneur in the Mountains ALPERT DEVELOPS NEW ‘FELT’ APP BY CHRIS GIBBON
“THERE WAS DEFINITELY A MOMENT OF AUDACITY WHEN I DECIDED, OKAY, I’M DOING THIS. WITH THAT CAME A LOT OF RISK AND FEAR.”
TOMER ALPERT is getting ready to launch his new business, Felt. Looking out the window of his Cimarron Lodge apartment—which is also his makeshift office—and seeing the chairs of Lift 7 making their endless loops presses home that the season has arrived, that Christmas is upon him, and that he badly wants to be on the market for the holidays. A mild panic rises up in him, so he turns to his video diary that he’s kept from the beginning and vents. The digital display captures the intensity of his appearance. With a ruddy complexion, scruffy hair, unkempt beard and comfortable-fitting climbing clothes, he is a striking hybrid formed from the weathering of mountain living and a Zuckerberg-style entrepreneurial disregard. “I talk to it almost every day,” says Alpert, clicking the camera off. “It’s a form of therapy.” Alpert hopes to eventually share the video diary so that other entrepreneurs can draw from his experience, because with Felt, Alpert is in uncharted territory. The website describes Felt as “The first and only iPad app that lets you send beautiful, handwritten cards in the mail. The real mail. And in your handwriting. Just choose your card and write your message. We’ll print, seal, stamp and send it for you.” Since it is the first app of its kind, building a business around the idea has meant figuring it out as he goes. He likens the experience to trailblazing in the backcountry. “There was definitely a moment of audacity when I decided, okay, I’m doing this. With that came a lot of risk and fear.” Building the business has been more than just venturing into the unknown; Alpert is also investing all his own money. Does he thrive on that risk and fear, is there a kind of adrenaline rush associated with it? “Not really,” he admits. “The moments of doubt and panic that we won’t be able to get the software to work the way we want, or that no one will use the app—that stuff takes its toll. But you learn to manage it, and as you work through problems and get to the other side there is a profound sense of what you can do as a person.” Alpert moved to Telluride in summer 2010 with his significant other, Gracie, and their two dogs. “We originally came for a wedding. What really got me was that I could walk my dogs off-leash. I got into trouble for that at my apartment complex in Dallas. That simple law spoke of a greater freedom and self-responsibility here.” The same idea of freedom and self-responsibility was what led him to strike out on his own with Felt. Before moving to Telluride, Alpert had acquired ten years of hands-on training working at the software company he cofounded with his father. But he had always wanted to start his own business. “I really desired the freedom of lifestyle, but also the control. With my own company I get to carve it toward my vision, without worrying about other agendas.” At the same time, he also appreciates all the people with whom he collaborates and how they are helping him achieve that vision. Alpert sees Felt as a group of people building something together, rather than his own, personal thing, and he cites the Felt team as one of the most fulfilling aspects of the journey so far. “Honestly, it’s been magical. The way people have arrived at the table at the time they did, and with the passion they have for the project—it feels like it’s meant to be.” And Telluride itself has been an inseparable part of the experience, says Alpert. Like most people who live here, he and his girlfriend take full advantage of the unique outdoor lifestyle available, the ability to escape work and go mountain biking, climbing and hiking. “It’s such an encouraging environment. It demands and rewards independence and self-regulation. We’re here for the long haul. Unless they change the leash laws, that is.” Felt (feltapps.com) is due to launch mid-December 2012, and will be available through the Apple Store.
RYAN BONNEAU / TTB
KIDS IN THE TELLURIDE REGION have a pretty active, healthy lifestyle. But for the Telluride Medical Center, this wasn’t good enough. Healthy kids don’t always grow up to be healthy adults. Telluride Medical Center set out to get a PEP (Physical Education Program) grant, which is awarded by the federal government and championed by Michelle Obama to promote children’s health. The good news? The medical center won the grant, making our region one of only 76 communities nationwide to win the $1.6 million award. Telluride Medical Center was one of the few medical institutions to receive the grant; the rest of the recipients were individual schools. “We saw this as an opportunity to focus on preventive health for our kids. Before they develop Type II diabetes. Before they develop unhealthy eating habits,” says Emo Overall, project director for the Telluride Medical Center Foundation’s PEP Grant efforts. “We wanted to do something to ensure that our community stays healthy despite the overwhelmingly unhealthy state of the nation.” The $1.6 million grant isn’t easy money, however. The grant, which is awarded over a 3-year term, has strict requirements, one of which is data collection. You’ve probably seen students trucking around town, wearing pedometers. This is all part of the PEP program—funders want to know exactly how active kids are. In general, 10,000 steps per day develop a good base level of fitness. While the pedometer data may seem like a hassle, it also does a lot of good. The AP reports that kids naturally increase their number of steps while wearing the pedometers, walking 1,000 more steps a day. Pedometers are just one piece of the PEP data collection; surveys are another. Students and parents alike are asked to fill out surveys about nutrition and physical fitness. Surveys might ask families to chart the amount of fruits and vegetables they’ve eaten in a given week or to record the amount of total exercise they’ve
done. Some might view all of this data collection as a burden, but the trade-offs are huge. As a result of the PEP grant, for example, Telluride and Norwood school districts have brand-new gym equipment. All of the heavily used, outdated equipment was ditched; in its place came brand new sets of mats, cones, dozens of types of balls, bands, ropes, and nets. They also got a $10,000 set of heart rate monitors, and perhaps most impressively, iPads and laptops that physical education programs can use to record each student’s level of fitness over time. PE teachers are also being sponsored by the grant to obtain professional development—national conventions, institutes, and workshops that most teachers would consider pipe dreams. The equipment overhaul and curricular enrichment represent just a portion of the PEP grant. Equally exciting are the afterschool programs. This fall, Telluride and Norwood ran ten afterschool programs, all of them free. Topics included everything from karate, to gardening classes, to general outdoors sports clubs. The hope is that even when the PEP Grant term ends in the summer of 2014, Telluride and Norwood will be able to sustain their own versions of these low-cost programs, now that PEP has absorbed the growing pains of the first few years. All of these initiatives are part of PEP’s larger national goals: to promote sixty minutes of daily exercise, to foster healthy eating habits such as eating two fruits and three vegetables a day, to build content-enriched PE curriculum using cutting-edge equipment, and to inform national health policy through scrupulous data collection. Telluride may already offer some of the most exceptional kids programs—ski PE, hockey, and soccer, to name a few. Yet, thanks to PEP and the foresight of the Telluride Medical Center Foundation, our community may become one of the healthiest, too. —Emily Shoff
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Athletic Advice from Our Local Mountain Guru
NO BOYFRIENDS ON A POWDER DAY
PHOTO BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
A: Clearly, you are at a crossroads in your relationship. You either sacrifice a slew of precious powder days to teach your man how to ski, or you drop him like a cliff in lower Bear Creek. If you attempt to take the middle ground—“Just because I sleep with you doesn’t mean I have to ski with you”—your relationship will wither because the male ego is too fragile to accept such harsh truths. So take a careful look inside your heart and do what you think is best. If you decide to part ways with Mr. Bunny Hill, I’ll see you skiing on Dynamo this winter. — Jock
Every time I go out on a stormy day, my goggles fog up. I’ve tried wiping them with my bandana on the chairlift, but that just seems to make things worse. Sometimes my goggles even develop a layer of ice inside. What is the secret to a clear field of vision? — Visually Impaired During Winter
A: Goggle fog is caused by heat and moisture—a.k.a. sweat—emanating from your noggin. Your first line of defense is to wear fewer clothes to minimize your heat and moisture output. Goggle design also plays a role in reducing fog. Larger frames with many venting ports keep the lens farther away from the heat of your face and maximize cool airflow. No matter how warm your body is, you want your lenses to remain close to the ambient air temperature. Beyond those physical considerations, here are Jock’s tried-and-true tips to minimize goggle fog: 1) Use only a clean goggle bag or soft chamois cloth to clean your lenses. Anything else—a cotton t-shirt, bandana, or especially a paper towel—will remove the anti-fog coating and create permanent micro-scratches on your lenses. 2) Wear your goggles on your face, not your forehead, which is relatively hotter than your face. If you plan to hike uphill, you may have to remove your goggles entirely. If so, secure them in their protective bag and stash them in a pocket away from your core, which is the warmest part of your body. 3) Avoid getting snow inside your goggles. A few flakes are enough moisture to cause fog or, even worse, ice. If your goggles ice up, a slow thaw indoors is the only remedy, so grab a hot chocolate while you wait. Clawing at the ice with your fingernails will cause irreparable damage to the lenses. 4) Even with these precautions, fog may creep in during warm, wet conditions. As a last-ditch effort, carefully pull the frames a half inch from your face while you’re moving downhill. The ensuing rush of cold air will cause the fog to depart. Onward! — Jock www.TellurideMagazine.com
I’ve been dating a guy for two years and we’re perfect together, except for one problem: He’s not a very good skier. Last year, he fell off the cat track on the way to Lift 12 and lost both skis. By the time I’d helped him get sorted out, Gold Hill was all tracked up, and he didn’t understand why I was bitter. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I can’t bear to ski with him anymore. How can I ditch him when it dumps? — No (Boy) Friends on a Powder Day
LAID-UP IN LAOS During the fall off-season, I was traveling in southeast Asia and I contracted a bad case of dengue fever in Vientiane, Laos. My fever spiked at 105 degrees and all my hair fell out. I’m over the worst and slowly feeling better. The doc says I have to stay here in Laos, though, and rest for at least a month before I can come back to Telluride to ski. Have you got any suggested reading? — Bald and Missing Snow
A: Jock is sorry to hear of your plight. Mandatory bed rest is difficult at any time, especially during the ski season. While Jock usually answers sporting questions, in this instance I’m honored to pass along a suggested winter reading list. You might enjoy any of the following: • If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino • Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin • Winter Sign by Jim Dale Huot-Vickery • A Part of a Winter by George Sibley Each is excellent in its own way. May you recover quickly and return with a full head of hair, ready to play in the snowy San Juans. — Jock
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san juan scribes reviews of local books to curl up with this winter
