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M aga zine w i n t e r / s p r i n g 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 10

Women of the Slopes Telluride Ski Patrollers

Nordic Skiing Cult of the Skinny Skiers

&

Stay

Spa

Winter Bedfellows The Latest Regional Reads $3.95 Priceless in Telluride

Meet Jason Rogers Marilyn Branch Tim DeChristopher


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ife appreciation...

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tarts here.

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1 • Bridal Veil Lot 1, Telluride

2 • Winterleaf Unit 5, Mountain Village

1 • Lot 320, Mountain Village

2 • 360 North Willow Street

3 • Indian Hills Ranch, Hastings Mesa

4 • Villas at Sundance Unit 11, Mountain Village

3 • Lot 66, Wilson Mesa Ranches

4 • Lot 364R, Mountain Village

Sunny 3.56 acre property offers unobstructed views of Bridal Veil Falls, only 1 mile from Telluride. $2,295,000

A unique opportunity to purchase 317 idyllic acres. Includes 2 ponds and a 5,000 foot grass airstrip. $2,795,000

5 • Lot 912R, Mountain Village

A secluded 1.73 acre lot on exclusive Victoria Drive with superb northern views and a private ski trail. $1,995,000

A slopeside, progressive 3 bedroom ridgeline home designed by renowned architect Arthur Erickson. $2,100,000

Newly constructed 2,432 SF town home with 3 beds, loft, garage, easy ski access and spectacular views. $1,595,000

6 • Little Cone Ranch Lots 17 & 18, Specie Mesa

This 74.56 acre parcel affords ultimate Wilson Range views with adjacency to national forest, trout pond. $1,695,000

Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | stevec@tellurideproperties.com | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 | www.TellurideAreaRealEstate.com

Gently sloping lot with close proximity to Bridges Ski Trail overlooking the lush open space of Hood Park. $795,000

9 acres of privacy with frontage on Elk Creek plus yearround access. 15 miles from Telluride. $495,000

5 • Elk Creek Meadows, Wilson Mesa

Stunning 527 acres, 360° views, large pond, diverse terrain, year-round access, power, water rights. Call for details.

Beautifully executed 3 bedroom home with views or purchase with 2 vacant lots. $1,995,000; or $3,495,000

Easy ski access and dramatic northern views, located in the exclusive neighborhood of Hood Park. $1,650,000

6 • Wild Skies Ranch, Wilson Mesa

Exquisite log and stone home with 5,921 SF of living space, incomparable views plus 3 horse pastures. $3,695,000

Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | stevec@tellurideproperties.com | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 | www.TellurideAreaRealEstate.com


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winter/spring 2009-2010 · volume 27, number 2

M aga zine

FEA T URE S

36

Sisters on the Slopes

Women of the Telluride Ski Patrol recount their mountain careers.

by Martinique Davis

40

46

Free Your Heel, the Rest Will Follow

Discover the Nordic scene. by Mary Duffy and D. Dion

Stay and Spa: Lodging in Luxury

by Gabby Anstey McDonald

Indulge yourself in Mountain Village.

HI STORY

42

Antoine Robidoux

Trapping and trading his way into Western history.

by Paul O’Rourke

REVIE WS

50

San Juan Scribes

by John Nizalowski

Curl up with the best new Telluride tomes.

brett schreckengost/tellurideimage.com

FINAL word

www.TellurideMagazine.com

74

Q&A

by Reilly Capps

A conversation with real-life monkey wrencher Tim DeChristopher.

winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 9


contents

14

[ 26 ]

56 Headlines

20 tellurideturns

Backcountry Access is Back; Offpiste Maps on Shelves; More Gold Hill to Love; Opera and Theater at the Palm; TEX is Bigger and Better; Bears on the Rampage; Paradox in Peril; Plum TV takes Home the Hardware; New Emergency Messaging; Kris Holstrom Gets New Post; Ryder-Walker and Nancy Craft Honored; Telluride Foundation has Rx for Youth Insurance Woes; Opera House Revives Historic Stencils; Lawson Hill Links Up; Peaks Changes Hands; Local Legends Pass; and the Enlightening Telluride Index

20 Env ironmen t & Sustainability

28 naturenotes

Lynx Reintroduction Rebounds, Weather Report

52 greenbytes

Loaner Bikes, Better Batteries, Geothermal Energy, Maintain the Fridge, Green Gondola

Lifestyle, Art & Entertainment

14 upcomingevents 26 writehererightnow

Details

Lucky Strike

13 within 13 contributors 73 advertiserindex

54 tellurideplaces Mason’s Hall

56 insideart Meredith Nemirov

58

photos, clockwise top left to right: Meredith nemirov; brett schreckengost/tellurideimage.com; Gus Gusciora

Lustre-Shelter-Smr07:Lustre-TShelter

3/29/07

3:25 PM

Page 1

Expressions of Beauty

58 telluridefaces

Ski Patrolman Jason Rogers, Citizen of the Year Marilyn Branch, Telluride Icon Jack Carey

Well & Fit

30 mountainhealth

Saving Our Skin, Fighting the Flu, the Benefits of Osha

34 askjock

Queries and Retorts About Mountain Sports

Food & Drink

64 localflavor

La Marmotte—Coq au Vin Smuggler's Brewpub—Naughty Root Beer Float

ART

FOR

HOME

AND

AR T FOR HOME & SELF

67 diningout

Culinary Delights & Appetites

171 South Pine

Telluride, CO • 970.728.3355 Inset photos © 2007 Ulla Originals, Inc.

10

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

SELF

CHANDELIERS BY ULLA DARNI • TABLE BY JOHN ARENSKOV

www.TellurideMagazine.com

lustregallery.com


credits

a woman’s boutique

within

Publisher

apparel

John Arnold Editor-in-Chief

accessories

Creative Director Mary Duffy

shoes

Editor D. Dion

jewelry

Copy Editor/Proofreader Bonnie Beach

“R

Ben Knight

Krisan Christensen

Paton Stone

Contributing Writers 127 west colorado ave. 970.728.6828 twoskirts.net

artwork by Brittany Miller

Gabby Anstey McDonald, Stephen Barrett, Matthew Beaudin, Reilly Capps, Thom Carnevale, Martinique Davis, Emily Dresslar, Elizabeth Guest, Shawna Hartley, Kris Holstrom, Katie Klingsporn, John Nizalowski, Paul O'Rourke, Pam Pettee, Rob Story, Kara Tatone, Lance Waring

Contributing Photographers Doug Berry, Merrick Chase, Gus Gusciora, Ben Knight, Whit Richardson, Brett Schreckengost

Find Telluride Magazine online at www.TellurideMagazine.com Telluride Publishing also produces the Telluride and Mountain Village Visitor Guide

When Ben Knight was 16 years old, he crafted a pretty slick fake letterhead at Kinko’s for a fictitious magazine. In the letter, he requested a photo credential for Lollapalooza’s 1994 tour stop in North Carolina— Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day. Using his deepest voice he recorded, “Hi, you’ve reached Flow Magazine …” on his mother’s answering machine. A week later, his contrivance got a green light. “I guess I learned that even if your mom drops you off at the concert, all that really matters is the size of your lens,” says Knight. (Cover Image: Kim Richard and avi-dog Ellie)

Elizabeth Guest The soundtrack to Elizabeth Guest’s daily life features nonstop, a cappella singing, usually accompanied by the rhythm of her skis or bike pedals. It’s not exactly American Idol-style pop music—more like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” as she totes her three-yearold daughter around the backwoods of Telluride. Friends call her incessant singing and relentless pursuit of fun “over-the-top,” but Guest claims that’s because when she looks up, she sees no pinnacle, just the endless potential beyond. ("Jason Rogers," page 58)

and the Telluride Calendar.

Stephen Barrett

Our products are for sale at our office, many retail

Stephen Barrett has lived a charmed life. He moved to Telluride eight years ago, arriving from the California coast with little more than a semi-feral cat and a pocketful of lint. Through luck and hard work—mostly luck—he has gone on to become the news director at KOTO-FM and a top finisher in a Telluride affordable housing lottery. He is now paying a 30-year mortgage and his cat is thoroughly domesticated. ("Lucky Strike," page 26)

shops in Telluride and on our website. ©2009 Telluride Publishing Co., Inc., a division of Big Earth Publishing

Exceptional Quality & Classic Style for the Most Discerning Taste... MEN’S & WOMEN’S CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES Featuring original oil & acrylic paintings by Roger Mason Visit the artist at www.rogermason.net

Bounty Hunter · 226 W. Colorado Avenue · Across from the New Sheridan www.shopbountyhunter.com · 970-728-0256

Cover and contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. For correspondence, subscriptions and advertising: 307 Society Dr, Suite D, Telluride, CO 81435 or email magazine@TellurideMagazine.com phone:

970.728.4245 ·

fax

—Kyle Wagner, Denver Post Travel Editor, October 25, 2009

contributors

Art Director

Senior Account Executive

aise your hand if you’ve never skied Telluride. You’re certainly not alone. Chances are you’ve never even visited Telluride, and you’re not alone there either.”

My daughter came home to get married in Telluride this past summer. Not only was it a beautiful occasion in an awe-inspiring setting, it was also a chance for me to connect with the “visitor” experience. From lodging to restaurants, salons and gift shops, the entourage hit it all in the grand slam of a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. I realized I had never had so many guests in my little town at the same time. And Telluride delivered. Everyone was taken by this place, and a good many of them were from overseas (my daughter married a Brit), seasoned travelers, and old friends who’d never been to Telluride. From swimming in the river—how long has it been since you’ve done that?—to hiking the new Keystone Gorge trail and rubbing shoulders with the rabble at the Buck, the party never sullied. As Stephen Barrett points out in this issue’s Write Here essay, if you discover Telluride, you are indeed lucky. It’s more than just the scenery that endears us to Telluride. The people are the heartbeat of the town, and in these pages, you’ll be introduced to women ski patrollers who keep our slopes safe and a male among them who was named “Patrolman of the Year”; a wedding planner who nurtures exchange students; an artist who finds inspiration in the metamorphosis of aspen trees; and a New Hampshire transplant who left his indelible mark on this insular community. We offer our annual collection of excellent reads on the region, recipes to sate and tips on everything from mountain health to where to ski and what to ski on—be it downhill or cross-country. If you are planning to make the trip, check out the calendar of events and pick up our sister publication, Telluride and Mountain Village Visitor Guide, for all the particulars. Telluride is the best getaway you’ll take. I know a bridal party who’ll attest to that.

Cheerio, Duffy

[get MORE] Discover yearround adventure at TellurideMagazine.com and VisitTelluride.com

970.728.4302

The annual subscription rate is $11.95. 12

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-10

www.TellurideMagazine.com

www.TellurideMagazine.com

winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 13


S K I

upcomingevents

Telluride Ski Resort and the gondola open to the public for the winter season.

DECEMBER

brett schreckengost/tellurideimage.com

DECEMBER 1

[get MORE] For an updated calendar of events, go to VisitTelluride.com/festivals-events

Avalanche Awareness Forum Series Sponsored by the San Juan Field School and Telluride Ski Patrol, the free series takes place on select Monday nights and is designed to educate people about avalanche safety. 970.728.4101

Avalanche Beacon Rescue Clinics Free rescue clinics include 2-3hour field sessions. Times and locations TBA. 970.728.4101

First Thursdays Art Walk A self-guided tour showcasing regional artists and galleries. On the first Thursday of every month, participating galleries stay open “late ’til 8,” with many serving refreshments. Maps are available at participating galleries. 970.728.8959

14

The Town of Telluride offers open hockey at the Hanley Ice Rink and basketball and volleyball at the high school gym. 970.728.2173

[get MORE] Hanley Rink's hockey schedule can be found under Parks and Recreation at telluride-co.gov

Stronghouse Studios This local artist cooperative welcomes the public Wednesday through Friday from noon until 7 p.m. and hosts an art opening and reception during the Art Walk, on the first Thursday of each month, from 5-8 p.m. Stronghouse Studios also puts on workshops throughout the season to help inspire aspiring artists. 970.728.8959

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

S P A

S O C I A L

E V E N T S

&

M O R E

NOVEMBER 26

brett schreckengost / tellurideimage.com

Open Recreation

G O L F

NOVEMBER Opening Day

ONGOING

Telluride Film Festival Presents On the third Thursday of each month at the Nugget Theater, you can catch one of the recently released films selected by the festival directors of the Telluride Film Festival. 970.728.3030

Metropolitan Opera and English National Theatre at the Palm The Palm Theatre presents live and encore theater and opera performances in HD (high definition). Dates and times vary— for a complete schedule, visit www.telluridepalm.com or call 970.369.5670

Sunday at the Palm Telluride Film Festival, Telluride Foundation and Telluride’s R-1 school district team up to present family-friendly films on Sundays at 4 p.m. at the Palm Theatre. For a complete schedule, visit tffyearround.wordpress. com/sunday-at-the-palm or call 970.728.3030.

Telluride Unearthed Lecture Series Dr. Mark Varien discusses the Pueblo Indians of the Mesa Verde region, 6-8 p.m. at the Telluride Historical Museum. 970.728.3344

I�agine an even b�tter Te�urid�.

DECEMBER 2

Noel Night Celebrate the season with a full moon and some early shopping with special discounts and holiday cheer offered by local retailers.

Secret Santa Workshop While parents shop, kids of all ages can work on some homemade gifts for the holidays from 5-7 p.m. at Ah Haa School for the Arts. 970.728.3886

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros An organic, folk-rock band from L.A. plays live at the Sheridan Opera House, 9 p.m. 970.728.6363

DECEMBER 3

Telluride Unearthed Lecture Series Dr. Laurie Webster discusses the Telluride Blanket and prehistoric weaving in the Southwest, 6-8 p.m. at the Telluride Historical Museum. 970.728.3344

The Telluride Ski & Golf Club – The best for everything that Telluride has to offer.

DECEMBER 4-6

Holiday Bazaar Shop for locally made crafts and artwork at the annual Telluride Council of the Arts and Humanities event in the high school cafeteria.

www.TellurideMagazine.com

The Telluride Ski & Golf Club is actually three clubs in one: the world-class Telluride Ski Resort, spectacular Telluride Golf Course and the rejuvenating Golden Door® Spa & Sports Facility, plus an active year-round calendar of social events and planned activities.

Membership Information: 970.728.7302 • www.TellurideSkiandGolfClub.com


upcomingevents The Wizard of Oz

JANUARY 7-10

Sheridan Arts Foundation Young People’s Theater presents The Wizard of Oz, 6 p.m. nightly at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363

International climbers compete in the one-of-a-kind public Ouray Ice Park. 970.325.4288

Ouray Ice Climbing Festival

[get MORE]

DECEMBER 8

Find out more about this chilling event at ourayicefestival.com

Telluride Unearthed Lecture Series

DECEMBER 11

Jingle Jam Ring in the holidays with a treelighting ceremony, treats and retail deals in Mountain Village.

DECEMBER 12

Wilson Loop Sprint Telluride Nordic Association hosts a fun 1-km race for classic and skate skiers of all ages on the golf course in Mountain Village.

DECEMBER 17

Ski Documentary We Skied It, a documentary about the history of skiing in the Telluride region, premieres at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363

[get MORE] To see a trailer for We Skied It, go to TellurideMagazine.com

DECEMBER 17-20

2010 Visa U.S. Snowboardcross Cup Telluride is the only U.S. stop on the snowboarding World Cup tour. A snowboardcross and parallel giant slalom will serve as qualifying events for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

DECEMBER 18

A Telluride Christmas Carol The Sheridan Arts Foundation and Jeb Berrier present a local twist on the classic holiday play at the Sheridan Opera House, 8 p.m. 970.728.6363

16

Gus Gusciora

Dr. Scott Ortman discusses archaeology, the oral tradition and the Mesa Verde migration, 6-8 p.m. at the Telluride Historical Museum. 970.728.3344

DECEMBER 19

DECEMBER 27-31

Old-Fashioned Christmas at Schmid Ranch

Holiday Concert Series

Telluride Historical Museum hosts sledding, hot chocolate, a bonfire and horse-drawn sleigh rides with Santa Claus from 2-6 p.m. at the Schmid Family Ranch. 970.728.3344

DECEMBER 20-21

Sitting With Santa Kids can get free photos taken with Santa in the Mountain Village and decorate holiday cookies afterward in the Telluride Conference Center. 970.728.1904

DECEMBER 24

Torchlight Parade Celebrate Christmas Eve by watching the slopes light up as skiers carrying torches descend into Telluride.

DECEMBER 24-25

Sheridan Arts Foundation presents its annual holiday concert series. Performers and show times TBA. 970.728.6363

DECEMBER 31

New Year’s Eve Celebrations Under a full moon, watch torchlight parades snake down the ski area toward Telluride and Mountain Village and ring in the New Year at the midnight gathering on Telluride’s main street.

Evening of Art & Wine at the Ah Haa School

Fundraiser features a fourcourse dinner and an auction of high-end wines and art by Bruce Gomez. 970.728.3886

SAF New Year’s Eve Gala New Year’s Eve party at Sheridan Opera House, 10 p.m. 970.728.6363

Santa on the Slopes Look out for Santa on skis and find him at Gorrono Ranch after 3 p.m. for a photo.

DECEMBER 26

Mountainfilm Special Holiday Event Celebrate documentary filmmaking at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.4123

DECEMBER 26-27

Cirque Le Masque: Carnivale A theatrical acrobatic performance featuring circus arts, gymnastics and aerial feats. Palm Theatre, 7 p.m. 970.369.5669

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

JANUARY JANUARY 7

Bruce Gomez Art Opening & Reception See the work of Bruce Gomez at 5-7 p.m. at the Ah Haa School for the Arts. 970.728.3886

[get MORE]

For a full schedule of Ah Haa events and classes, go to ahhaa.org

JANUARY 9

Roger Clyne Live performance at the Sheridan Opera House, time TBA. 970.728.6363

JANUARY 14

Greensky Bluegrass Boogie to bluegrass with the seats out at the Sheridan Opera House, 8 p.m. 970.728.6363

LITTLE PAPOOSE RANCH

Ridgway, CO ~ $15,900,000

JANUARY 16-18

Snowfest Ice sculpture, live music and outdoor fun in Mountain Village.

JANUARY 22

Guest DJ Day Tune in to 89.5, 91.7 and 105.5 FM or www.koto.org to hear locals vie for the coveted Silver Tongue Award and pledge your support for commercial-free radio. 970.728.4333

JANUARY 23

Priest Lake Pursuit Telluride Nordic Association hosts a 15-km combined ski race (classic/skate) at Priest Lake for skiers of all ages. 970.728.1144

Ladies Rock Local all-female bands take the stage at the Sheridan Opera House, 8 p.m. 970.728.6363

JANUARY 28

The Hobbit—presented by ThÊâtre Sans Fil

GROVE CREEK RANCH

Collbran, CO ~ $19,500,000

MOUNTAIN BIRD RANCH

Pagosa Springs, CO ~ $12,500,000

LEGACY RANCHES ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN WEST

Imagine a beautiful, private place with lots of elbow room where your family and friends can gather and ride, ďŹ sh, raise animals, hike, hunt and explore. We offer legacy ranches that fulďŹ ll the dreams of those yearning for the pioneering spirit.

Life-size puppets portray the story of Bilbo Baggins in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy at the Palm Theatre, 6:30 p.m. 970.369.5669

42+)4-0)33,+yrrr)EJNCP<>J)^jh www.TellurideMagazine.com

Tommy Latousek y303.304.9556 ytommy@joshuaco.com ywww.JoshuaCo.com/Ranches


upcomingevents

upcomingevents

JANUARY 29 brett schreckengost/tellurideimage.com

KOTO Lip Sync Contest Locals perform irreverent musical tributes to a packed house. Sheridan Opera House, time TBA. 970.728.8100

[get MORE] Stream KOTO FM online at koto.org

FEBRUARY FEBRUARY 5

Name That Tune In this KOTO radio fundraiser, teams compete in a version of the ’50s TV game show, with audience participation and prizes for everyone. XCafe, time TBA. 970.728.8100

FEBRUARY 5-7

Young People’s Theater

FEBRUARY 6

FEBRUARY 11-14

Chocolate Lovers Fling

Telluride Comedy Festival

The theme for this year’s fling is The Love Boat. Elaborate costumes, live music and succulent chocolate desserts mark the annual fundraiser for the San Miguel Resource Center, held at the Telluride Conference Center. 970.728.5660

Professional comedians perform skits and improv in this hilarious annual event at Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363

[get MORE]

Sheridan Arts Foundation Young People’s Theater performs the play Working, 6 p.m. nightly at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363

Learn about the crisis center at sanmiguel resourcecenter.org

raising money for KOTO radio. Cornerhouse Grille, time TBA. 970.728.8100

FEBRUARY 20

Butch Cassidy Ski Chase Telluride Nordic Association hosts a 15-km classic (no skate division) race at Priest Lake. 970.728.1144

Justin Townes Earle Nominated for best music video and album, Earle brings new American country to the Sheridan Opera House stage, 9 p.m. 970.728.6363

FEBRUARY 20-27

Gay Ski Week

FEBRUARY 16

Fat Tuesday Party with Joint Point Sheridan Opera House pulls out all the seats for this Mardi Gras party. 970.728.6363

Telluride shows its pride, with a week’s worth of fun activities on and off the mountain. 970.728.1904

FEBRUARY 25-MARCH 1

Telluride AIDS Benefit

FEBRUARY 18

Cribbage Tournament Players compete for a cause—

An annual series of events raise money to fight HIV/AIDS and to promote education

about the disease. The TAB Sneak Peek at the Telluride Conference Center on Feb. 25 offers a preview of the fashions from the upcoming gala; the Art Auction on Feb. 26 is held at the Sheridan Opera House and the bidding opens at noon; and the Gala Fashion Show at the Conference Center is held Feb. 27 with an after-hours party at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.0869

[get MORE] TAB is a big week-long production. For details go to aidsbenefit.org

MARCH MARCH 1-2

SAF Presents March Music! Annual spring shows at the Sheridan Opera House, performers/showtimes TBA. 970.728.6363

MARCH 2

The Harlem Gospel Choir The famous choir performs an inspirational show of blues, jazz and gospel spirituals. Palm Theatre, 6:30 p.m. 970.369.5669

MARCH 4

MD Art Opening & Reception Artist Michael Doherty exhibits his work 5-7 p.m. at the Ah Haa School for the Arts. 970.728.3886

fundraiser, the FEAST (Fund for Expanding and Supporting Telluride’s Medical Center) is held at the Telluride Conference Center. 970.708.1059

Telluride Nordic Association hosts a 10-km race and end-ofthe-season barbecue celebration at Priest Lake. 970.728.1144

Operation FEAST Telluride Medical Center’s annual

Closing Day Telluride Ski Resort and the gondola close for the winter season.

MARCH 27

MAY

The Vienna Boys Choir The classical choir that has been thrilling audiences for 500 years performs at the Palm Theatre at 7 p.m. 970.369.5669

APRIL

MARCH 13

Psycho 10 and Barbecue

April 4

APRIL 2

KOTO Street Dance Telluride closes main street for this annual après-ski, end-ofseason outdoor gala that hosts live music and a beer garden. (April 3 is reserved in case of inclement weather.) 970.728.8100

As of press time, these events and dates were accurate. Please call the numbers listed or contact Telluride Tourism Board at 800.525.3455 to confirm information, or log onto www.VisitTelluride.com for an updated calendar. Tickets for some of these events can be purchased online at www.tellurideticket.com.

MAY 28

Gondola Reopens For the summer season.

MAY 28-31

Mountainfilm in Telluride Mountainfilm celebrates the spirit of the mountains, culture and the environment with films, presentations and seminars. The 2010 symposium theme is "The Extinction Crisis." 970.728.4123 ■

[get MORE] Start your summer with movies that matter at mountainfilm.org

Clothing, Accessories, Jewelry, Shoes & Homegoods

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telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

www.TellurideMagazine.com

Easy to Find!