Foreign Faction Who Really Kidnapped JonBenét? BY A. JAMES KOLAR It was 1996 when the bizarre murder of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey captured nationwide attention, and to this day the crime remains unsolved. Even after the story retreated from media and tabloid headlines, one person has not stopped his crusade to see her murderer brought to justice: James Kolar. Kolar has been Telluride’s chief marshal for many years, but he also spent a stint working in the Boulder County District Attorney’s office as the lead investigator. In his role there he became intimate with the case, the evidence and documentation that was pieced together, and the strange political battle that took place behind the scenes between the law enforcement agencies and detectives responsible for resolving it. With Foreign Faction, Kolar gives the readers a backstage view of what transpired during the investigation and how powerful interests worked to thwart efforts to find and prosecute the murderer. Foreign Faction resists the urge to capitalize on the sensational aspects of the case such as the victim’s participation in children’s beauty pageants, the evidence of long-term sexual abuse, and the Ramsey family’s unwillingness to be interviewed by police. Instead it makes a clinical presentation of the facts and outlines the opposing theories of the Boulder detectives who believed that the crime in some way involved the family and the Colorado Springs investigator who called it the work of one or more outsiders, the “foreign faction” invoked in the strange ransom note found on the scene. Even a grand jury convened in 2000 failed to return an indictment or to use its broad prosecutorial powers to unearth the evidence that might have done so. In this book, Kolar does not fail. Not only does he release information that he uncovered during his tenure that disproved some of the theories about the crime, he presents the spectrum of evidence, old and new, that lets the reader draw his or her own conclusion about what really happened on that Christmas day in 1996. Kolar also, with his careful, unassuming prose and meticulous documentation, makes an indictment of a different type, drawing a picture of how wealth and power can influence our justice system; and this is perhaps the most cold and calculating crime of all. (Foreign Faction, Ventus Publishing, LLC, $21.95) 30
A Tour of the Heart A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France BY MARIBETH CLEMENTE Love, it seems, is a difficult enough journey to navigate— compound that with a trip across the French countryside on a bicycle and watch as the narrator traverses the ups and downs and cobblestones (both literal and metaphorical), that make this an unforgettable trip. Telluride author Maribeth Clemente (The Riches of Paris: A Shopping and Touring Guide, The Riches of French: A Shopping and Touring Guide to the French Provinces, and The Chic Shopper’s Guide to Paris, all by St. Martin’s Press) is an experienced travel writer, but in this latest novel, she steps outside of that role and gives readers an intimate perspective of a more personal excursion. Clemente’s latest novel begins as her life in highsociety Paris is ending. Her marriage to a French count has ended in divorce, her pregnancy has ended in miscarriage, and she has returned home to Saratoga Springs, New York, and is seeking solace in a new companion: her beloved road bike, Bella. Through Bella, she is introduced to another new friend— bike mechanic Pete Hazard. Eventually, their love for cycling unites them and they set out on their own personal tour de France. Will cycling be enough to bridge the differences between the self-described “girly girl” who loves fine food, high fashion, and great wine, and her new jock boyfriend? Will she leave him when she realizes the only footwear he has brought on the trip besides his cycling shoes is Birkenstock sandals and they have to attend a fancy dinner with foreign dignitaries? What ensues is a memorable romp across the beautiful French countryside, replete with some incredible wine and foie gras, a classic love story, and lots of laughs. The real journey, though, is an individual one, as Clemente undergoes a transformation and evolves from the person she once was, a Parisian sophisticate, into the active and down-to-earth person she is to become. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever booked a trip, planned an adventure, or daydreamed about a relationship, and learned that the only sure thing in life is that there will be a beautiful surprise at every turn in the road. (A Tour of the Heart, ISBN 978-147-913-436-6, $20)
The Snowboarder Joke Book BY MARK DRESIE
How I Came to Sparkle Again BY KAYA McLAREN Sparkle is a fictional Colorado town in McLaren’s latest novel, but it has some universal truths about life in a ski town that will make it resonate with Telluride readers— it also helps that each chapter is preceded by a snow report, which was written with the assistance of Telluride bookstore owner and consummate ski bum, Bobbi T. Smith. McLaren’s protagonist Jill returns to Sparkle, where she spent her high school years as a ski racer, after she finds her husband in bed with another woman in the graphic and heartbreaking opening scene. She seeks the comfort of her best friend in Sparkle and rents a room in the “Kennel,” a trailer full of ski patrollers, snowcat operators, ski bums, and yes, their canine companions. A former nurse, she lands a job on ski patrol and a babysitting gig for a young teenage girl who has just lost her mother to cancer. Jill and her teenage charge forge a bond as they work through their grief. They both search for happiness on the ski area, and the teenager looks for the heart-shaped rocks that she and her mother used to find together, taking the discovery of each one as a sign from her mother that there is still love to be found in the world around her. The narrative of How I Came To Sparkle Again runs through a ski season, pairing the cyclical manner of life and death and the accumulation and eventual retreat of snow, and drawing in readers with characters that feel as natural and real as both of these phenomena. (How I Came To Sparkle Again, St. Martin’s Press, $24.99)
In the tradition of old joke books that invoke politically incorrect stereotypes, Telluride author Mark Dresie pokes fun at a much maligned ski town target: snowboarders. It should be noted that Dresie is pictured on the back holding a quiver of ski gear that includes a snowboard, but that doesn’t stop him from typecasting snowboarders in the unflattering role of a freeloading, naïve, and slow companion on the ski area. For instance, one of the jokes is about a broke snowboarder trying to make some quick cash. He goes around a ritzy neighborhood, offering his painting services. One man asks him how much it would cost to get his porch painted, and when the snowboarder offers to do it for $50, he takes him up on it and tells him everything he’ll need to paint it is in the garage. Hours later, after the man realizes his porch still hasn’t been touched, the snowboarder emerges from the garage. “All finished,” he reports, “and dude, that is not a Porch. That is a Ferrari.” The lighthearted book is all meant in fun, claims Dresie in the foreword, and if enough readers send him skier jokes he promises to produce a volume of those, as well. (The Snowboarder Joke Book, ISBN 978-1-4675-4242-5, $9.99)
Telluride Hiking Guide BY SUSAN KEES Like many of the people featured elsewhere in this edition of Telluride Magazine, author Susan Kees made her way to Telluride just as the ski resort was opening for the first time in 1972. Susan spent much of her time in those first ten years doing two things: talking to the miners who still lived here in the 70s, and getting lost. She took lots of notes about both things, recording the stories the miners shared of Telluride’s early days and writing about the trails as she tried to find her way in the high country surrounding town. After a decade, she realized that she had amassed enough information for a book, and after another ten years of compiling, arranging, and writing, the first edition of the hiking guide was published in 1992. It was an instant bestseller with the influx of skiers and adventurers who came to town looking for hiking and biking trails and wanting to learn more about the town’s history. This summer, Kees released a third edition of what is now an almost entirely new hiking guide. In the years since she first published the guide, the network of trails surrounding Telluride has more than doubled. In addition to the host of new trails and adventure routes that Kees has included in the third edition, she also has maps and GPS waypoints to insure that hikers and travelers don’t get lost. This book continues to be the bestselling local guide book for good reasons—it is not only the definitive resource for hikers, it is also a unique way to learn about the region’s history while discovering the remnants of its mining days, which can still be found in the high basins that encircle the town. (Telluride Hiking Guide, Wayfinder Press, $15.95) winter/spring 2012-2013
BY ROB STORY
When Ropes Drop, It’s Like the Running of the Bulls … Only Scarier
IT WAS PROBABLY THE MOST FRENZIED SCENE I’VE WITNESSED IN TELLURIDE,
PHOTOS BY BRETT SCHRECKENGOST
and I’ve lived here almost fifteen years. The frenzy owed to several things: For one, it was a January weekend, and no one was at work. Two, the skies had dumped two feet in the last twenty-four hours, and snow still pelted down, seemingly eager to get somewhere … like below my fat K2 Coomba skis. Three, and this had a lot to do with number two, patrol had roped off upper Coonskin where it connects to Telluride Trail, blocking access to Chair 9 so patrollers could throw bombs over there for avalanche control. No one among the sixty or so skiers milling anxiously behind the rope could remember the last time this had happened—the last time patrol needed an extra hour to prepare the runs spilling from Chair 9’s 11,890-foot apex. The higher, more slide-prone runs off Gold Hill? Sure. But not Chair 9. Over there, skier compaction usually handles the avalanche danger. It’s rare for Chair 9 not to be opened by Telluride’s standard 9 a.m. opening whistle. And the ropes were even more rare. It imbued us skiers with a creepy feeling, as if we were corralled livestock. And someone was gonna get slaughtered. I didn’t think the victim would be me. While many skiers congregated near the trail sign to which the rope was tied, several others and I sidestepped upward, to the right of the ski run. Telluride Trail bends sharply right after thirty yards of Upper Coonskin, and this put us, I thought, in pole position. It was a frenetic scene. People were yelling and hooting for the patroller to drop the rope. Others stomped their feet with nervous energy. In the elbowing, shoulder-to-shoulder lineup I saw defense-minded folks plant their poles right in front of their best friends’ crotches. No one wanted to concede an inch. Rope drops bring out the competitive bastards in us all. Even in places where the goods aren’t so good. At Blue Mountain, Ontario, for instance. Blue Mountain is about as flat as Ontario gets. Still, before one recent rope drop there, hordes of skiers waited. When the rope fell, they stampeded for what had been under guard: fresh corduroy. People joined the herd simply because they thought they should. Then chuckled at themselves the whole way down. Above Upper Coonskin, no one chuckled. We were dealing with the interminable delay, not to mention the snow, which was still dumping. I started screwing with my hood to stop the blizzard from freezing my neck. And that—GAAHHH!—is when the patroller dropped the rope. “Sweet Jesus!” I yelled, jumping in. I couldn’t see diddly. The damn hood was in my eyes. Bee-lining straight down over invisible moguls, I pawed at my face. This launched my goggles off my head and sent them skittering onto the Telluride Trail cat-track! I was mortified, sensing I was the weak cow to be culled from the herd. In truth, there were so many collisions and so much carnage on Upper Coonskin that retrieving my goggles only set me back a little. I poled as hard as I could down the trail. In the end, I boarded Lift 9 only four chairs behind my buddies. Still, I caught crap for my hood/goggle fiasco for the next three months. Two stormy, bountiful days after that Lift 9 rope drop, we happened upon another one—this time accessing the fresh powder off Telluride’s summit, Gold Hill. No hood-futzing for me anymore. I muscled my way to the rope, determined to use my football heritage and Christmas-fattened bulk to stay up front. In addition to scores of locals, the Gold Hill rope drop frenzy contained a fair number of tourists. I saw a friend named Lou there. Lou lived for several seasons in Telluride in the nineties, but had spent too many recent winters in Brooklyn. I just knew Lou was screwed. He was. When the rope fell, twenty of us charged in an elbow-throwing line straight down. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Lou bury a tip, cartwheel through the powder, and get run over by a local. I didn’t stop to help. Rope drops, like 60-degree steeps, are no-fall zones. And as the old saying goes, there are no friends on a powder day. My Coombas were nicely waxed, and my good jump out the gate netted me the second chair on Lift 14. I’m not sure, but I don’t think I ran over anyone. At one point, my knee bounced violently upward, nudged by something firm under the snow—I believe it was a mogul, but perhaps it was an unwitting member of the herd.