On Pine between Colorado and Pacific ¤ 728-5820 www.TellurideMagazine.com

winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 19


[get ]] [getMORE MORE The statewide The statewide avalanche forecast avalanche forecast and weather report and weather report cancan bebe found at at found avalanche.state.co.us avalanche.state.co.us

GUS GUSCIORA

[ THE MOUNTAIN ] ] [ The Mountain

OFFPISTE Off-Piste ON OnAGAIN Again After twotwo decades of of federal After decades federal closure, some of the dangerousand closure, some of most the deadliest andmost alluring terrain accessible from alluring terrain accessible from thethe Telluride again be TellurideSki SkiResort Resort will again be open open to the decision thepublic. public.The The decision came as as a huge surprise when thethe came a huge surprise when U.S. Forest Service announced in in U.S. Forest Service announced October thatthat they would be be opening October they would opening new backcountry gates off off thethe ski ski new backcountry gates area areathisthis2009-10 2009-10season. season.TheThe sheriff’s office didn’t seesee it coming, sheriff’s office didn’t it coming, andand neither diddid resort executives. neither resort executives. TheThe skiskicompany had expressed area had expressed interest in interest in potentially expanding its potentially expanding its boundaries boundaries into off-limits in into off-limits terrain in terrain lower Bear lower Bearbut Creek, but it maintained Creek, it maintained a neutral a stance neutralabout stance about the the announcement. announcement. “As a we ski have company, “As a ski company, nothing wetohave nothing with Service how do with howtothedoForest themanages Forest Service manages federal federal lands,” said lands,” said Ski Telluride Resort CEO Telluride ResortSki CEO Dave Riley. Dave Riley. The new access points, called The new access points, called “backcountry gates,” will allow skiers “backcountry allow skiers who ride gates,” up the will resort’s chairlifts who theavalanche-controlled resort’s chairlifts to ride leaveupthe to and leave the avalanche-controlled ski-patrolled terrain and legally

andenter ski-patrolled terrain and off-piste chutes. Onelegally gate will enter will be off-piste located chutes. at the One top gate of Palmyra be Peak located at the top that of Palmyra (hike-to terrain is already Peak terrain that is already an (hike-to extreme in-bounds venture) an and extreme in-bounds venture) will allow skiers to drop off the andbackside will allow skiers to and dropAlta off the into Lena Lakes backside andgate Alta accesses Lakes Basins. into An Lena existing Basins. An existing gatea lower accesses the same basins from point theatsame basinsoffrom lower pointThe the base Balda Mountain. at other the base Bald will Mountain. newofgate provideThe entry

“Allowing “Allowingpeople people totomake their make theirown own decisions decisionswas was the thebest bestsolution solution totomanaging managingthe the present use. ” present use.”

other gate provide intonew lower BearwillCreek runsentry known intoaslower Bear Creek runs knownand “Regular Route/Reggae” as “Contention” “Regular Route/Reggae” and from a yet-to-be“Contention” from a between yet-to-bedetermined location Lifts determined location existing between Liftsinto 9 and 6. Another gate 9 and 6. Another existing into of upper Bear Creek at gate the top upper Bear Creek of Revelation Bowl at willthe be top replaced Revelation will gates be replaced by three Bowl separate farther up by the three separate gates farther up ridgeline. The ridgeline is being theturned ridgeline. ridgelinesays is being intoThe a corridor, Forest turned into recreation a corridor, manager says Forestand Service Service andand snow recreation ranger Scottmanager Spielman,

20 20telluride magazine 2009-2010 telluride magazinewinter/spring winter/spring 2009-2010

snow Scott be Spielman, mayranger eventually the siteand of a may eventually the site a surface lift thatbe shuttles skiersofuphill. surface skiers terrain uphill. in Someliftofthat theshuttles most deadly Some the most deadly BearofCreek—the Suicideterrain chutesinand Bear Creek—the Suicide chutes and Temptation—will still be closed. Temptation—will still be closed. The backcountry gates aren’t The backcountry aren’t exactly new: Populargates runs into Bear exactly Popular runsbyintothe Bear Creeknew: were closed feds Creek were aclosed feds following stringbyofthe avalanche following of avalancheBut fatalities a instring the mid-eighties. fatalities in the mid-eighties. the closure didn’t stop But some thepeople closure didn’t stopthesome from ducking ropes people from out ducking the ropes and skiing of bounds. In 2002, anda skiing out of bounds. In 2002, snowboarder was killed in an a avalanche snowboarder an in was upperkilled Bearin Creek, avalanche upper Bear Creek, and two inother accidents required anddangerous two other accidents required rescues. Spielman noted dangerous rescues.this Spielman noted that, although area has been that, although this area has been roped off, backcountry enthusiasts roped off, backcountry enthusiasts are dropping in anyway. “Allowing arepeople dropping in anyway. “Allowing to make their own decisions people to make owntodecisions was the best their solution managing wasthe the best solution present use.” to managing the present The use.” opening heightened The opening heightened concerns for San Miguel County concerns for San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters, under whose Sheriff Bill Masters, under whose jurisdiction the terrain falls. If jurisdiction falls.Forest If someone the getsterrain hurt on someone gets hurtit isonSanForest Service property, Miguel Service property, is San Miguel County Searchit and Rescue that County Searchupon and toRescue thatthe gets called help, but

Gus Gusciora

—M. Duffy & D. Dion

[ Photo Guide ] [ PHOTO GUIDE ]

Backcountry BACKCOUNTRY Runs RUNS Off-piste skiing originated in Off-piste originated in the Alps, butskiing the Telluride Ski Resort theoffers Alps, but the Telluride Ski Resort its own backcountry terrain offers its yodeling own backcountry terrain worth about. The skiing worth about. isThe skiing and yodeling riding potential huge, and it andinspired riding potential is huge, andBrett it local photographer inspired local photographer Brett Schreckengost to create Telluride Schreckengost createreference Telluride of Off-Piste, a to photo Off-Piste, photo accessible reference of off-piste aoptions from off-piste accessible from the ski options area. There are three new theeditions ski area. There areout three of the guide thisnew winter editions of the guide outPalmyra this winter covering Bear Creek, Peak covering Bear couloirs. Creek, Palmyra Peak and area The Palmyra and area also couloirs. The new Palmyra edition includes terrain edition includes“Anew terrain on thealso ski resort. lot of people on wanted the ski resort. “A Creek lot of people the Bear stuff, but wanted the and Bear the Creek but Palmyra, newstuff, in-bounds Palmyra, the out newtoin-bounds terrain, and turned be just as terrain, turned out to be says. just as“It’s useful,” Schreckengost useful,” “It’suse not a Schreckengost trail map, but asays. tool to notbackcountry a trail map,skiing.” but a The toolguides to useare backcountry skiing.”properly The guides are for experienced, equipped forbackcountry experienced,skiers properly or equipped people just backcountry skiersatorimpressive people just wanting a peek aerial wanting at impressive aerialare photosa peek of local steeps. Maps photos of local steeps. Maps are available at Between the Covers, available Between the Sports Covers,and JaggedatEdge, Telluride Jagged Edge, Telluride Sports The Bootdoctors as well asand www. Thetellurideoffpiste.com. Bootdoctors as well as www. tellurideoffpiste.com. —Elizabeth Guest —Elizabeth Guest

www.TellurideMagazine.com www.TellurideMagazine.com

[ Ski Area ]

Bigger is Better No CEO in the ski area’s recent history has been as zealous about opening new terrain as Dave Riley. Since he arrived in 2007, the mountain has grown by hundreds of acres—almost all of it expert terrain—in Revelation Bowl, Black Iron Bowl, Palmyra Peak, Gold Hill 1 and Gold Hill 6 through 10. His latest move? Plans to open the unbelievably sheer, nearly unskiable chutes on Gold Hill numbered 2 through 5 this winter. Weather dictates that these chutes won’t be open all that often, as wind regularly scours the snow from the rocks and makes for a dicey exit. An avid skier, Riley might continue to delight his fellow downhillers as he considers expanding the resort into breathtaking Bear Creek, which could add more than 1,000 acres, potentially making the resort one of the largest ski areas in Colorado. This season, additional Forest Service backcountry gates will allow some access into Bear Creek, but for now that terrain will remain outside the ski area boundaries. —Reilly Capps

[get MORE] Keep up with the everexpanding ski area at tellurideskiresort.com, where you can also log onto "Dave's Blog"

the globe. The program allows the Palm to offer some of the highest-caliber stage performances in the world to viewers in this little mountain town. This season’s lineup features operas such as Der Rosenkavalier and Carmen, as well as the National Theatre plays Nation and The Habit of Art. —Katie Klingsporn

[ Kris Holstrom ]

Named to Colorado Advisory Committee As the region’s green guru, local farmer and regional sustainability coordinator, Kris Holstrom has been involved with too many projects to list: keeping festivals environmentally friendly, managing the farmers market, pushing for green building standards and educating kids on locally grown food, among others. So it comes as no surprise that, late this summer, the Governor’s Energy Office appointed her to the Colorado Carbon Fund Advisory Committee. As a member of the committee, Holstrom is tasked with deciding how to spend money donated by groups looking to offset their carbon footprints. Holstrom said she was particularly excited about programs for weatherizing homes, reducing energy use in skating rinks and finding innovative ways to recycle by-products. —Katie Klingsporn

[ At the Palm ]

HD Opera and Theater You no longer have to leave the comfort of your hometown to experience world-class culture. This year, the Michael D. Palm Theatre introduced a brand-new type of programming that brings both the dramatic arias of the Metropolitan Opera and the elaborate stage work of the English National Theatre to Telluride audiences. The Palm became one of hundreds of venues to tap into two new tech-savvy programs—The Met: Live in HD and NT Live—that transmit high-definition screenings of stage performances from New York and London to theaters around

www.TellurideMagazine.com

[ Paradox Valley ]

Uranium Boomtown? There is just one uranium mill in the entire nation that is currently operating, but Paradox Valley might become the site of a second facility for enriching radioactive ore. This fall, Montrose County commissioners approved a special use permit for a proposed uranium mill just outside of Paradox. They voted 3-0 to allow Energy Fuels, Inc., to build the Piñon Ridge Mill, inviting a lawsuit by local environmental group Sheep Mountain Alliance. The only remaining hurdles are an operating permit from a state regulator (Colorado Department of

nick wolcott

telluride tellurideturns turns

gets calleddepartment upon to help, but the sheriff’s has no authority sheriff’s department has noInauthority to manage the area. the past, to SAR manage the area. the past,and members, ski In patrollers SAR members, ski heli-ski patrollers and Helitrax (the local operation) Helitrax local heli-ski guides(the and pilots haveoperation) volunteered guides andrescue pilots efforts have volunteered to man in treacherous to scenarios. man rescue efforts in treacherous “It’s a miracle that rescuers scenarios. “It’s a miracle that rescuers have not been killed,” Masters says. have not been killed,” Masters says.will The Telluride Ski Resort The have Telluride Ski Resort access will now six backcountry now have two six of backcountry points, which—theaccess Palmyra points, which—the Palmyra Peak two gateof and the lower Bear Creek Peak gate andopen the lower Bear Creek gate—will up terrain that is gate—will upHiking terrainupthat is currentlyopen closed. Palmyra currently closed. Hiking Palmyra to the off-piste terrain up requires some to the off-piste terrainand requires some physical fitness backcountry physical fitness andgate backcountry prowess, but the into Regular prowess, gate into Regular Route but andtheContention will only Route and aContention onlythe demand willingness will to take demand willingness take the risk anda heed gravity’stocall. risk and heed gravity’s call. & D. Dion —M. Duffy

Health and the Environment) and the lawsuit. The mill has torn an otherwise quiet region in two. Supporters say the revival of the uranium industry can create much-needed jobs and that it is a part of the region’s heritage: Ore mined and enriched here fueled the Manhattan Project and built the town of Uravan for uranium workers. Today, Uravan is an abandoned Superfund site. Opponents say the industry’s environmental effects will be too great, contaminating agriculture, draining precious water resources and impacting tourism. They say that past uranium mining and milling sickened both the land and people in the region. Uravan was so toxic that it had to be dismantled, with taxpayers footing the $70 million cleanup cost. Uranium workers also paid a price for the mill, sacrificing their health, according to a class action lawsuit filed against Umetco Minerals Corporation. Travis Stills, an attorney from the Energy Minerals Law Center in Durango, represents a concerned group of residents in Paradox Valley. The uranium business, he says, still sports a black eye from a history gone awry. “This industry still hasn’t cleaned up the way they ran roughshod over the West. We really shouldn’t be restarting anything until they clean up their last mess.” Montrose County Commissioner Gary Ellis was not focused on the historic problems but, rather, on the future role of nuclear power in the energy sector. “We need to be energy independent," he says. "This is a viable energy alternative to provide electricity and power to our nation. I think the mill itself will have a positive economic impact on the region.” —Matthew Beaudin

[ Plum TV ]

The Little Station that Could

[ Telluride Foundation ]

Helps Insure Kids Colorado ranks 44th among states for the percentage of uninsured children and 51st for the percentage of uninsured children living at or below 200 percent of the poverty level. Here in rural Southwest Colorado, we have some of the highest rates of children without health insurance in the state. Sadly, many of these kids are eligible for state or federal coverage but are not enrolled. Programs such as Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance (CHP+) provide health care for young people whose families can’t afford it. According to Paul Major, the president and CEO of Telluride Foundation, there are over 100,000 eligible children in Colorado that are not signed up, so the organization is teaming up with nonprofits, child-care providers and school districts in the region to help find and enroll kids who need insurance. “We have an obligation to make sure our children have access to good health care, and insurance is the first step.”

[ Ryder-Walker ]

Makes Top Ten—Again They’re not just among the best; they’re among the best in the world. National Geographic Adventure named Ryder-Walker Alpine ▶▶ Adventures one of the “Top 10 Best Companies on the Planet” for the second consecutive year, honoring the outfitter’s hiking and trekking tours. Ryder-Walker is a locally based business that specializes in tours of the Alps of Western Europe and Asia, as well as trips in our own American Southwest.

[ Nancy Craft ]

Plum TV, Telluride’s local television station, snagged a very special statue this summer—an Emmy. The station, which plays in Telluride’s hotel rooms and ski bum shacks alike, was honored for a piece they shot on the Democratic National Convention in Denver in ▶▶ the summer of 2008.

Japanese Travel Majordomo For six years running, Condé Nast’s editor has named Telluride’s Nancy Craft as the travel specialist who offers the best blend of expertise, access and good value for touring Japan. The local globetrotter joined forces with Esprit Travel & ▶▶

winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 21


▶▶ The award-winning spot was the product of three men, two cameras and a friend’s Denver living room, which they used for editing. All three honorees—producer/ station manager, Chris Hanson; producer/editor, Justin Weihs; and host, Jeb Berrier—have served the Telluride area faithfully, streaming morning shows, ski reports and stories of the region. It’s the first award Weihs has ever won. “I thought it was pretty tremendous for us to be in the company of all the media outlets in Denver, and then take home the hardware,” he said. “It’s our first nomination, and first Emmy, and first cover story in the Daily Planet,” he said. On the drive to Denver, Weihs and Hanson said that it was enough to be nominated—the old “we’ll get ’em next year” attitude. But once they sat down at the event and heard their names called, they were, if for a moment, one of the best TV stations around—even compared to the big guns out of Denver. “Every time a table won, they screamed and hollered like they were at a football game,” Weihs said. “And then we all did.” Plum TV Telluride is part of the Plum Television Network and has sister stations in other resort communities such as Aspen, Vail, Sun Valley, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, the Hamptons and Miami Beach. —Matthew Beaudin

[ Black Bears ]

A Fed Bear… Ursine attacks appear to be on the rise, as human sprawl inches into bruin habitat and people dismiss the old saw, “Don’t Feed the Bears.” Take the horrific story of a Ouray woman who clearly loved the creatures. Donna Munson, 74, fed dog food to bears outside her home and watched them from a porch fenced in with wire. She did this for a decade, despite repeated warnings from the Division of Wildlife and worried neighbors. In August, a bear apparently reached through a hole in the wire and knocked her down, then dragged her under the fence and fed on her body. This strange news story made it all the way to Indonesia. Grizzly bears may be notoriously surly, but Colorado’s black bears almost never kill people—there

22

Ben knight

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have only been three documented deaths in the state. They also rarely maul humans, but this summer in Aspen, three people were attacked after bruins broke into their homes. As a result, more than a dozen bears were put down, proof again that although nature looks cuddly starring in so many G-rated Disney movies, bears belong in nature films and not kiddie flicks. —Reilly Capps

[get MORE] Learn how to coexist with bears at wildlife. state.co.us/wildlifespecies/livingwithwildlife/

[ PEAKS resort ]

new ownership Once the keystone lodge in the region, The Peaks Hotel and Resort was for sale for two years before it was finally bought this fall for a reported $20 million—$30 million less than the asking price. A group of local investors sealed the deal in early November; they include Ted and Todd Herrick, real estate agent Mike Theile, Bruce MacIntire of LuxWest and Kevin Jones—as well as John Cullen and Brian Martin, two principals of the new Grand Heritage Hotels and Resorts management company, which is based in Maryland. Telluride’s Todd Herrick told the press that the group’s objective is to “finally unlock the property’s potential and as a result enhance the community.” The Peaks was originally built in 1992 for $60 million and called the Doral Telluride, the first high-end luxury resort and spa in the region. It was purchased by Wyndham Properties and operated for many years before being bought by the Blackstone Group, a private equity

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

company that initiated and abruptly curtailed a $60 million renovation before putting the property on the market. —D. Dion

[ emergency message ]

Know Before You Go Is Dallas Divide too icy to make the drive to Montrose? Is the Ophir road closed because of an avalanche? Has a mudslide stopped traffic on Keystone Hill? Now it’s possible to know about these hazards before you hit the road. San Miguel County has created a Wireless Emergency Network System (WENS) to notify citizens about emergencies, sending a text message to your cell phone and/ or your email outlining the nature of the event. This is a free service provided by San Miguel County (there are also specific WENS for Telluride, Mountain Village and Telluride Fire District), but normal text message fees may apply. Sign up at entry.inspironlogistics.com/ sanmiguel/san_miguel/wens.cfm. —M. Duffy & D. Dion

[ Lawson Hill ]

Underpass Complete Bikers and hikers will no longer have to play in traffic to cross the busy intersection at Society Turn. Now they can just use the new underpass and duck below Highway 145 to access Lawson Hill and the Galloping Goose trail. The underpass project, completed this fall, cost San Miguel County about $1 million, $550,000 of which came from grant funding. —D. Dion ▶▶

▶▶ Tours 10 years ago to finance her wanderlust, and she found her niche as an authority on Japan. Craft, who lived in Japan for seven years, has been designing custom tour itineraries and leading trips to the country for the past eight years, and has created many of Esprit’s public walking tours of both Japan and Nepal. An artist, Craft studied dyeing, weaving, papermaking and more while living abroad. “I love showing people the wonderful art of Japan and Asia, the beautiful gardens, the quirky culture and how the arts and culture interrelate.”

[ Telluride Airport ]

Back in Business The runway in Telluride’s Regional Airport was closed this summer for the same reason highway traffic slows down: road reconstruction. At 9,078 feet above sea level, the highest commercial airport in North America was challenging enough for pilots without the infamous 63-foot dip in its tarmac. This summer, the airstrip was reconstructed with a smooth plane—pun intended—to meet Federal Aviation Administration standards. In addition to repairing the landing/take-off strip, safety areas west of the old dip were widened and new runway lighting was added. This $19.3 million renovation was the second of three phases which will ready the airport for the next generation of regional turbo-prop planes.

[ Sheridan Opera House ]

Historic Stenciling Preserved Photos discovered in 2002 revealed the beautiful stenciling that originally decorated the interior of the historic Sheridan Opera House during the early twentieth century. Experts believe that the pattern was a rare example of the transitional period between the Art Nouveau style of the 1800s and the Craftsman style of the 1920s, and that the bold stenciling stood out from other opera houses in the Rocky Mountains, which were decorated in a more classical style. The Sheridan Arts Foundation resolved to replicate the extraordinary design, raising $28,000 to do so. The stenciling in the theater was restored ▶▶ this summer. ■ www.TellurideMagazine.com

Wintercrown Building Breezway Downstairs

All Trails Lead To Our ATMs It’s just one of the ways Wells Fargo makes banking easier and more convenient for you. Mountain Village Office 620 Mountain Village Boulevard Across From the Peaks Hotel (970) 728-1890 Town of Telluride 100 W. Colorado Avenue Located in the Courtyard Next to to Las theMontanas Cantina Restaurant & Bar (800) 869-3557 © 2008 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. AS-3842_10966 wellsfargo.com

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winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 23


tellurideturns [ PASSINGS ]

GONE YET UNFORGETTABLE

[ Telluride Index ]

Color by NumberS pg. 36

Telluride has 1,224 (55 percent) male residents and 997 (44 percent) female residents. Telluride Ski Resort employs 68 ski patrollers; 17 (25 percent) are women. The number of licensed dogs in Telluride is 275, or 1 per 8 people. The number of dogs on ski patrol is 7, and 4 (57 percent) are female. The amount of lottery proceeds benefiting San Miguel County outdoor projects such as trails, playgrounds and land conservation is $8,347,167. The federal and state governments withhold 29 percent in taxes of a winnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prize of $5,000 or more. The odds of winning the Lotto jackpot are 1 in 5.2 million. The odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 5,000. The number of

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telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

She was, by all accounts, beautiful; but to stop there would be to underestimate Hilary Fitzgerald. She had brawn and brains: Fitzgerald was a skilled angler and flyfishing guide, an expert telemark skier, and worked as the director of programming at the Pinhead Institute. She was killed in a car accident late in August, a week before she was to leave Telluride to pursue studies in natural medicine. Fitzgerald was a global citizen, having visited Africa, India, South and Central America, Mexico, Nepal and Southest Asia, but she chose Telluride as her home. Friends remember her for her sunny disposition, her compassion for other people and her desire to protect the natural world. She was a part of the rich history of Telluride, having been born to Italian immigrants here in 1921. Perina Ranta was born Perina Bonato to Sebastian and Mary Anna Bonato, and she and her two younger twin siblings, Joanna and James, lived at the Smuggler Mine, in old Ophir and in Telluride. She went to grade school in Ophir and was a graduate of Telluride High School. After World War II, Perina married another Tellurider, the son of Finnish immigrants, Elmer Ranta. Perina was the deputy town treasurer and the

deaths caused by lightning in Colorado in 2008 was 3, more (along with Florida) than any other state. The number of Lotto jackpot winners in Colorado in 2008 was 6. The number of spa locations in the United States in 2007 was 17,900; in 2008, the number of U.S. spa locations jumped to 21,300. The number of spa locations in Telluride in 2009? 10. The number of spa visits in the United States in 2007 was 138 million; in 2008, the number of U.S. spa visits was 160 million. The spa industry revenueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual growth rate is 17.8 percent. Colorado has an estimated black bear population of 8,000 to 12,000. The value of bear-damage claims in 2008 was $374,600. The number of bears killed by hunters in Colorado in 2005 was 450; the number of bears killed by hunters in Colorado in 2008 was 760. The number of people killed by bears in Colorado in known history is 3. The number of Masons in the United States in 1950 was approximately 4 million. The number of Masons in the country today is approximately 1.5 million. The number of Masons in Telluride in 1899 was 250. Of the 44 Presidents of the United States, 14 (31 percent) were Masons.

deputy county treasurer, serving her community for more than 20 years. She also enjoyed spending time with her family in the outdoors, mushroom hunting on Sheep Mountain, overnighting at the familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Trout Lake cabin and jeeping in the high country. Even after she retired in Montrose in 1987, Perina continued to dedicate herself to a volunteer post at the Montrose Memorial Hospital for two decades. Mike Wisniewski was a devoted public servant. Shortly after he took over the presidency of the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association (TMVOA), he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Despite his illness, he finished out his term, guiding the organization through a difficult transition as it became more financially and administratively independent. Wisniewski and his wife, Linda Heiderer, moved to Mountain Village in 2006, and he passed away last July. Longtime local â&#x20AC;&#x153;Captainâ&#x20AC;? Jack Carey was killed in a bicycle accident this summer. Carey was a prominent freeskier and hang glider. He will be memorialized with ski runs named after him here and in Rossland, BC, Canada. Read more about Carey on page 62. â&#x2013;