“IT WAS REALLY MOUNTAINFILM THAT GAVE ME A SENSE THAT DOCUMENTARY FILMS COULD AFFECT PEOPLE PROFOUNDLY.” FILMMAKER BEN KNIGHT
MEET THE LOCAL CADRE OF DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS •••• BY KATIE KLINGSPORN
BEN KNIGHT SITS IN FRONT OF TWO LARGE
computer monitors in his small Telluride office, his face reflected dimly in the shiny screens. On the left monitor in an editing program are stacked colored boxes that resemble a Tetris game, except that they contain pieces of a movie. He clicks the mouse, and the right monitor comes to life with the first four minutes of the documentary he is working on, DamNation, which is in the very early stages of editing. What ensues is a powerful and elegant introduction to the tangled issue of dam removal, comprised of gorgeous visuals, swelling music, and adroit storytelling. Each frame is pretty enough to be a still photograph. Knight is not the only local filmmaker working hard this week. When Suzan Beraza meets me for afternoon coffee, she is fresh off a big task. She has just boxed up a copy of her film, Uranium Drive-In, which is nearly done, and FedExed it to Sundance Film Festival for consideration. The film is a look at the potential resurgence of uranium mining and milling in the west end of San Miguel and Montrose counties—a divisive issue in these communities. Beraza says she has no expectations about Sundance, but with a deftly shot and compelling story about the lives most affected by mining, it certainly seems worth a try. When George and Beth Gage answer my phone call, it is from a house in Mill Valley, California, where they have been guests of the Mill Valley Film Festival. It’s one of many stops the husband and wife team have been on to promote their film Bidder 70, which follows the story of Tim DeChristopher, a young Utah activist who monkeywrenched a federal oil and gas auction in 2008. DeChristopher, an environmentalist, won $1.8 million in leases for which he couldn’t pay, keeping the lands safe from industrial use. He was jailed for his actions. In the months since the movie premiered at Mountainfilm, it has screened to audiences at festivals from New York to California and garnered several awards. And the film’s run is just getting started. >>
PHOTO BY TRAVIS RUMMEL
Beth Gage The companies represented by these filmmakers—Felt Soul Media, Reel Thing Productions, and Gage and Gage Productions—are all awardwinning outfits that have churned out a series of excellent documentaries. They have tackled everything from a proposed open-pit copper mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska, to the overwhelming presence of plastic in our lives, to a pair of feisty Western Shoshone Indian sisters who were forced into a bizarre land battle with the federal government. Theirs have been some of the most highly anticipated and well-received documentaries to show at Mountainfilm in recent years, and their accolades are numerous. They have something else in common—each is a homegrown Telluride affair that operates with a small crew and relies largely on the talent that exists in the box canyon. And while all three no doubt contribute to Telluride’s rich film culture, they were in many ways also born from it—it provided the inspiration, the connections, the support, and the platforms to launch successful film projects. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle of growth that has landed this tiny town of 2,400 a prominent spot on the filmmaking map—and not just for its documentaries. Gage said that if you look at prolific art communities through the ages, one thing they have in common is that people hung out, riffed off one another’s ideas, and collaborated. “I think that’s what’s so great about Telluride,” he says. “There’s a community factor. You inspire one another.” The seeds of Telluride’s film culture were sown in the seventies, with the creation of two of the town’s most iconic festivals—Telluride Film Festival (in 1974) and Mountainfilm (in 1979). What began as modest affairs picked up momentum over the years, and both have flourished into inimitable festivals. TFF handily sells out each year to a devoted crowd of cinephiles and has a knack for premiering films that go on to gather Oscars. Mountainfilm has transformed from a niche festival of climbing and mountaineering flicks to a celebration of mountain culture packed with art, presentations and documentaries about artists, activists, adventurers, and boundless human spirit. Not only have they engendered a community of film-lovers, but Mountainfilm and TFF have brought serious talent to town and provided 36
Suzan Beraza the spark that has moved many locals to make their own movies. Knight, a photographer who moved to Telluride at the age of 19 and shot for the The Daily Planet for a decade, distinctly remembers watching a documentary called The Black by Neal Michaelis at Mountainfilm in 1998. “It was like getting punched in the face,” he says. “I remember leaving the Nugget Theatre knowing exactly what I needed to do.” In 2005, Knight and his friend and fellow photographer, Travis Rummel, made the leap when Rummel bought a camera and they made The Hatch, a beautiful meditation on the caddis fly hatch in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It premiered at Mountainfilm that year, and launched them on a career that produced a number of acclaimed flyfishing films as well as Red Gold, a stirring environmental documentary about a proposed openpit mine at the headwaters of the most abundant wild salmon fishery in North America. Most recently, Knight and Rummel were hired by Patagonia to make a film about a growing movement to decommission dams in America. After more than a year of filming, Knight sat down this fall to begin piecing DamNation together. Without Mountainfilm, he says, he might be working in a bike shop. “If it weren’t for Mountainfilm, honestly … I don’t know what I’d be doing. It was really Mountainfilm that gave me a sense that documentary films could affect people profoundly.” The Gages’ film career stretches back decades. They worked on television commercials and some feature films in California the 1970s—George directed and Beth produced. In the late eighties, tired of commercials, Beth suggested they move. They decided to travel the country in search of a new home; Telluride was the last stop. “It was the most beautiful place with the most interesting people that we found in the whole United States,” Beth says. “We decided that we would rent a house in Telluride for six months and see how we liked it … and we never left.”
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Beth attended her first Mountainfilm in 1989; it was a revelation. “I thought, got some others on board. They went to the Dominican Republic—reading the This is the kind of films I’d like to make. This is the kind of thing I’d like to be camera manual on the flight down—and filmed Sister and Brother, which she describes as a poetic short about clashing cultures. She learned how to edit involved in,” she says. Before long, they were skiing in Aspen when some ski inat the local public television station, TCTV, and something clicked. “It just felt structors told them about the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, a unique mounreally natural to me.” tain warfare unit that trained in Colorado’s high mountains. They decided to Her film showed at Mountainfilm, where it won an award. After that, she look into it. Their timing was serendipitous—a 50th reunion of the division was began editing as a way to make a living. She endjust a few months away. They arrived with a ed up working for the Gages on their film Troubled camera, and soon realized they had happened Waters, where, she says, she began a years-long across a great story. In 1995, the culmination of TELLURIDE WAS THE film tutelage under them. Another short film their efforts, Fire on the Mountain, premiered around 2005 led to the creation of Reel Thing, her at Mountainfilm. The Gages have gone on to MOST BEAUTIFUL production company. And one day around 2007 make seven documentaries since—all have PLACE WITH THE MOST she was listening to KOTO and heard a news piece premiered at the festival. “To us, it’s a really speabout the plastic bag challenge. She thought cial event,” Beth says. INTERESTING PEOPLE it could make a good short film, so she hired on George Gage adds that the impressive netTHAT WE FOUND IN some local talent and dove in. Instead, it turned work of filmmakers, editors, and writers that into an in-depth and eye-opening feature docuhas taken root here makes it a great place to THE WHOLE mentary about the ubiquitous presence of plastic make movies. “I think it’s always inspiring to UNITED STATES. in our lives. have people around you that are doing good At the premiere of BagIT in 2010, the sold-out work,” he says. FILMMAKER BETH GAGE crowd snaked around the fence at the Palm TheSuzan Beraza says that attending festivals atre. The film went on to win a pile of awards and over the years and being able to meet filmmakwas screened everywhere from PBS to schools ers—especially documentary filmmakers— made her realize that a lot of them were just regular people who decided to and festivals all over the country. Now, after more than two years of shooting, the end of her second feature documentary is in sight. She says the platform of take a chance. “You think, maybe I can do this.” local festivals—which offer exposure, connections, and incredible support— Beraza had been involved in theatre as an actor and director for years, but have absolutely aided her. The support of the community is also key, she says. found that when she came up with ideas, she usually visualized them as films. “Here it’s much more supportive and collaborative and about helping each In 1999, with almost no experience, she decided to translate one of those ideas other out. I think it’s rare. And it’s why I love working here.” into a moving picture. She wrote a script, found a friend with a camera, and
BY MATTHEW BEAUDIN
ONE BY ONE, they slink by my window on Pacific Street; in the darkness they seem an amalgamation, part cyclist, part animal, part shadow. I look down and keep filling my flask with cheap whiskey. It is dark, and it is cold. Everything shimmers, lit up by headlight or moonlight. This is what one expects in the middle of February in the San Juan Mountains—a crystalline clarity in the air, thinned by the simple cold and filtered through a distilled blue haze. This is the color of mid-winter. The wolves arrive at my house. They come in, littering the alley outside my tiny shed with bikes that are more menacing than they are elegant. A snow bike (FatBike, Pugsley, etc.) is an unholy creation designed to take riders over unfriendly terrain such as snow, sand, or mud, with the help of tires that are four and a half or five inches wide. If the world were to end tomorrow, this is the sort of bicycle you would want, as it could roll over zombie corpses as easily as other bikes roll over dirt. It’s time to go. I lace up my boots and plunge into the dark. It’s brewery loop night, meaning we’ll ride the River Trail to the Valley Floor and out to the Telluride Brewing Company, where we’ll walk in, stomping our feet, with our cheeks rosy and our throats dry from forty-five minutes of pedaling through snow and ice in the cold, and the anticipation of a heavy beer. Of course, knowing what’s coming and actually going though it are two profoundly different things. There is a different feeling pedaling in winter than any other season: progress is slow, and it’s noisy. The huge tires nestle themselves into the snow, which whispers back in a steady rasp. Every inch is earned in the winter, and every breath hurts a little—even more so as the temperature drops. PHOTO BY BRAD FOLEY
I make a joke about a friend’s new girlfriend, and he slams on his brakes and I careen into space, my bike beached in a drift, my body time-traveling. I come to rest face down, nearly splitting my face in two on a rock, and laugh. I take a drink from the on-board flask. It’s all I can do.
PHOTO BY MAX COOPER
The winter night swallows our words and our noise. It takes every bit of life we give to it and banks it away, where, I don’t know. Perhaps it will give it back to us come summer. We try to race one another, and there is a feeling of irreverence because we’re cheating on the seasons, riding bikes in the winter in an impossibly dark night. It’s something that’s not supposed to happen, and yet here we are, riding our zombie apocalypse machines over the white trail, and, yes, finally, right into the brewery. We park the bikes and Fish, the co-owner, tells us he’s been expecting us. Of course he has, because I called him and asked that they stay open.
We take turns paying, and some of us take turns forgetting our credit cards, and then we leave, our cheeks heavily rouged and our bellies sloshing. I throw a leg over my Pugs, and we’re off, the beast and I. Some nights, I’m on the front, driving the pace. Other nights I’m a yo-yo on the back. The beers pull the front tire a bit to the left or right, and down one of us goes, face-first into a snowdrift. The magnificence is the lack of ego involved in mid-winter riding; no one is fast, and everyone looks like an idiot while pedaling in Carhartts and down jackets. We go out because it’s fun, because we can steal away for a few hours and talk and ride wheelies.
PHOTO BY MATT BEAUDIN
We pretend we’ve ridden for the exercise, but really we’ve ridden for the beer. That never seems to change, season to season. I recount my fall. Someone says I deserved it. I throw my head back and laugh in the way that only bicycles and IPAs can make me laugh, and I think that no matter how many stupid things I have done in my life that I must have done a few things right to be here, now, with my friends on this winter night.
There are other days and other rides we undertake. Some are longer rides (like the Alta Lakes mission I skipped, because I value my life and limbs) and myriad late-night assaults on the ski mountain, where climbing a green run on a fatbike in the dead of winter is like summiting the chalked moonscape of Mont Ventoux. During these endeavors, our heads bob up and down, and I suffer as badly as I ever have, summer or winter. The ski area workers zip past us on their snowmobiles—they must be trained to pretend we don’t exist. That way, if they groom over one of us, they can say they were unaware of our shadowed presence. On we plod. There is a payoff: A howling descent down Telluride Trail, a derby for some two thousand feet straight to Oak Street. By the time we arrive in town, our faces are numb. Our feet come back to life slowly, with painfully tingling nerves. We joke about almost falling down, about actually falling down, and ponder ways to improve our machines. And even though we may go slowly, we’re always making progress. One pedalstroke, one beer, one tumble at a time.
PHOTO BY MATT BEAUDIN
TELLURIDE in the
BY STEPHEN BARRETT
1972 - 2012
Telluride Ski Resort Celebrates 40th Anniversary
ANYONE WHO’S SPENT ANY AMOUNT OF TIME IN TELLURIDE HAS EXPERIENCED ONE OF THOSE DAYS THAT APPROACH PERFECTION—spectacular in the moment, but more ephemeral with the passage of time. Never mind that days such as these have come before, or that other people have enjoyed them as fully. For now, all you need to realize is that they are as precious as they are fleeting. By way of example, take a recent morning in late September. Summer was still in the air; autumn on the dappled hillsides. A light snow defined the high peaks against a clear blue sky. On Colorado Avenue, a full house assembled for Sunday brunch at the Floradora Saloon. A middle-aged crowd, they sat together over eggs Benedict and Bloody Marys, shared conversations between tables, and broke into easy laughter in one another’s company. Circulating among them was an emcee doing his best hippie caricature in a longhaired wig, purple bandana, and sunglasses, hosting a trivia contest where every question was met with a jolt of shared memories. This was not your typical trivia contest: this miscellany hearkened back to a certain era in our small town, and unless you lived in Telluride back in the days when people were skiing in jeans and there were just a handful of chairlifts, the questions seemed pretty cryptic.
PHOTO BY JOERN GERDTS
“Where was the original Freebox and community compost located?” he asks. Easy. Across main street from the Silverjack, a restaurant closed now for more than 30 years. “What was the name of Reggie Gar1972 - 2012 ner’s carry-out food restaurant?” “Oh, Reggie. One of my favorite stories about Reggie is the time ...” “Who was Telluride’s first Trash Queen?” he asks. “Ask who the second Trash Queen was. That’s a much harder question.” “The one with the tits,” chimes in one woman, cupping her hands well in front of her bosom. “It was Darlene!” To truly get it, you had to be there. Telluride in the 1970s, that is. Those who were there still enjoy a special camaraderie, which explains why hundreds of longtime and former residents reunite every ten years to commemorate the anniversary of the ski area’s 1972 opening. The rules for admission are appropriately loose. All you had to do was to be young and in love with a town starting anew and, in that prolific decade, have recognized that anything here was possible. The National Park Service defines Telluride’s period of historical significance as the years from 1878 through 1913. That was a time of miners and madams, when a young prizefighter named Jack Dempsey was still making his way as a dishwasher, and George Westinghouse was demonstrating the value of alternating current electricity. It was an era that gave Telluride its stately Victorian appearance, but by the 1960s had left it bereft of anything more than bygone glory. Its population was dwindling, and young people were conspicuously absent. The turning point arrived 40 years ago this winter, when the ski area first opened. What followed were arguably Telluride’s most formative years, as an influx of skiers, dreamers, and dropouts adopted a struggling town’s destiny as their own. The meeting of cultures and generations was not always harmonious, yet it forged new traditions and enduring institutions. The town’s home rule charter, its embrace of historic architecture, and its public library all date from that era. So, too, does the
inspiration behind the Freebox, KOTO community radio, and a festival spirit that pervades to this day. Salli Russell arrived from Los Angeles after that first winter and has never left. Over the years, she started numerous businesses, including the resort’s first central reservations office, and raised two children here. Russell was part of the committee that began organizing this year’s reunion nine months in advance. She says it gathered momentum through emails and word-of-mouth as friends reconnected. “It’s a time in our lives that was unmatched,” she says. “You could say we helped create a community and set the standards for excellence that we still have today. It’s the spirit of Telluride that makes it so special. All of it came from these young people, and there were, what, three hundred or four hundred of us?” Reunion organizer Terry Tice was among that first wave of newcomers that helped reshape local culture. He opened a store on main street, Telluride Trappings & Toggery, in 1972, and soon found himself on the chamber of commerce. It wasn’t much longer until Tice and his peers realized they outnumbered the old-timers, who didn’t always see eye-to-eye with a group unfettered by tradition and unafraid to express themselves. In 1974, Tice joined a slate of town council candidates that seized the reins of local government. One of their first official actions was to fire Everett Morrow, a town marshal contemptuous of the newcomers’ brazen use of marijuana and just as dismissive of standard police procedure. While no one disputes that drugs and rock ‘n’ roll figured prominently
TELLURIDE SKI RESORT
1972 Telluride Ski Area is opened by California resident Joe Zoline, with five ski lifts and a day lodge in the area that would become Mountain Village. 1975 The Coonskin lift (Lift 7) is installed, linking the town of Telluride to the ski area.