Snowy Peaks Management

Author Dan Brownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s books about Masons and other secret religious organizations have been translated into 51 languages, with The Da Vinci Code currently selling over 80 million copies. The amount of natural gas produced in San Miguel County in 2008 was 13,655,715 MCF (thousand cubic feet), and the number of barrels of oil produced was 5,019. The total number of active oil and gas wells in San Miguel County in 2008 was 127. The average number of days of sunshine in Colorado annually is 300 out of 365. The total number of San Miguel County companies that install solar electricity is 6; the total number of companies in San Miguel County that generate commercial-scale solar electricity: 1. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;D. Dion

pg. 26 pg. 54

pg. 46

pg. 22

pg. 52

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(Sources: NOAA lightning safety, Colorado Lottery, www.colotto.com, ISPA 2009 report, Telluride Ski & Golf Company, Towns of Telluride and Mountain Village, Colorado Division of Wildlife, National Geographic News, Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, 2000 U.S. Census, Colorado Climate Center, www. danbrown.com, The New Community Coalition sustainability guide) â&#x2013;

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When Stephen Wald made Telluride his full-time home in 1994, he did so with gusto. He did more than just enjoy the running, skiing, tennis, golf and biking that were his passions; he also pitched in to help his community. His philanthropy was far-reaching: He was a founding member of Telluride Foundation and served on many of its committees, and he sat on the board of directors for Mountainfilm, Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, Telluride Repertory Theatre Company and Telluride Jewish Community; he was also the board chairman for the Telluride Medical Center and acted as the investment advisor for his homeowners company. Wald, who graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School before being posted by the U.S. government as head of the Czech and Slovak American Enterprise Fund, went on to start the first and ultimately the largest Western brokerage in Eastern Europe. Wald died peacefully with his wife Sheila at his side in his Alda-

soro home, after a long struggle with leukemia.

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It was just a week before she died that 85-year-old journalist Grace Herndon filed her last column. She was bedridden as she pecked at the keyboard, but her writing was as strong as ever. Despite her stature, the demure 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;2â&#x20AC;? journalist stood tall throughout her career, taking on big corporations, bureaucracy and outdated Western paradigms. Herndon was born and raised in Chicago, and attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where she fell in love with a third-generation rancher from Wrightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mesa who was in Naval officer school. When he returned from the war he brought his new bride home to Norwood, which at that time had no electricity. The city girl learned to farm and ranch, raised three children and reported news for the Telluride Times, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Denver Post and ultimately the Telluride Watch, where she chronicled from her unique perspective as someone who straddled the divide between the Old and New West. The spunky yet sweet Herndon also penned a book, Cut and Run: Saying Goodbye to the Last Great Forests of the West and helped build Ski Dallas before the opening of Telluride Ski Resort. At the

age of 50, she taught herself to sail in a beat-up, 12-foot sailboat on Miramonte Reservoir. Cancer had overtaken her again by the time she spent her last birthday at that same reservoir, camping with friends, just months before embarking on her journey into the next world.

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winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 25


writehererightnow

l u c k y s t r i k e By Stephen Barrett

T

he problem with fortune cookies is that they promise too little and so rarely deliver. Most of them are really just aphorism cookies, and even the best ones come up short. The fortune I received after a workday lunch at Shanghai Palace, “You will never need to worry about a steady income,” is a prediction only in the grammatical sense. It read like a verdict and provided about as much fulfillment. The only hopeful thing about it were the numbers on the reverse side. I play them in the lottery, twice a week. Some people refuse, with an almost sanctimonious fervor, to play the lottery. They view the odds as too long, the hope too desperate, the money always better spent on something tangible. I used to dismiss the lottery as a government-sanctioned racket played by those who can least afford it. It always seemed to me shiftless to think you could achieve something from nothing and, besides, money isn’t everything. That’s why I live in Telluride, or so I used to assure myself when I aspired to smaller things. You have to understand that my first winter in town was a humbling experience. I moved here during the traumatic weeks after 9/11, accepting a part-time job with a scarcely concealed air of resignation and defeat. I didn’t know anyone here, and no one knew me. I arrived in a two-door Toyota with bald tires and a sputtering carburetor. I owned no ski gear, no winter clothes. The late autumn days were growing darker, and my 3 a.m. worry was that this box canyon was the end of the road. Such was my fatalism that, by Thanksgiving, I was too poor to stay and too broke to leave. My housing was substandard, a basement room with no emergency exit or escape. My diet featured kippered herring, ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese. My wardrobe consisted of layer upon layer of shirts, sweaters and outerwear gathered from the Free Box. By any conventional measure, I had sunk beneath the poverty line and would remain there until the following year. I enjoyed the exact lifestyle rhapsodized by ski bums, only without the skiing. Many of those winter evenings I would walk through Telluride, out along the River Trail and up Boomerang Road into Mountain Village, wondering all the while if I had made a terrible

26

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

mistake. Returning on the gondola at night, the glimmering streetlights and matchbox homes offered no more solace than the view from Alcatraz provided felons serving 30 to life. Back on Colorado Avenue, the gulf between me and the candlelit table on the other side of the restaurant window seemed as immeasurable as the distance between the pavement and the stars. There is something about hunger that stays with you long after the emptiness is gone. It lay dormant within me, even as my circumstances steadily improved. Maybe it was awakened by the vintage Ferrari in front of the New Sheridan Chop House and its talismanic influence on the summer crowd, or the owner’s nonchalance as he parked illegally and disappeared inside. Perhaps, in these days of conspicuous frugality, it fed upon my now-compulsive budgeting, my agonized choices between needs and competing needs and that Ferrari’s haunting admonition that, if this is as good as it gets, it’s still not enough. Regardless of the trigger, it has compelled me to try my luck, whatever the cumulative cost. I can only describe it as the perfect synthesis of hopelessness and hope. No one asks me about these things when I buy lottery tickets at Telluride Liquors. When I fill out a selection slip, my friend there either insists upon the superiority of his own numbers or invokes an unwritten compact entitling him to one million dollars as the vigorish for scanning mine through the machine. We both know that if such a rule ever existed, my first act as a multimillionaire would be to betray it. We’ll go on to debate the merits of annuitized payments versus a lump sum jackpot as we blindly calculate the tax implications. The rest of the customers smile knowingly. Whether they are buying Pabst beer or imported wine, they have engaged in these fantasies before. There are never more than four days between

drawings, time enough to prepare for my new life or to decide what I’ll readily abandon and what must necessarily be lost. I can promise you that the money won’t change me. There’s no need to share that it will expose my deepest failings. I fully expect superficial acquaintances to suddenly become dear friends, charitable nonprofits to keep my number on file, and absolutely no one to reach for their wallets when the bartender signals last call. I have devised a strategy to cope: I will take a limousine to the airport to escape my unwanted notoriety. I will change my number and buy a smarter phone. My deed-restricted condominium shall be replaced by a penthouse where my friends will always be welcome to stay, even if I’m in Rio for Carnival or yachting along the Amalfi coast. It’s idiotic, I know, this lottery obsession of mine. But it’s a luxury I’ve earned, now that I have the safety of a home, the security of fulltime employment, and the sense of belonging when I walk down these streets and know nearly everyone by name. Sudden riches will not make the faces here any friendlier. When a group of us is out on the town, the hospitality couldn’t be warmer at the same bars and restaurants that once seemed so remote. Right then, I know that the greatest reward is to be among people who have shared in your modest accomplishments and indulge your flawed ambition to become something more. A history professor once told me that mining towns such as Telluride always welcomed the misfits and most down-and-out prospectors; it was supposed that their luck was due. Someone made a similar claim to me shortly after my arrival. She said it was the people without any clear plan who last around here; they are the ones who make the most of opportunity. I still think about that observation. It makes me wonder what doubts those first prospectors carried with them into this valley and whether they had any fear at all. And what about the miners who followed, the immigrants who welcomed a meager wage for a 10-hour day? I wonder if they let thoughts of high-grading distract them or whether they were made sober by their assault on the mother lode. I imagine them at shift’s end, sinking into their cots by the glow of a kerosene lantern, their bunkhouse enveloped by the mountains and the night, each one of them sheltering a singular dream. ■

I enjoyed the exact lifestyle rhapsodized by ski bums, only without the skiing.

The Colorado State Lottery funds many local projects such as trail building, open space acquisition and the lynx reintroduction program.

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naturenotes

[get MORE] To read more about the history of the lynx reintroduction program, go to TellurideMagazine.com and search lynx

It’s a Big Earth. Live Big.

Courtesy Colorado Division of Wildlife

Colorado, " said Rick Kahn, CDOW lead biologist. Although there are no plans for reintroducing more lynx, a study will begin this winter to evaluate the feasibility of monitoring lynx using noninvasive techniques such as cameras and collection of scat and hair for genetic sampling, hoping to capture data on the new, Colorado-born generation of Canada Lynx. ■

[ Colorado's Lynx ]

Cause for Celebration Last winter, the fate of the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s lynx reintroduction program seemed in question. No kittens had been found for two years, 20 cats had been shot and the state’s snowshoe hare population—the feline’s primary prey—appeared to be shrinking. To top it off, the state had decided not to release any more lynx. Lynx canadensis are native to Colorado but were gone from the state by 1973, victims of trapping, hunting, poisoning and development. The reintroduction program started in 1999 and, for the next decade, 218 radio-collared lynx were transplanted from Alaska and Canada and released in the state, many in remote areas of the San Juan Mountains. By 2006, the CDOW reported 116 Coloradoborn kittens and the decision was made to stop reintroducing the cats. Then two years went by without a single den or litter found. 28

In the spring of 2009, hope was rekindled with the finding of five dens and 10 kittens. Division of Wildlife researchers located three dens near traditional release sites in the San Juan Mountains and two farther north in Gunnison and Eagle Counties. "The discovery of kittens this year is extremely promising," said Tanya Shenk, CDOW lynx field researcher. "The locations of the dens show that lynx are beginning to expand their ranges and are once again finding both food and habitat necessary for successful reproduction."

. . . two years went by without a single den or litter found. Another boon was the native “grandkittens.” In two dens, kittens came from Colorado-born parents—the first documented cases where both lynx parents were native to Colorado. Division biologists believe the located dens reflect just a minimum number of kittens born in a reproductive season. “The number of lynx fitted with active radio collars [49] is

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

perhaps the lowest since we started the program," said Shenk. "We can't track all the female lynx, so it is probably safe to assume there are more dens and kittens out there than what we found during our survey." Division biologists speculate that a slump in the snowshoe hare population may have contributed to the declining number of kittens in recent years. In Alaska and Canada, it is well documented that the population of lynx fluctuates with that of the snowshoe hare, and limited observations suggest a decrease in the Colorado hare population compared to a few years ago. While these results indicate that lynx are adapting well to Colorado's mountains, CDOW biologists are reluctant to say they've achieved all of their goals for the lynx reintroduction. "Our next goal is to determine if our level of recruitment [growth in population] is exceeding our mortality rates over a couple of years. We are very encouraged by the results this year and are hopeful that these animals will contribute toward a sustaining population for

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—Mary Duffy with Jerry Neal, Colorado Division of Wildlife

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NOVEMBER High 61˚ (record 73˚ 1941) Low 5˚ (record 3˚ 1931) Precipitation 1.8” (avg 1.53”) Snow 28.5” (avg 21.5” max 57” 1991) DECEMBER High 48˚ (record 66˚ 1973) Low -1˚ (record -27˚ 1949) Precipitation 4.91” (avg 1.58”) Snow 76.5” (avg 25.5” max 107” 1983) JANUARY High 47˚ (record 58˚ 1990) Low 3˚ (record -32˚ 1963) Precipitation 1.5” (avg 1.64”) Snow 23” (avg 26.9” max 80.5” 1979)

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FEBRUARY High 51˚ (record 65˚ 1986) Low 6˚ (record -36˚ 1933) Precipitation 1.46” (avg 1.72”) Snow 16.5” (avg 26.8” max 97.9” 1936) MARCH High 61˚ (record 73˚ 1986) Low 7˚ (record -20˚ 1932) Precipitation 1.22” (avg 2.19”) Snow 20” (avg 33.9” max 127” 1995)

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APRIL High 67˚ (record 78˚ 1992) Low 6˚ (record -10˚ 1980) Precipitation 2.72” (avg 2.17”) Snow 37” (avg 22.8” max 64.5” 1917)

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mountainhealth

[ gesundheit ]

Fighting the Flu During this flu season, you’re more likely to grimace than to say “gesundheit” when someone sneezes. That’s because this is not your average flu season: This year, in addition to the garden-variety influenza strain, the H1N1 influenza —“swine flu”—was declared a pandemic in April. Seasonal flu is bad enough—according to the Center for Disease Control, an average of 36,000 people die annually from the flu—but is swine flu worse? “It is,” says local MD Sharon Grundy, “because it doesn’t circulate around like the seasonal flu does each year. The last time there was a version of this particular flu strain was in the '70s. A lot of people have built up an immunity to seasonal flu, but swine flu—more people can be affected by it.”