1979 Ron Allred and Jim Wells purchase the ski resort from Joe Zoline. 1981-82 Following one of Colorado’s driest snow years, Telluride installs its first snowmaking system to insure a good base of snow on the lower terrain. 1985 Telluride Ski Resort expands with 180 acres of new terrain, and two new triple chairlifts are installed, Lift 4 and Lift 9. One of the old double chairs is relocated and becomes Lift 8, accessing Lift 9. That summer, Telluride installs its first high-speed quad, the longest of its kind in the world, with a vertical drop of 1,735 feet. 1992 Telluride Ski Area becomes Telluride Ski & Golf Company after the addition of an 18-hole golf course. 1995 The nation’s only free transportation system of its kind is installed—the gondola connects the towns of Mountain Village and Telluride, allowing resort access and a free link for commuters. The chondola— likewise the first of its kind in the U.S., with chairs and gondola cars—is also installed that year. 1999 Allred and Wells bring in an investor, Hideo “Joe” Morita, of the Arai Ski Resort in Japan. Two new , high-speed quad lifts are installed, Lift 4 and Lift 12, the latter accessing new terrain in the Prospect Bowl. The triple chairlift replaced by the new quad Lift 4 is used in place of Lift 6, and that old double chair is dismantled and its chairs sold to collectors. 2000 Morita purchases Telluride Ski Resort and continues expansion efforts in Prospect Bowl, adding three more quad lifts, including Lift 14, which accesses the Gold Hill ridgeline. The resort also upgrades snowmaking infrastructure and opens Prospect Bowl terrain, an additional 733 acres.
in the new Telluride lifestyle, so, too, did a preoccupation with social justice, civic participation, and economic opportunity. Any obstacle to those values was quickly becoming outdated. “There was unquestionably a shared feeling among people 1972 - 2012 who were living and working here then that we were experiencing something that was really quite special, a chance for people to somehow work toward a vision of community,” Tice says. Even then, Tice says, there was a certain self-awareness about the path Telluride had chosen. “I believe there was a clear notion that we needed to anticipate,” he says. “We needed to plan and realize that the community was not always going to stay small and funky. That was one of the biggest accomplishments of the time, to create a mindset of how the community should develop.” The agent of all this change couldn’t have been more unlike the idealistic youth he had attracted to town. Joe Zoline was a corporate lawyer and businessman who thought he had found his slice of paradise in the rapidly growing resort of Aspen. It was a chance encounter with SKI Magazine photographer Joern Gerdts on an airplane that got him thinking that a ski area in Telluride could be the next big thing. Gerdts’ enthusiasm about Telluride must have resonated with Zoline, because when the opportunity arose to purchase the 3,600-acre Adams Ranch in what was to become Mountain Village, he bought it sight unseen. Over the next few years, Zoline encountered both hope and skepticism from a depressed community as he cobbled together the investors, expertise, and additional real estate needed to open the Telluride Ski Resort. It was an audacious move never publicly celebrated until this year’s reunion. At a special tribute held at the Sheridan Opera House, his daughter, Pamela Lifton-Zoline, said that spontaneous investment in the Adams Ranch was likely the most uncharacteristic decision ever made by her father, who died in 2004. “I think of him primarily as a dreamer and builder,” she said. “He was bold enough to see the almost-ghost town of Telluride and dream of world-class excellence. Since then, the term ‘worldclass’ has suffered somewhat from overuse, but it was radical—it was breathtaking—when said in that place at that time.” >>
2004 Chuck Horning, a California investor, purchases the majority ownership in the ski resort. 2007-8 Four hundred acres of new, groundbreaking ski terrain opens on 13,320-foot Palmyra Peak and Gold Hill Chutes 6–10. Resort’s vertical lift drop is now one of the largest on the continent at 4,425 feet. 2008-9 New quad lift installed. Lift 14 is the resort’s highest in elevation and Revelation Bowl terrain opens. 2010 “Stairway To Heaven” installed, 50 feet of steel stairs to help skiers and boarders hike the ridgeline between Gold Hill chutes 8 and 9. Denver’s Westword names it the year’s “Best New Ski Lift.” winter/spring 2012-2013
No one knew that better than Johnnie Stevens, a 1964 Telluride High School graduate who returned here to help build the ski area. At the tribute, Stevens recalled pairing Velveeta and Saltines with Ripple (cheap, fortified wine) in an attempt to fulfill the overblown expectations of early visitors. 1972 - 2012 There would be some missteps—as well as strokes of incredible luck—as Telluride developed an identity more its own. A local band, the Fall Creek Boys, launched the bluegrass festival in 1974 with no other goal than to share their hometown with like-minded musicians. That same summer, the first Telluride Film Festival received international attention when directors Bill and Stella Pence decided to honor Leni Riefenstahl, director of Triumph of the Will, a 1934 work of Nazi propaganda admired for its groundbreaking cinematography. A few weeks later, John Micetic, the owner of the Silverjack Restaurant and president of the Telluride Chamber of Commerce, fired a blank into the morning sky, signaling the start of the firstever Imogene Pass Run for the mere six runners lined up on the street in Ouray. Today, the Imogene Pass Run, 17.1mile footrace that climbs the pass between Telluride and Ouray, draws 1,500 runners each year. All three of these events burgeoned into popular summer events that draw thousands of people to Telluride. At Zoline’s tribute, Micetic said events such as the film festival, the bluegrass festival and the Imogene race were born out of necessity. As the Telluride Ski Area struggled through its early years, it lacked the marketing clout to build a year-round clientele. Residents were left to their own ingenuity in devising the events that now define the summer months. “Creativity, dedication, energy, and volunteerism have sustained this vibrant community for the last 40 years,” Micetic said, “and we can hardly wait for the next 40.” It won’t be the generation of the 1970s that provides those crucial ingredients in the years ahead, but it hardly matters. The template they created is very much intact, and all the buzz generated by the summer events draws even more skiers and snowboarders here each winter. It is most apparent in the late autumn months before the ski area reawakens, when new arrivals find their way into Telluride for the first time, a rite of passage handed down through the years. The dirt roads and boarded-up buildings are long gone, as are nearly all the rough-and-tumble characters who once worked the mines. What remains is the same sense of discovery and wonder that seems to inhabit this remote box canyon. Some people will stay for the ski season, others for a lifetime. Both are guaranteed indelible memories of a town that finds room for all comers. Speaking at her father’s tribute, Pamela Lifton-Zoline traced the town’s openness to the people who settled here in its do-or-die decade. “Telluride is among the most optimistic and the most communitycaring places I’ve ever known,” she said. “I think we best thank the pioneers and honor our origins by carrying on in a similar style.” 44
C O LO R A D O / M O U N TA I N E E R I N G
he Colorado fourteeners have been fonts of joy, icons of beauty, mon uments of accomplishment, taskmasters of suffering, and doorways t visions and epiphanies. It is no mystery why hundreds of thousands have bee drawn to their summits. But along with these intensely positive exper ences is the possibility of the opposite extreme—to become stranded, severe injured, or even killed, in disturbingly easy ways. . . .
Visionary of Telluride Ski Resort Dies at 100
• A trusted guide disregards an escalating series of mistakes until h novice partner disappears without a trace. • An experienced climber makes a single fatal misstep.
• The casual attitude of climbers who intentionally climb into dange with disastrous results.
These victims were not unlike most climbers of Colorado’s 14,000-foo peaks. The circumstances they found themselves in were not unusual. Wh caused them to suffer their misfortune? The answers are not as simple a they might appear. These are stories from the dark side of climbing, a place wher anyone can become a victim regardless of experience or ability level. Colorado 14er Disasters: Victims of the Game reveals the disturbin psychology of decision making under the influence of casual attitudes, am bition, and physiological stress, and the surprising scarcity of rescue resource These are valuable lessons for every 14er climber, and a must-read for a who venture into the mountains.
EMILE ALLAIS saw the potential for world-class ski areas everywhere—even in Colorado’s remote and craggy San Juan Mountains. A renowned ski resort designer and gold-medal-winning ski racer and coach, Allais was a visionary, imagining runs and lifts where others only saw hard-to-access terrain, too-steep pitches and dangerous cliffs. According to longtime local skiing expert Billy “SeJohnson Books nior” Mahoney, he and Allais flew over Mount Wilson, El Diente, and Wilson Peak, some of the most rugged and dangerous peaks in the San Juan range. Allais looked down and said, “That would make a good ski area.” In March 1970, Allais, hired by Telluride ski area develDeath , Despair, oper Joe Zoline, came from Europe to evaluate the land and and assess the potential for a ski area. Mahoney, who Second Chances in Rocky Mountain National Park knew the area better than anyone after so many years of hunting and skiing, guided Allais around. For ten days, N they used snow machines to access every skiable corner from Gold Hill to Bald Mountain to Prospect Basin. After his visit, Allais agreed to design and act as the technical consultant on the fledgling resort and prepared a feasibility study for Zoline. It was Allais’ positive review and subsequent construction of the ski area that would help transform Telluride from sleepy mining town into vibrant mountain community. “Anybody can design a ski area,” Mahoney said. “But to get the money, you’ve got Johnson Books to have someone who’s well-known around the world, like Emile. If it hadn’t been for him, my gut feeling is it wouldn’t have happened.” Allais also gave Zoline some advice about working with the Forest Service to secure the proper permit for the ski area: Think big. Those words of wisdom have proven prophetic as Telluride R Ski Resort celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Numerous expansions have marked the years since the mountain first opened in 1972 with just five double chairlifts and when the top of Lift 6 was the resort’s highest point. At that time, the most challenging run from the top of the ski resort was a narrow and steep mogul route accessed by the original Lift 6, and it was named for the designer responsible for the birth of the Telluride Ski Resort: Allais Alley. Today, Allais Alley sits in the center of the expansive resort he envisioned. The tribute to Allais will be even more poignant this year, after his death on October 17 in a French hospital, at the age of 100. —Heather Sackett
Mark Scott-Nash is a writer and Colorado nativ living in Boulder, and has extensive experienc in all aspects of mountaineering and technic climbing, ranging from the local Colorado mou tains to far-flung locations in Asia, South Ame ica, and Alaska. Mark has participated in mo than one hundred search and rescue missions
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Death Despair cover:Layout 1
obody thought much of it wh twelve-year-old Robert Baldeshwi hiked out ahead of his family on the Fl top Mountain Trail. But he would never seen alive again. Each year, millions of people like t Baldeshwiler family come to Rocky Mou tain National Park expecting nothing b a fine vacation. However, between t years of 1884 and 2009, almost three hu dred people have died in the park. Fro taking sudden falls off steep trails, to sl ing down treacherous snow fields deadly rocks below, visitors have fou out the hard way that the park is stil wild place full of potential hazards. Retired Chief Ranger Joe Evans te their stories, as well as stories of tho who survived, whether by skill and det mination, sheer luck, or the skill of rang and volunteers responding to those need. He hopes that what you learn fro these incidents will help ensure your t to the park ends with fond memor instead of tragedy or a serious acciden
Photo courtesy RMNP
a Big Earth Publishing company www.bigearthpublishing.com
Sleeping Summit cover_Layout 1 4/19/12 12:15 PM Page 1
Dr. Jon Kedrowski
grew up in Vail, Colorado, but also has spent time in Washington State where he worked as a professor of mountain geography at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. He has authored papers on mountaineering, hiking trails, climate change, and protected area management in Colorado, Washington, and Alaska. In addition to over 400 ascents of the Colorado Fourteeners in all seasons, and Mount Rainier in Washington many times, he has climbed three of the seven continental summits (Denali, Elbrus, and Aconcagua) and is climbing Mount Everest in 2012. You will often find Dr. Jon out climbing and producing an interesting news story about great adventures in Colorado with fellow co-author, Meteorologist Chris Tomer. www.jonkeverest.org or www.sleepingonthe summits.com
oughly 750,000 people attempt
to climb a Colorado Fourteener
(14er) each year. Of those climbers,
99.99% start pre-dawn to avoid deadly afternoon thunderstorms.