[ AT altitude ]

Saving Our Skin You might feel powerless against things such as the sun, the climate or time—but when it comes to your skin, you can beat back the elements. Dr. Jennifer Haley, a local dermatologist, shares some of her tips for rejuvenating your skin and keeping it healthy, even in our harsh mountain environs. Block the sun. Exposure to the sun at high altitude is particularly

In our youth, epidermal cells reproduce rapidly, completely replacing themselves in 21-28 days. 30

damaging, and Haley recommends a mineral-based sunscreen with physical blockers such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, rather than chemical blockers. She also says to make sure it’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shuts out both UVA and UVB rays. “You can’t go by the SPF [Sun Protection Factor] alone,” says Haley, and she recommends an annual skin check for melanoma. Hydrate. There are myriad ways to moisturize your skin, from drinking water to using expensive cosmetic products, but Haley suggests a specific regimen: Use a mild cleanser instead of soap, and apply moisturizing cream containing Vitamin A—retinol or tretinoin—at night, and Vitamin C in the morning. Creams, which are oil-based, are preferable to lotions, which are water-based. She says it’s also important to get a medicalgrade Vitamin C product because C is unstable and can oxidize,

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

MOTION

to the baby. Both anti-glycation and growth factors can refresh your skin, according to Haley. “The way they work is that they help the skin turn over a little more quickly. The technology is amazing. On an enzymatic level, they stimulate cellular regeneration.”

making it useless. “All Cs are not created equal.” Unwrinkle your age lines. Two new wonder cures have hit the antiaging market: anti-glycation agents and growth factors. Glycation is a process where sugars attack proteins such as collagen or elastin, which results in physiological aging. Anti-glycation agents work to stop this action. And growth factors don’t just keep your skin from aging more quickly, they actually make your skin “younger.” In our youth, epidermal cells reproduce rapidly, completely replacing themselves in 21-28 days. As we get older, it takes longer—approximately two months by the time we are 40 or 50 years old. There’s an “ick” element to growth factors, however, which are cultured from the tender, young cells of circumcised foreskin. But judging from the popularity of the products, their origin is as forgettable to users as the bris is

These days, we have better nutrition, better care. But very virulent strains of respiratory illness are still a worry.

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The H1N1 virus was originally referred to as "swine flu" because it was believed to have similar genes to those of influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. Now scientists have learned that H1N1 has two genes from flu viruses that occur in pigs in Europe and Asia, as well as avian and human genes, making it a “quadruple reassortant” virus. While most people who become infected with H1N1 recover without medical treatment, it is still a ▶▶

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mountainhealth

[get MORE] At NPR.org, see a very engaging video on how a virus invades your body: npr.org/templates/ story/story.php?storyId= 114075029

Q

Sorina’s Head to Toe

[ Quick Question ]

Bear Medicine

A

Rachael Pfoetenhauer Photography

outbreak such as the Spanish flu that struck in 1918-1919, killing one out of every 10 people in the United States. “These days, we have better nutrition, better care. But very virulent strains of respiratory illness are still a worry. Any kind of infectious disease process can flare up at any time, like the avian flu did [the outbreak in Asia, Africa and the Near East is still claiming lives]. We were worried that the swine flu would spread rapidly. All we can do is be prepared—have a pandemic response plan. Hopefully we never have to use it.” ■ —D. Dion

Is osha a remedy for colds and flu?

Many herbalists believe chewing the bitter root of the osha plant can ward off a virus or respiratory infection. Osha has long been considered a powerful medicinal herb; indigenous people have used it for centuries to treat colds, cough, congestion, diarrhea, digestive problems and wounds. Native to the Rocky Mountains, osha (Ligusticum porteri) is a member of the parsley family and is ubiquitous in the high country surrounding Telluride despite being over-harvested. Osha has several other names: loveroot, Indian parsley, Porter’s lovage, Colorado cough root, chuchupate and bear root. Bears are known to eat osha when they emerge from hibernation, presumably to purge their digestive system. The plant also acts as a stimulant and invigorates the groggy bruins. Some bears roll on it, reacting to it as cats do to catnip. People use osha for its purported antiviral and antibacterial properties and to treat respiratory maladies, remedy nausea and settle indigestion.

Mary Duffy

▶▶ good idea to take precautions. “Make sure you stay well rested,” says Grundy. “I find a lot of our workers doing double shifts all ski season. Working too much, drinking too much, smoking cigarettes, even extreme exercising can suppress your immune system. You might want to take it easy… you don’t need to skin up to the top of Wilson.” Grundy also recommends boosting your immunity if you are at risk of exposure. She tells her patients to take raw garlic, chopping one or two cloves and letting them air a few minutes before ingesting them. Cooked garlic loses some of its vitality, she says, so if you must heat it, try to add it just at the end of your meal preparation. Another immune enhancer she suggests is Echinacea angustifolia. “You shouldn’t take it every day,” she warns. “And it doesn’t work if you’re already sick.” San Miguel County officials and medical professionals have been working on pandemic planning for several years, preparing for an

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askjock

[Rockin’ Rides]

[get MORE]

Dear Jock: I’ve noticed some of the new skis have a strange shape with both tips splayed up off the snow like floppy bananas. What’s up with that? —Just Curious JC, You’ve spotted the newest trend in ski manufacturing. Traditionally, skis were built with camber. Think of camber as an arc in the ski where the tip and tail sit on the snow and there’s a gradual rise toward the center of the ski. Pushing the camber out of the ski allows your edge to carve on firm snow and pops you into the next turn when you release that pressure. On the flip side, some powderspecific skis are built with reverse camber, where the waist of the ski sits low and the tip and tail rise up. This design works great, as long you are always floating in bottomless powder. You’ve noticed a hybrid of these two concepts, known in the skiing and surfing industry as “rocker.” With the rocker design, there’s still camber underfoot, but the ski begins to rise off the snow before the actual tip. A rocker-tipped ski floats to the surface in deep powder and planes easily on the top of crud. It also facilitates breaking trail in deep snow. Although skis with rocker often have traditional camber underfoot, they sacrifice some edge hold on firm snow. Demo a pair of rocker skis this winter and let me know what you think. —Jock

34

For more adventure tips from Jock, go to Blogs at TellurideMagazine.com

calorie-dense frosting). Whatever energy food you prefer, you should store it in an interior pocket next to your warm body. Keep those choppers intact! —Jock

[Frozen Calories]

[Weather or Not]

Dear Jock: I was Nordic skiing last winter and I pulled an energy bar out of my fanny pack for a quick snack. I nearly lost an incisor on the frozen caloric brick. Any advice? —Nearly Toothless

Dear Jock: I work in a restaurant, so I have to schedule my days off one week in advance. Last winter I kept guessing wrong and missed all the powder. Where do I get a reliable weather forecast for the San Juans? —Frustrated and Bitter

Dear Nearly, Solving your problem requires nothing more than careful shopping and thoughtful storage. While Jock hasn’t bothered to conduct a formal double-blind study, he’s certainly noticed that some bars maintain pliability in the cold better than others. In general, the deciding factor seems to be texture. Energy bars comprised of highly processed materials seem to freeze faster and harder than bars made of more wholesome stock. For example, the classic Power Bars—which are some kind of mysterious whipped food substance extruded into bars—are wintertime jawbreakers. Alternatively, Bobo’s Vegan Oat Bars—which seem to be made by gently compressing partially cooked oatmeal into a cellophane wrapper—remain flexible down to subzero temps. Another option is to skip energy bars entirely and try Clif Blocks (small cubes of colorful jello-like substance) or Gu (a foil packet filled with a

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

Dear Bitter, Before I address your question, let me share a favorite quote from an old miner named “Whispering” Jim Dalpez who lived and worked in the Telluride area for many decades. In his golden years, Whispering Jim spent most of his time on a bench in front of the Floradora where he would exchange pleasantries with friends as they passed. Because of his longevity in the region, people would often ask him to forecast the weather. “Only fools and newcomers predict the weather,” was his booming response. “And I ain’t neither!” Whispering Jim passed away some years back, so your best bet for a weather forecast now resides somewhere in cyberspace. An obvious site to consult is www.weather.com, which is the online version of the Weather Channel. Another standby is the National Weather Service’s website at www.forecast.weather.gov. An excellent third option is www.

weather.unisys.com. Of the three listed, Unisys provides the most technical maps of scientific-based information, so if you want the data to make your own decisions, start there. However, if you are trying to predict snowfall in the San Juan Mountains, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at www.avalanche.state.co.us always seems to be accurate. Don’t forget to send them a donation to help fund their important mission of keeping Colorado’s backcountry skiers abreast of current avalanche conditions. A final snippet of weather advice passed on to me by my dear departed grandfather: "We’ll weather the weather whatever the weather, whether we like it or not." —Jock

Ciecuich 1/3 horz telluridemagazine

[Edgy Subject] Dear Jock: My daughter wants to participate in a youth hockey program this winter. As much as I love her, the economic downturn prevents me from buying her all new gear. I’ve found an old pair of hand-me-down skates that should fit her fine. But I’ve heard hockey skates need to be sharp. I know how to sharpen a knife. Can I put an edge on her skates at home? —Cheapskate Dear Cheapie, I hate to shut down a doting father’s handyman efforts, but I’ll be blunt: Do not attempt to sharpen your daughter’s hockey skates at home. Sadly, sharpening a skate blade is not anything like sharpening a knife. The sharp edge of a knife is a finely ground wedge. Sharp skate blades are actually two parallel edges separated by a precisely milled concavity. Sharpening skates requires specialized equipment and skill attained only through years of practice. Call The Telluride Nordic Center at 728-1144. Midnite Scholtes and his crew will hone your daughter’s skates to perfection. ■ Tell her to play nice on the ice, —Jock

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winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 35


Sisters on the Slopes

Mona Wilcox

Women of the Telluride Ski Patrol

By Kim Richard

Near the summit of Palmyra Peak, the ski area's highest point.

Martinique Palmyra Peak is still shrouded in Davis the shadow of a winter morning, but already a hiker’s profile appears on the ridgeline: just a lone silhouette marching upward along the mountain’s shoulder, with skis jutting out from a backpack.

30, 8 years with TSP

Although from this distance the early morning hiker is just a dim outline against the horizon, I know who it is. Ski patroller Jan Robberson left Prospect Bowl’s High Camp station 20 minutes before us, and now she has reached the top of the ski run, Tram Shot. The white crosses of ski patrollers Kim Richard and Heidi Attenberger are easier to distinguish, since these two women are just ahead of where I stand on the trail to the apex of 13,320-foot Palmyra Peak, the behemoth of the resort’s hike-to terrain. Behind me, the patrol’s “Auntie Mo” Wilcox is steadily making her way up the mountain. Below her, the Telluride Ski Resort is just waking up. It’s been a while since I have been out on a mission with these ladies, who are four of the most iconic women on the Telluride Ski Patrol. Pregnancy had put me on the sidelines of my own ski patrol position for an entire winter. It’s also downright rare, in a job so dominated by men, that five women would be working together at the same station on the same day. But here I am, standing on a boot-packed trail in the early morning light en route to Palmyra Peak with Mo, Jan, Kim and Heidi. I take it all in for another moment— the view, the light, the quietude—and feel a swelling of gratitude, for this job, this place and these people. But I can’t dally for long. Kim and Heidi will be joining Jan on the summit soon, and Mona, I see, has already caught up to me.

36

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-10

here’s no question why Mona’s ski patrol nickname has, for decades, been “Auntie Mo.” Among this family of sundry characters, connected not just by job description but also by their allegiance to this lifestyle, Wilcox is the matriarch. Unflappable and not prone to confrontation, she might seem an unlikely leader for this rowdy fraternity. Weighing in at no more than 100 pounds fully outfitted, she might also not appear to be one of the patrol’s hardest-working members. Yet Wilcox is both. Wilcox brings more than two decades of experience to the job, having started with the ski patrol in the winter of 1986-87. She wasn’t the first woman on the Telluride Ski Patrol (Jane Watenpaugh had that honor, hired in 1976), but Wilcox does hold another ski patrol “first” title: She was the first wife, joining the crew after marrying longtime ski patroller Gerry Wilcox in 1979. “Jane broke the macho barrier; I broke the marriage barrier,” says Wilcox, alluding to the next generation of married ski patrol couples—Kim and Gary Richard, and me and my husband, Craig Prohaska. Aside from proving that married couples could happily coexist on the job, Wilcox paved other roads for future patrollers, both female and male. “In the early days, there was no formal training program—you basically had to train yourself,” she recalls. There is much to learn: how to provide first aid and

Marti Davis gives a skier a lift.

www.TellurideMagazine.com

www.TellurideMagazine.com

Mary Duffy

T

Kim

transport to the injured, rescue the stranded, control avalanches with explosives, drive snowmobiles, handle avi-dogs and getting to know every inch of the ski area. Wilcox is now considered a reliable, approachable instructor because of her experience and non-judgmental attitude. She is also known for her willingness to do any task, from the major (such as safely maneuvering a rescue sled containing a person twice her size off the mountain) to the mundane (making sure every patrol station has coffee). “We women, we work twice as hard—but we don’t act like it,” she says. Wilcox has an ever-upbeat attitude. What has helped her make it through more than 20 seasons as one of the few women on the team, she says, is her sense of humor. Her male coworkers, like a band of brothers, tend to make a job out of teasing each other. “You’ve got to learn how to shrug things off, but you also don’t want to let your guard down—you can’t let ’em crawl into that little weak spot, because they’re constantly trying.” She says that it’s getting a little easier to be a woman on the ski patrol these days, thanks to the ever-growing percentage of women joining the once all-male group. Today, Telluride boasts 17 women ski patrollers out of nearly 70 total. “It’s nice to go to work and know you’ll probably have another woman at your station that day. Whether you get to ski or just work together, it’s nice to have another sister.”

Kim Richard tosses a bomb.

Kim Richard

Mona

61, 23 years with TSP

brett schreckengost/tellurideimage.com

Wilcox

art: anji sawant

Heidi

“ Auntie Mo”

Jan

photo: doug berry/telluridestock.com

Marti

Mona

winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 37


Heidi

“ The Drill Sergeant ”

Jan

“ Tan Jan ” Robberson

T

53, 21 years with TSP

wo years after moving to Telluride from Germany, Heidi Attenberger joined the Telluride Ski Patrol. She came to the job for the same reason her colleagues did. “I realized someone would pay you to ski,” she says. Attenberger took her first EMT class simply as a means to get hired on to the patrol, unaware that it would ultimately lead to her future career as a full-time paramedic for the Telluride Fire Protection District. Today, she is one of two paramedics working on the Telluride Ski Patrol. She says that when it comes to treating and transporting injured people on the mountain, it doesn’t matter whether the rescuer is male or female. “They see a person in uniform who is there to help them, and for the most part, none of them care that the person might be a woman,” she says. Attenberger ran the ski patrol’s Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) medical training program from 2000 to 2003. It was there

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“ Kimmy ” Richard

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that her keenness for holding OEC-certified ski patrollers to the highest standard garnered her the nickname “The Drill Sergeant.” Attenberger passed the OEC training torch to fellow female ski patroller Lisa Chism when she started paramedic school in 2004, but Attenberger remains an instructor for the patrol’s in-house medical training program. Aside from obvious aspects of the job that make it a spectacular career, like skiing powder and participating in rescues, Attenberger says she appreciates the camaraderie between patrol members— both male and female. “In the winter, patrol is like a big family; I spend more time with them than anyone else. And like any family, there’s drama—especially toward the end of the season,” she says. “Toward the end, it’s hard to be nice to everyone everyday, but it seems like everyone has forgiven you by the time the next season comes around.”

summit just as the sun washes it in color. We can’t help but stay a moment, soaking in both the view and our company—five women ski patrollers, all in one place at the same time.

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hen Kim Richard moved to Telluride after graduating from college in 1990, she needed a job. The first one she came upon was working for the Telluride Ski Resort’s Lift Department, which not only provided her an opportunity to improve her skiing but also introduced her to the ski patrol. “As a liftie, you meet all the ski patrollers, whether you like it or not; usually, they’re yelling and screaming at you to get the lift going,” she says. Patrolling seemed like a great job to have on the mountain, she thought, so the next year she enrolled in an EMT (emergency medical technician) class and began pestering then-ski patrol director Junior Mahoney for a job. Though she had to take a pay cut to join the patrol, when a position finally did open up during the 1992 winter season, Richard was quick to take it. “It’s one of the most incredible jobs there is, because the mountains are your workplace,” she says. Richard, who says she never thought ski patrolling would become her profession, has nonetheless remained on the roster for 17 years—during which time she married fellow ski patroller Gary Richard and became mother to Bell (10) and Mattheau (7). From being 21 years old and fresh out of college to becoming a wife and then a mother of two, ski patol has been the one constant in Richard’s adult life. “At 21 years old, you don’t really know who you are. The ski patrol became the group of people I learned from. It’s neat to be able to grow as a person while working a job that actually pays you to do what you love,” she says. Being the only working mother on ski patrol for many years (today there are three) was not as difficult as one would think, Richard says—except, of course, for finding an on-mountain location to pump breast milk. “Going back to work was such a nice way to get back into my life,” Richard explains. “Working on the mountain, you’re the first one there in the morning and the last one down at night. In the meantime, it can be pandemonium, but I love being there to experience the solace of the mountain.”

47, 15 years with TSP

Back on Palmyra Peak, we reach the

41, 17 years with TSP

pg. 38

Kim Richard

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Kim

Heidi Attenberger

Kim Richard

Jan Robberson

Kim Richard

Mary Duffy

wo years after Wilcox started patrolling, Jan Robberson was attracted to the Telluride Ski Patrol and enlisted in 1988. For 10 years prior to that, she had worked as a foreman and then as assistant supervisor for the resort’s Lift Department, during which time she got to know the ski patrol and what they did. “I learned it was really the best job on the mountain,” she says of her pre-patrol days, during which she was frequently a tag-along on missions. “The allure of ski patrol was all it took. I loved being on the mountain [working with the Lift Department], but I really loved to ski. Working on the lifts, you didn’t get to ski as much,” she says. Robberson learned to ski in her home state of Michigan, but her love of the sport blossomed after taking a few ski trips to Colorado in her teens. “Skiing in the sunshine—are you kidding? I was so impressed,” she says. “I knew from then on that Colorado was where I wanted to be.” She moved to Telluride in 1976-77, one of the worst drought seasons in the ski area’s history. But something intrigued her even during a sunny, snow-free winter, compelling her to stay. (“Tan Jan” is, after all, her nickname.) Joining patrol was like marrying into a big, occasionally dysfunctional family, she says, one that—like most families—can be both maddening and enchanting. Despite all the “testosterone flying around” most of the time, Robberson says of patrolling, “It’s still the best job out there—the best job I can think of, really. I’m always so grateful to ride the lift in the morning and see the snow sparkling in the sun. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Attenberger

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The conversation trickles to next season, and Mona tells us she and Gerry won’t be coming back to ski patrol. With all the new, extreme terrain Telluride is opening up, it may be a good time for them to retire. “Self-preservation,” she calls their decision, and talks of their plan to spend the winter surfing in Mexico. When their cabin in Fall Creek starts to catch the rays of early spring sunshine next March, they’ll come back to ski, she says. Although she’s characteristically upbeat, we know Mona well enough to see that leaving ski patrol after more than two decades will be bittersweet. “I don’t really want to think about how I’m going to miss it all,” she admits. “It’s been a lifetime of absolutely incredible experiences and memories.” Silence sweeps over the five of us as we watch the sun illuminate the slopes, each of us knowing that this will be one of those incredible memories Mona is talking about. ■

Marti Davis, Jan Robberson and Heidi Attenberger at the top of Palmyra Peak. winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 39


Priest Lake

Free the Heel and the Rest Will Follow

This is the gem of the Telluride Nordic scene. A relatively small park, its 10 kilometers of trail feature a variety of interconnected loops over rolling terrain and a straight gentle climb up the abandoned railroad grade. The tracks wind in and out of evergreen and aspen forests, by frozen lakes, over snow-covered creeks, past historic cabins, and the scenery is downright distracting. Having grown up in Norway, Nordic Association board member Ivar Eidsmo knows a thing or two about Nordic skiing. A lifelong skier and avid competitor, the 65-year-old Eidsmo prefers the challenging terrain at Priest Lake. “It’s about a 6 percent railroad grade, probably more intermediate or advanced skiing,” he says. “And the snow is always good because the area is in the evergreen and aspen groves. The setting is very Colorado-like, very spectacular.” Priest Lake is located 12.5 miles south of Telluride on the east side of Highway 145, just past the Matterhorn Campground. Park at the USFS Ranger Station on the left-hand side of the road. Dogs are permitted. This is the site for many of the local Nordic ski races.

Cult of the Skinny Skis Wins Converts

By Mary Duffy & D. Dion

THE TRACKS [get MORE] Find Nordic trail maps at TellurideMagazine.com by clicking on the winter Visitor Guide cover and going to the back of the virtual magazine

Telluride Town Park

Home of the Telluride Nordic Center, this is where the fun begins. You can rent equipment, get your skis waxed, arrange a lesson or grab a quick aerobic session. Within the park are 3 kilometers of circuitous groomed track. Former ski patroller Jane 40

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Watenpaugh likes the park because the snow there stays cold: “It’s much easier to ski; it doesn’t melt and get icy or heat up and get slushy. It’s consistent.” The track may be short, “but there’s just one little hill, and it’s always well-groomed.” Town Park is also the place to come with the kids, because they can ice skate or sled while you get a quick workout, and, says Watenpaugh, “It’s the prettiest town park anywhere.” From the park you can access Idarado Legacy Trail (1.75 miles one way to the mill) or the River Trail that runs along the south side of Telluride. Open to foot traffic, both can still be fun classic routes for those who want to venture out of the park. Via the River Trail, it is possible to connect to the ski track on the Valley Floor.

of perfect corduroy, so that the athlete can “skate” across the snow. Unlike different religious sects, the two coexist peacefully: The classic track is usually set to one side of the skate track, thus the same machine can set both tracks with one pass. Downhill devotees might wonder what the fun is in skiing the flats. According to Midnite Scholtes, who runs the Telluride Nordic Center, it’s a great way to get out and enjoy winter, anyone can do it, it can be a kick-ass workout…and it’s free. “Even if you’ve never been on skis before, you can go out and move around on classic skis, have a good time and get some exercise.” After that, the sport has no bounds. Skate skiing is all about the push and glide (just like ice skating, hence the name) and is a vigorous endeavor that gets your whole body involved. The speed of skate skiing is seductive, but the learning curve is longer than that of classic skiing. It takes practice to pick up the skate motion and find your stride. Classic skiing may be easier initially, but at the highest level it is the hardest ski technique to perform well, harder than alpine skiing or snowboarding, says Scholtes: It’s “like a running ballet.” Nordic skiing may be a grueling workout for my ascetic, exercise-addicted friends, but it isn’t all about pain and punishment. The tracks are maintained in serene and beautiful places, and the majestic outdoor settings are one of the main reasons so many Telluriders are now hooked.