Now imagine doing just the opposite—climbing during the stormiest part of each day and then sleeping on every 14er summit from sunset to sunrise in 95 days.
Sleeping on the Summits: Colorado
Meteorologist Chris Tomer grew up
in Granville, Ohio. Chris’s fascination with weather took him from Ohio to Indiana where he graduated Cum Laude from Valparaiso University with a B.S. in Meteorology. While at Valparaiso, Chris met Jon Kedrowski and a great partnership was born. Both Chris and Jon played basketball at Valpo. In the off-season they would climb mountains in Colorado. Chris landed his first job in Grand Junction, Colorado, at KJCTTV and worked as Chief Meteorologist earning “Best Weathercaster” from the Colorado Broadcaster’s Association. Chris is now meteorologist at KDVR/KWGNTV in Denver. Chris is fully certified by both the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society. Chris and Jon document their mountain climbs for on-air segments on both FOX-31 and CW-2. Chris’s stories have garnered Emmy-Award nominations. www. chris tomer.com or www.sleepingonthesummits.com
Fourteener High Bivys chronicles a project never done before. Mountain
geographer Dr. Jon Kedrowski and meteorologist Chris Tomer take us to the edge and back. With striking rare
photography and expert analysis, they explain how they:
• pinpointed weather windows • tracked and dodged storms above tree line
• climbed with maximum efficiency • identified escape routes
• dealt with hungry bears
• survived a direct lightning strike • were treated to 54 stunning sunsets and sunrises while perched at over 14,000 feet.
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Death, Despair, Second Chances and
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“A toast to college buddies Chris and Jon for risking all 54 of Colorado’s 14ers in time for sunset, then braving the nights to celebrate sunrise. The bivy sacks may
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be snug, but the climbs are exhilarating and the vistas spectacular.
Colorado Fourteener High Bivys
Sleeping on the Summits appeals to all who love the weather at the top of Colorado.” —Dr. Bob Boeder, author of Hardrock Fever: Running 100 Miles in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains
Jon Kedrowski and Chris Tomer
Available at your local Telluride retailer or call 800-258-5830. winter/spring 2012-2013
Man In His Element
BY BETH KELLY
ill Kees seems aware that most people are fascinated, or even obsessed, with Southern California culture during the 1960s, but—with archetypal California coolness—he is a little mystified by the phenomenon. To Bill, Southern California is just where he happened to be from. But even there, in those early years, Bill had an alternative vision for his life. “I can’t tell you why, maybe I read a book or saw something, but some of my earliest memories are thinking about being a mountain climber,” says Bill. Ultimately, that vision led him to Telluride, during another era about which people rhapsodize—the 1970s. In his home office, Bill sits on a worn loveseat, legs stretched and crossed at the ankles, with his back leaning toward the sliver of sunlight shining through a window. This is the only house the Kees have ever owned, purchased four decades ago in which to raise their family. Despite the fact that so many local houses were flipped for profits over the same stretch of time, they remained in the same cozy spot. When asked about the early days in Telluride, when ski bums descended upon the miners living here, he smiles. “There were two teams in Telluride in the 1970s: The Home Team and The Visitors. But I became them and they became me. The teams kind of melted together.” Bill talks the way you might expect a man raised in mid-century California to speak. He uses beautiful metaphors and says his education came from “a variety of different institutions of higher and lower learning.” He sips herbal tea and patiently waits for the next question. The slight awkwardness of what the visit portends—the obligation to talk to a stranger about himself—is displayed only subtly by the occasional blush and the shift of his lean frame.
PHOTO BY VVVVVVVV
PHOTO BY BRENDA COLWELL
“IT’S THE LIFESTYLE I WAS BORN TO LIVE, AND SOMEHOW I STUMBLED INTO IT, BUT AS IT TURNED OUT, IT IS EXACTLY
WHO I AM AND WHAT I AM. AND I’M HAPPY TO BE IT.”
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Though he says he’s still realizing his childhood dream, Bill claims he’s never been a climber of note. His wife, Susan, informs me he was the pioneer of the Ophir Wall, where the daunting pitches still challenge climbers today. He penned a simple, twenty-five page guide to the climbs in the region and explored every corner of the San Juans on foot, on skis, or on its rock walls. But Bill refuses to boast about any of his accomplishments. Rock climbing has always been just “one of the spokes in the wheel,” in a way of life aligned with Telluride’s scene. Bill exudes both depth and simplicity; he’s a man in his element. “It’s the lifestyle I was born to live, and somehow I stumbled into it, but as it turned out, it is exactly who I am and what I am. And I’m happy to be it.” It was 1972 when Bill and Susan and their two young children (Scott and Lorraine) moved, sight unseen, to Telluride. “We weren’t dropping out,” says Bill, “we were looking for opportunity.” The early years were happy, but hard economically. As Telluride grew, slowly but surely, so did the opportunities. Bill built some houses and he sold some real estate. Their family
grew, too. In the spring of 1975, Blake was born at the clinic in Norwood. That was the seventies in Telluride; babies and dreams were born casually and often. It was around this time when Bill’s idea was born, and just as it was for his children, Telluride proved an ideal place to raise a dream.
“IT’S LIKE BAKING A CAKE, YOU FOLLOW THE RECIPE AND YOU KEEP GOING. NOTHING HAS BURNED YET.” “There wasn’t a film festival dedicated to mountain lifestyle anywhere in the U.S.,” Bill remembers. So he wrote a letter to Lito Tejada-Flores—whose adventure movie Fitzroy had caught Bill’s attention—to share his idea for a festival celebrating movies like Fitzroy in southwestern Colorado. After a few years, in 1979, Lito knocked on Bill and Susan’s door to inform them he was moving to town and ready to start Mountainfilm.
Lito moved on to other endeavors after that first year, but Bill stayed on for another four festivals.“I guess you can say I was the Director of Mountainfilm for five years,” says Bill, earnestly. “I was probably more a climber than festival director—it was pretty evident that some things I did better than others.” Bill is modest. He had a hit. Mountainfilm attracted outdoor enthusiasts like Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, David Breashears, and other pioneers of the recreational lifestyle. The festival was a smoke signal in the sky; he alerted the world of the Mecca he found for the culture he was born to share. He doesn’t like to talk about himself or how he turns others on to adventure, whether it’s by showing them where to climb or showing them inspirational films about the outdoors, but he is happy to have found his own way in this mountain town. “I’m a very blessed individual, very successful individual—not in financial terms, but in terms of quality of life. It’s like baking a cake, you follow the recipe and you keep going.” And he says, grinning, “Nothing has burned yet.”
‘Buffalo Girl’ Still Roaming
BY HEATHER SACKETT
ane Watenpaugh has seen many firsts at Telluride Ski Resort: the first ski lifts and the installation of the gondola, the first modern grooming and snowmaking equipment, and the opening of new areas like Prospect Bowl and the Gold Hill chutes. And Watenpaugh herself was one of those firsts—the first woman ski patroller. “I certainly had to prove myself,” she says. “It was a man’s world for sure.” Watenpaugh grew up skiing at resorts near the Front Range, an experience that she said didn’t quite give her the skills needed to tackle the rugged San Juans. But what she lacked in skiing ability, she made up for in medical expertise. As an EMT, her first job was at Telluride’s medical clinic giving injections and taking x-rays. Watching ski patrollers bring in accident victims from the slopes she thought to herself, I want that job. And in the 1976–77 season, she got it. “I don’t know if they were desperate for a woman, but they didn’t make me try out,” she says. “I wasn’t that great of a skier.” But ten seasons of avalanche control work, running sleds, and traversing all over the mountain turned her into a top-notch skier. “That’s when I learned to ski.” In those days, Watenpaugh recalls, the runs were much narrower, the powder days more plentiful, and before sophisticated snowmaking and grooming equipment the patrollers had the futile task of shoveling snow onto a toboggan and dumping it where coverage was thin. The mountain itself was very different, too. There was just one patrol hut at the top of Lift 6. The Gold Hill chutes were not open to the public, there were no lifts from town and to make turns on Bushwhacker, rule-breakers poached the run, which was usually closed. “I love the new hike-
PHOTO BY BRENDA COLWELL
“I CERTAINLY HAD TO PROVE MYSELF. IT WAS A MAN’S WORLD FOR SURE.”
“IT WAS WILD AND WE HAD A LOT OF FUN. WE WERE KIND OF LAWLESS UP HERE ALMOST. AND I LOVE THE COMMUNITY. I’M ENAMORED OF THIS PLACE.” Still an avid skier, Watenpaugh skied 76 days last season, many of them with her best friends from her patrolling days: Franny Cohn and Joni Knowles. Knowles, the second woman patroller, started off as a lift operator and crosscountry skier. She described the goodnatured teasing the women received from their male coworkers. “We took a lot of teasing. We had to go through these initiations and prove ourselves a lot. That was part of the game,” Knowles said. But it was worth putting up with to be a part of the elite group during the heady 1970s in Telluride. “The adventure, the snow, hanging with the guys, it was fabulous,” she said. Cohn remembers being called “hens” and “weenie arms” while carrying their skis, and the three have been dubbed the “buffalo girls” for their propensity to roam, always on to new adventures. “We would get teased,” she said. “I think it was all in love and friendship and camaraderie.”
w w w. t e l l u r i d e m u s i c . c o m
to terrain. The fact that it’s all open now is just amazing to me.” The Denver native moved to the box canyon in the early seventies when a Denver Post ad seeking a pharmacist caught her husband Mark’s attention. When he balked at making Telluride a permanent home, Watenpaugh told him if he wanted to leave, he was leaving without her. She had fallen in love. Fortunately Mark had, too. He still runs the Sunshine Pharmacy on Colorado Avenue. “We were some of the lucky people who got to be here then,” she says. “It was wild and we had a lot of fun. We were kind of lawless up here almost. … And I love the community. I’m enamored of this place.”
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Far from a novice anymore, Watenpaugh has since entered the annals of local skiing legend with a backcountry run in Ophir—Jane’s—named after her. One of the resort’s avalanche dogs is also named in tribute to the first female patroller: Lady Jane Watenpaws. Although the 64-year-old calls herself retired, she still keeps a full schedule of
volunteering at the Telluride Historical Museum, teaching Nordic skiing, leading snowshoe tours from the top of Lift 10 and embarking on adventures with her former ski patrol buddies. “I have these great ski friends,” she said. “We are the same age, same ability and we challenge each other. We don’t go to lunch, we go hiking or biking or skiing.”
Potter Shapes Telluride
BY JESSICA NEWENS
pon seeing the Telluride valley for the very first time, John Fahnestock vowed he would never leave. The date was June 6, 1972, and within days he was building a leanto shelter in Ilium Valley where he would camp for the summer. Fahnestock had traveled to Telluride with his Swarthmore College buddy and fellow modern dancer, Frank Wiedemann. After dropping out of their NYC dance troupe, the two wandered Colorado, looking for a place to settle. That fall, they pooled their money to buy a house on Gregory Avenue, next to Telluride’s St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, and Fahnestock got to work building a ceramics studio on Pacific Street. “I set up shop as a potter, and set up a home, although I don’t think I was looking for a home.” Unfortunately, the studio burned down and he lost everything because of a faulty wood stove—but the fire didn’t dampen the artist’s enthusiasm for his craft. After the fire, Fahnestock retreated to California, where he worked at a pottery studio before returning to set up shop in Telluride’s Nugget Building. “In exchange for shoring up his building, I earned rent on that second floor for years. I actually built a gas kiln up there, which was extremely risky because it was a hundred-year-old woodframe building.” This time, the building and his new career didn’t go up in flames. Fahnestock used the Nugget space to create production stoneware pottery until 1975. “During that time my functional pottery became very mature; I made a lot of it and got very skilled. I created dinnerware, mixing bowls, mugs. I developed some interesting techniques for making wine glasses, which I thought were pretty cool.” Fahnestock always made extra pieces, several of which are still found in his
PHOTO BY BRENDA COLWELL
PHOTO BY INGRID LUNDAHL
“WE GOT MINIMALLY INVOLVED IN ALL THE FESTIVALS. WE DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF POWER OR MONEY, BUT WE MOVED A LOT OF CHAIRS. AND MADE A LOT OF FRIENDS. I CHERISH THOSE DAYS.”
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kitchen. He also made the first trophies for Teltetic friend, that read: What Ever Happened to John Fahnestock? “I began to feel luride’s annual Imogene Pass Run. like Highway 50 was my driveway,” he recalls. Nevertheless, he always considered During the early seventies, Fahnestock got Telluride home. involved with the newly formed Telluride Arts Misfortune struck again in 1980, when his Gregory Ave. house fell into the Council, as well as the Historic Preservation Comhole he had dug for a new foundation and basement. “After my house fell over, it mission. The arts council had a hand in starting the took me about three years to recover. I was emotionally fraught,” he says. He wanTelluride Film Festival (where dered some more, but bit by bit, Fahnestock rebuilt the house Fahnestock worked as a proand added a ceramics studio in back. Both remain in Telluride “WE ALL HAD OUR QUIRKS jectionist for years) and the today, although the studio, like so many sheds in Telluride, has Chamber Music Festival. “We AND FOIBLES, BUT WE WERE been converted into living quarters. got minimally involved in all With two kids in tow, the couple moved to Norwood in ALL ABLE TO LIVE WITH the festivals,” says Fahnestock. 1996. “Goedele was a flatlander that wasn’t comfortable liv“We didn’t have a lot of power ing in a box canyon,” says Fahnestock. “We came up with the EVERYONE ELSE’S. IT WAS or money, but we moved a lot name Yank and Flanders [their current studio] shortly after we A REAL COMMUNITY.” of chairs. And made a lot of moved here in ’96. She’s done the bulk of the ceramics producfriends. I cherish those days.” tion since then.” Despite Fahnestock’s vow to never leave TelluA few years after their third child was born in 1999, Fahnestock began experiride, he did, and often, spending time working as encing tremors from a still unnamed neurological condition. Today he no longer a potter and builder in both Berkeley, California, works, nor can he make ceramics. “It doesn’t involve a lot of pain, it involves a lot and Tuscarora, Nevada, where he helped a friend of inconvenience,” he says of his illness. “I’m not unhappy at all yet. I have no idea construct a pottery school, and where he ultiwhat it’s going to develop into. And we live with what we’ve got.” mately met his wife, Goedele Vanhille, a ceramiDoes he miss ceramics? “What I don’t miss is getting dirty,” he says. “That was cist from Belgium, in 1989. “Tuscarora is a town always uninspiring to me. What I do miss is being able to make bowls. I thought of twelve in the middle of the Nevada desert,” he I made really special bowls.” explains. “I had adventures there, believe me.” Fahnestock is philosophical about his time as an artist in early seventies TelDuring one of his extended absences from luride. “It was significant to be a part of a community that accepted me as a potTelluride, some of his local friends printed up a ter. We all had our quirks and foibles, but we were all able to live with everyone bunch of bumper stickers, an ode to their peripaelse’s. It was a real community.” winter/spring 2012-2013
TELLURIDE TRAPPINGS & TOGGERY storefront, September 1972.
THERE’S SOMETHING about that one pair of jeans you have, the pair you really love. You feel good when you wear them and they’re so comfortable that you keep wearing them until they are threadbare and faded. They are a treasure, and a treasure is something to which you hang on tightly, for as long as you can. For Terry and Susan Tice, the business that they started together back in 1972 holds that same kind of special feeling. Telluride Trappings & Toggery was sort of like home base for the two young hippies when they moved here during the town’s transformational era. Actually, it was home—they lived in a makeshift apartment in back of the store. Back then, the store had a leather shop with handmade belts and sandals and also sold apparel, bell-bottomed Levi jeans, flannel shirts, and Stetson hats. The Toggery’s clothing was more bohemian and chic than what was sold in nearby cities. “They didn’t have the clothes in Montrose that my friends wanted to wear,” Susan recalls. Eventually they settled in, replacing the old City Grocery sign left by its former tenants that hung above the store, and closing down the BY DEB DION leather part of the shop to make room for more apparel. They ran the store for thirty-two years, through good snow years and bad, through lean economic times and the real estate boom, and through the various eras of fashion, when bell bottoms became skinny jeans, and skinny jeans became bell bottoms again, only to be replaced once more by skinny jeans. The preferred material for
Style Toggery Celebrates 40th Year
long underwear changed from cottonwaffle to silk, to poly pro, to today’s soft wool blends. They opened a kids clothing boutique upstairs in the summer of 1994 and doubled the square footage of the store in 1996, creating a side devoted to men’s clothing that still exists today. “I can remember sitting outside, eating lunch on the curb. There were no cars and no people in the seventies; it was pretty slow. It wasn’t until the eighties that it started to pick up and it kept growing,” says Susan. “There was a continual growth in our annual sales,” says Terry, pulling out a large, old, black binder and flipping through the yellowed pages. “Let’s see … we brought in just $42,000 that first year we were in business.” The binder, and the Toggery, have since changed hands. It was a slow and painful transition, as tough as bringing the favorite pair of old jeans to Goodwill, but Terry and Susan sold the store to their nephew Todd Tice and to Wendy Basham, a longtime employee whom they treat like a member of the family. “It was very hard to hand it over,” admits Susan. “But at the same time, it was tiring to run the store, and it was time for a change.” “How are those counseling sessions going?” jokes Todd, who started at the Toggery in 2000, four years before he and Wendy took over the store. He had been working at the bank and had business acumen. Wendy started at the Toggery the year she moved to Telluride, in 1994, and stayed at the same job throughout the years, learning about the industry, until she bought the store. “I got to depend on Wendy more and more. I saw what she could do, and what I didn’t have to do,” says Susan.
TOGGERY FINE CLOTHES FOR MOUNTAIN FOLK
It was the only job Wendy had ever had in Telluride, and she and Todd worked together for four years before taking ownership. The changing of the guard was gradual enough to be almost imperceptible. “It felt really natural from one day to the next,” says Wendy. “But it is a big sense of responsibility and pride, keeping Telluride’s oldest retail establishment going.” Keeping the oldest retail establishment going meant keeping up with the latest fashions. While Esprit clothes were all the rage decades ago (“I couldn’t order enough of it,” says Susan), today the Toggery’s mountain chic includes brands such as Lucky, Free People, Frye, and Michael Stars. The brands and styles may have changed, but the underlying theme is the same—classic clothes with a little flair, quality things for every day and signature items for a fun night out. It’s still one of those stores that you can’t walk into without leaving with something that you just had to have. Susan says that the store has always been about lifestyle clothing that was warm, functional, and comfortable. She says she tried to have something for everyone who came in the door, mountain wear for people from fifteen to eighty-five. “That’s what led to their success,” says Susan. “They understood that concept and stuck with it.” Wendy shrugs and grins, saying that styles come in and styles go out, and that she and Todd just try to react to the trends and to the Telluride market. She went to the recent trade shows and noticed that everyone in L.A. was wearing low boots. “And here I am with a store full of tall boots … but when the snow comes, that’s what we’ll need. That’s what’s interesting about Telluride. We want to be stylish here, but when the weather comes in, it comes down to function. Terry and Susan Tice in1982 (above). It’s always jeans, sweaters, Todd Tice and Wendy Basham (below). and boots.”
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Retro Vintage Telluride Apparel T-shirts, Hoodies, Sweatpants, Hats and More!
a Telluride tradition... WE ARE CELEBRATING 40 YEARS IN BUSINESS!
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TEAM FLORADORA — Charlie, Florie, and Roscoe Kane (Photo by Ryan Bonneau)
WHEN YOU STEP INTO the Floradora Saloon, a sign by the door reads “Be Nice or Leave.” It’s a simple reminder to keep things in perspective, which is exactly what the Kane family has done with their restaurant since opening in 1973. Back then, a burger set you back just two bucks—$1.95 to be exact—but other than that, the restaurant remains true to its origins. The Kanes, Charlie, Florie, and son Roscoe, continue to run a casual dining establishment with good food in a traditional, family-friendly atmosphere. “The menu and ambiance project the flavor of Telluride,” says Florie. Charlie and Florie moved to Telluride after graduating from the University of Denver. It was the inaugural year of the ski area and they worked at the mine. By Christmas, they had bought a space on main street and started the Floradora. It was, like today, open for lunch and dinner with a small menu of simple, mountaintown classics: sandwiches, burgers, steaks, and a trout dinner for $7.95. “On a big powder day, nobody came in until dinner. BY ELIZABETH GUEST Not that there were a lot of people around to begin with,” recalls Florie. “There were some other restaurants and bars in town, The Roma, The Iron Ladle, The Silverjack, and The Senate, so you really had to fight for the business.” The Kanes persevered and soon established a successful restaurant that was a part the raucous seventies era. “There were some outrageous fights when the motorcycle gangs came to town for the Fourth of July,” tells Florie. “It was either really busy or really dead—feast or famine.” Restaurants in this seasonal, festival-frenzied town still experience such highs and lows. “It’s the way it still is,” points out Roscoe, the second of the three Kane children and Floradora’s executive chef. “Of course the powder
Kanes for the
Floradora Back In the Family
back then was much deeper than it is today,” he jokes. (Telluride’s seventies lore glorifies not just the lifestyle of that era, but also the ski conditions.) Roscoe was born in 1979, so he missed the seventies as well as the family’s management of the Floradora. The Kanes started leasing the restaurant soon after Roscoe’s arrival. He, however, was on his own path toward a culinary career. Growing up in Telluride, Roscoe worked for the butcher at the grocery store and catered at Gorrono, a restaurant on the ski area. Through his college years at the University of Colorado in Boulder, he padded his résumé with more cooking stints, including a job at the award-winning Jax Fish House. His parents were not surprised by their budding chef. “He always had a knack for putting together beautiful plates of perfectly spiced food,” says Florie. “In college, friends would come over to Roscoe’s with a piece of fish and say ‘cook this.’” In 2005, the lease was up at the Floradora. Florie and Charlie decided to stage a comeback, but this time around they had a secret weapon: a chef who happened to share the last name Kane. Roscoe had finished his studies at the Culinary Institute in Scottsdale and was on a career path to be a fine dining chef. His next stop was California for a two-year stint at The French Laundry, the three star Michelin-awarded restaurant of superstar chef Thomas Keller. Instead, he came home. “When the family called, there was no question of what I was going to do,” says Roscoe. “Family always comes first. That’s why we do so well—because that’s how we treat our employees and our customers, like family.” Since reopening in 2005, the familial atmosphere has brought soul back to the Floradora. The place certainly has a lot of character, which Charlie provides with countless colorful stories. He’ll tell you how the name Floradora came from a mine in Aspen, but also how two German patrons, both former intelligence agents during WWII, recognized “Floradora” as
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a secret German password that they hadn’t heard in over sixty years. Then there’s the story of Charlie being both beat up and befriended by the Hells Angels. “Because I fought back, they offered to buy me a drink,” he relates. “And I said, ‘The hell you will.’ After that, they liked me.” Telluride has grown significantly since the seventies, but even during the eighties and nineties Roscoe remembers there being more dirt lots than there were houses. The restaurant, however, is remarkably unchanged. The hundred-year-old space is reminiscent of the original floor plan, with some tweaks and repairs over the years. “People are happy when they come in,” says Roscoe. “We do casual dining. We bring everything in fresh and use products from this area. The food has high quality ingredients, but middle-of-the-road prices.” The burger may not be the bargain it was in the seventies, but it is touted as the town’s tastiest. With everyone doing their part, the family is back in the swing of running a restaurant in Telluride. “Roscoe’s the chef, Charlie’s the hostess and court jester that goes from table to table, and I crack the whip,” says Florie. Similar to the early years, they have worked hard to distinguish themselves from all the great dining options in Telluride. For the future, we’ll just have to wait and see what’s to come for the Kanes. “We’re taking it year by year and day by day,” says Florie. “Hopefully for another forty,” adds Roscoe.
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BEAUTIFUL LOCAL IMAGES BY RYAN BONNEAU • JOHN RICHTER • BRETT SCHRECKENGOST available at:
Between the Covers Bookstore and Sunshine Pharmacy in Telluride www.bigearthpublishing.com
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Here and Nowhere Else. t w o tA S t y R E A S o n S t o b E
REV From Palisade peaches to mushrooms off the mountain, REVâ€™s inspired culinary team creatively combines only the freshest local ingredients in an ever changing farm-to-table menu that epitomizes the Telluride dining experience.
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How do you define a menu in a place where there are no rules? SMAK BAR is the place on the mountain to gather for a savory lunch, a casual dinner and, of course, drinks anytime.
WHATEVER YOUR PALATE MAY BE, our tailored menus will serve you. Select from one of three fine establishments and delight in some
of the best cuisine in the West. Dine in style at our signature restaurant, the Chop House – world renowned for its dry aged USDA Black Angus. Chef Erich Owen creates our delicious fare using only organic free range fowl, non-threatened fish species and local ingredients. Pair a red or white from Telluride's only nitrogen wine bar with a scrumptious meal for an unforgettable experience.
FAVORITES FROM BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER FRENCH ONION SOUP 9 With Gruyère Crouton
CLASSIC EGGS BENEDICT 13 English Muffin, Canadian Bacon, Poached Eggs & Hollandaise Sauce Served with Roasted New Potatoes
STEAMED PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND MUSSELS 16 Grilled Baguette, Coconut Milk, Lemon Grass, Ginger & Thai Chili
HUEVOS RANCHEROS 14 White Cheddar, Black Beans, Guacamole, Sour Cream, Eggs Your Way
CAESAR SALAD 9 Parmigiano, Reggiano, White Anchovy, Orange Zest & Crostini
PAN SEARED PISTACHIO ENCRUSTED TROUT SPINACH SALAD 15 Warm Bacon, Sherry & Mustard Vinaigrette, Grilled Bread & Poached Egg
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK SHORTLOIN 38 Sweet Potato Risotto, Pear Chutney, Sage, Apple Chip, Hard Cider Reduction
TURKEY CLUB SANDWICH 11 With Applewood Smoked Bacon, Lemon Aioli, Romaine Lettuce, Tomato, Fresh Baked Baguette
ALASKAN HALIBUT 28 Crab Risotto, Sweet Corn, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, English Pea Nage
PULLED PORK SANDWICH 12 Hickory BBQ Sauce, Coleslaw, Red Onion, Toasted Fresh Baked Bun
PAPPARDELLE PASTA 19 Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, Dijon–Parmesan Jus
CHOPHOUSE BURGER 21 Toasted Fresh Baked Bun, Quick Pickles, Ancho Chili Ketchup, French Mustard & Cheese (Blue, Aged White Cheddar, Gruyère)
30 DAY DRY AGED BISON RIBEYE 46 14oz – Grass Fed “Prairie Harvest,” SD
TEMPURA ROCK SHRIMP 14 Roasted Shishito Peppers, Masago, Sriracha Chili Sauce, Crispy Red Onion
PRIME FILET MIGNON 46 10oz – Corn Fed “Stock Yards,” Chicago
SE ASONA L ITE MS VA RY, M E NU A ND PR ICI NG SUBJECT TO CH A NGE
T H E N E W S H E R I DA N HO T E L has shared in the rich history of Telluride, Colorado since 1891. Offering modern amenities paired
with historic ambiance, the New Sheridan invites you to experience a new level of old world service.
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W. Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435 winter/spring 2012-2013
A LAST LOOK
SKIING THE DREAM Jason Rogers skis Ajax Peak and drops into the Dream Stream, a coveted chute visible from town, before hiking back up the slide path to ski down to the Idarado Mine. P H OTO B Y B R E T T S C H R E C K E N G O S T
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Photo by Terry Catsman at Catmando, Gray Head
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