Telluride Valley Floor

This is arguably the preeminent Nordic skiing in the region. It is virtually the only flat ground between Montrose and Cortez, and cross-country ski instructor Cindy Farny-Mallette appreciates the Valley Floor for its easy access, beginner-friendly terrain and sheer beauty: “In the morning, it’s so quiet, skiing alongside the river; there are snow crystals on the willows. You feel like you are in paradise.” The Valley Floor has more than 15 kilometers of groomed loops and straight stretches. “Anybody can go out there,” she says. “You see all levels of skiers, not just beginners or experts; you see mothers hauling their babies in sleds.” Access points can be

found from Mahoney Drive in Telluride, at the Shell Station one mile west of town (park on the east side of the building), or across from Society Drive and Lawson Hill. “You can just cruise to Lawson Hill and back in less than an hour,” effuses Farny-Mallette. “You can make your time on the Valley Floor as long or as short as you want.” The Valley Floor, according to Farny-Mallette, is a good place to hone your skate-skiing technique. “It’s the only place that is flat and straight for long stretches, so you can get a rhythm going or practice sprints on the old railroad grade.” She also encourages everyone to take advantage of full moon dinners, fun events where the ski loop travels from hot drinks to hearty soups and finishes at the dessert line.

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Trout Lake Railroad Grade

brett schreckengost/tellurideimage.com

I think some of my friends may have a problem. It’s as if they are addicted to exercise. These are people who think it’s fun to run the 17 mountainous miles between Ouray and Telluride or ride their bikes from here to Moab or Durango. In the winter, there are perfectly good chairlifts and fabulous downhill skiing, some involving a short hike. But nope—not good enough. All that gravity-fed stuff is just a warm-up. For a real workout, they hit the track for a thigh-burning Nordic ski session. Unlike ski touring, a slow uphill slog into avalanche terrain with a heavy pack, the local Nordic scene is all about traveling light and fast. Nordic skiing in this region consists of classic and skate skiing, and their common denominator is a groomed track. The small cult of devoted Nordic skiers has ballooned into an all-out fad, especially since the opening of the Valley Floor; and thanks to the tithing members of the Nordic Association, which handles the regional grooming, track skiing in Telluride now drives its own snowcat over the miles and miles of land dedicated to these skinny-ski sports. Classic and skate tracks require different types of grooming. Traditional classic/cross-country tracks are two grooves, set about hips’ width apart to accommodate the diagonal kick and glide of classic skiing. The modern skate track (skate skiing took hold after American cross-country ski legend Bill Koch used the method in World Cup competitions in the 1980s) is a wide, groomed swath

The old railroad grade on the east side of scenic Trout Lake is groomed for approximately 5 km (one way) to the top of Lizard Head Pass, providing excellent intermediate terrain. Carol and Bob Korn ski the railroad grade regularly; Carol says she’s been skiing there since the ’70s, over the rickety old trestle bridge, even before there was a groomed track next to it. “I think about it now… we must have been crazy.” The Trout Lake Railroad Grade receives significantly more snow than any other Nordic trail in the region; it is always the first and last skiable trail for the season. Korn www.TellurideMagazine.com

says the snow is as important as the scenery. “The thing that makes Trout Lake special is the early snow and the way it holds snow later in the season.” Korn says she also likes the gradual uphill of the grade, which makes for a nice, easy downhill back to the car. She has been classic and skate skiing for close to four decades, and her husband finally caught the fever. “Bob was a downhill skier and he used to harass me because I was a Nordic skier. Finally, he decided to try cross-country skiing, and now he’s a convert. He lives for it; he’s really addicted to it.” Skiers are encouraged to access the trail from the top of Lizard Head Pass to reduce traffic impacts on Trout Lake Road, a residential area. Parking and restrooms are available at the USFS station at the top of the pass. This is a favorite haunt of people who enjoy skiing with their pooches, and skiers should remember to clean up after their pets and keep them within voice command.

Village Nordic Trails/ Telluride Golf Course

The Mountain Village Nordic Trail System offers 12 kilometers of groomed trails; it’s scenic, dog friendly and well-maintained. Mountain Village’s Nordic trails accommodate skiers, hikers and snowshoers. Foot traffic stays to the sides of the trails, off the classic grooves. There are multiple points from which to access these Nordic and snowshoe trails. If you’re driving, there’s a free parking lot on Adams Ranch Road, 100 yards north of the intersection at Mountain Village Boulevard. If you’re in the Village Center, access is available from The Peaks Resort and its ski run at the top of the Chondola. Convenience is key for Lois Major, a busy mom and attorney who enjoys sneaking away for some exercise. “I love the Village. It’s beautiful, and it’s such a good

workout…you can just do laps. The terrain is really hilly—an interval workout.” Major has been an upper-level recreational skier for about 18 years and says it’s her main activity in the winter. She says she loves skiing the track when it’s in perfect condition, which is a matter of timing. “They do such a good job grooming, so when you hit it just right, it’s fabulous.”

Topaten

This trail system is a place where you can challenge yourself on the terrain, but it’s also a place to slow down and explore evergreen forests and alpine meadows with epic views. Topaten, so named because it sits at the top of the ski area’s Lift 10, has almost 10 kilometers of Nordic trails that are groomed three times a week. There’s a warming teepee, picnic tables and restrooms, and this is where the resort’s snowshoe tours are hosted. If you’re looking for a great technical workout, Topaten offers plenty of ups and downs where you can hone your technique and feel the burn. For a skate skier, this is the region’s toughest track. A classic skier wanting for a longer venture can ski from the Topaten area through Magic Meadows and beyond the ski area boundary, along an old mining road (snowmobiles have access to this route also) that will take you all the way to Alta Lakes. Environmental educator Deanna Drew has spent a lot of time at Topaten. She finds the area remote and peaceful. Preferring to classic or cross-country ski, Drew encourages skiers to be creative: “It’s an adventure—you can explore different routes, go off trail, follow animal tracks. The serenity of Magic Meadows and the views are what make this area so special.” This is the locale, she says, to bring wine and cheese and a few friends for a leisurely adventure. A Nordic day pass to ride Lift 10 up and back is $20 a day at the Mountain Village Activity Center. Advanced skiers in search of a good climb can access the area for free by skiing uphill on the Galloping Goose ski run. ■

The Skinny on Skis and Equipment • Classic track skis are long and sized to the heel of the hand when it’s extended above the skier’s head. These skis have double camber with upturned tips and a kick zone (wax pocket or scale zone) under the foot for traction. The tips and tails have a slick base to release the traction and glide forward. Skate skis are shorter, skinnier and have a single gliding surface designed for pushing side to side in a skating motion. • There are “combi” boots designed to accommodate both sports (which use the same basic bindings), but it’s best to have boots specific to each technique, according to Scholtes. Classic boots are just “glorified sneakers,” he says, while skate boots are stiffer with more ankle and lateral support. • You may be able to make the same boots work for both types of skiing, but you can’t cheat when it comes to poles. Your classic poles, sized to fit under your armpit, are not efficient for skate skiing. Skate ski poles must be taller, reaching up to your lower lip or chin, to accommodate for a longer stride. • Worried about wax? Or skis getting stuck with the wrong wax temperature or type? Fret no more. Ski technology has advanced so far that even World Cup races have been won on waxless or non-wax skis. Scholtes may scoff that skiing on waxless skis is “like riding with the emergency brake on,” but he still skis on them. Sometimes you just can’t get the wax right, and the ease of maintenance until you become serious about the sport makes waxless the way to get started. • No equipment? No excuses. The Nordic Center in Telluride Town Park rents both schools of cross-country gear and will also set you up with lessons. Call 970.728.1144 for more information.

[get MORE] The Nordic Association posts grooming reports and race and event calendars at telluridetrails.org winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 41


iv er nR ni so

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Cochetopa Pass

iver

Fort Robidoux Telluride

Robidoux's Pass

This 1854 Western Colorado map (within the territory of New Mexico at the time) has place names that reference the early travels of Antoine Robidoux (spelled Roubideau here). It should be noted that the Dolores and San Miguel Rivers are reversed in this rendition, and the San Miguel River is the upper drainage and in reality runs into the Dolores before flowing into the Colorado River.

Anto ine Rob idou x

Notorious Trapping and Trading Entrepreneur

E

xcitement reigned during the annual spring homecoming of trappers and traders. Oxcarts and overburdened pack mules entered the courtyard where buckskin-clad men, as mud-caked and beleaguered as the beasts they drove, unloaded their charges. The mountain of beaver pelts grew taller with each disencumbered animal, and Antoine Robidoux realized, with pride and a little relief, that this year’s trapping season was another unconditional success.

From the tangle of men and animals, Antoine’s older brother, Joseph Robidoux III, approached, a leather satchel in hand. Eze a letter from our friend Auguste Chouteau, he said earnestly. He says our future lies to the south, in New Mexico and in the country north and west of Santa Fe. Both brothers understood their days working the tributaries of the upper Missouri River were numbered. The region was overrun with trappers from competing companies, and the once-plentiful supply of beaver was depleted. It would be left to Antoine to seek out new territory for the Robidoux family. I must stay here and watch over the business, said Joseph. Now that Mexico is free of Spain,* there may be a place for us there. Eze your time now, mon frere. (*From the late sixteenth century until 1821, the state now known as

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b y P aul O’Rou rke

New Mexico was part of Mexico and under Spanish colonial rule. After Mexico was liberated from Spanish rule and for the next 25 years, until 1846—when the United States assumed possession of it—the territory of New Mexico was governed by Mexico.)

Joseph, head of one of the more prosperous French-Canadian merchant families in St. Louis, left Antoine to ponder the impact of his words. Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, the demand for beaver fur, used in the manufacture of wildly popular men’s top hats and fashionable outer garments for women, had made their family rich. To preserve that prosperity and extend the family business into a rugged, potentially dangerous and almost entirely unknown frontier would be the younger sibling’s responsibility. Antoine Robidoux, just a few months shy of his thirtieth birthday, set out for Santa Fe, 800 miles away, in the spring of 1824, determined to repay his brother’s faith in him. There, the younger Robidoux was inducted into Santa Fe society by Auguste and Pierre Chouteau, his well-connected family friends and business associates. Antoine was introduced to veteran American trapper William Huddart and joined him on an expedition that took them north from Taos, across the San Luis Valley and over the Continental Divide at Cochetopa Pass. They followed the Rio San Xavier (Gunnison River) west through winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 43


For all his grit and drive, Antoine was a c har mer, as co mfortable in t he b ac k woods as he was on the dance floor… country teeming with beaver and occupied by friendly Natives to reach their destination at the Green River in what was to become eastern Utah. Antoine returned to Missouri the following fall to the new home of the family’s business, 200 miles upriver from St. Louis, at St. Joseph, a bustling commercial outpost named for his older brother. He brought bad news: Mexican officials had passed laws forbidding American incursions. However, with the understanding that French trappers would be allowed to ply their trade in the region if they first obtained Mexican citizenship, Antoine returned to Santa Fe in the spring of 1826. For all his grit and drive, Antoine was a charmer, as comfortable in the backwoods as he was on the dance floor at the governor’s palace. His good looks and articulate Spanish bolstered his rising status in Santa Fe. In 1827, he was elected to the Santa Fe Junta del Ayuntamiento (town council), where he loudly condemned foreign (American) trappers and traders for exploiting the resources and flouting the laws of “his” country. Despite gaining favor and commercial influence in Santa Fe, Antoine grew impatient. The two-year probationary period prior to receiving citizenship did not partner well with his insatiable need to keep on the move. And for Antoine, there was more than one way to skin a beaver. She was vivacious, a dark-haired beauty. According to stories, the señorita loved to ride to fiesta in Albuquerque on horseback; from a far bank, she would dare her sheepish male companions to swim their mounts across the flooded Rio Grande. Carmel Benevides, adopted daughter of the governor, was just what Antoine needed. Within weeks of his marriage to her, Antoine received what amounted to an almost exclusive license to trade and trap in the Ute country of present-day western Colorado and eastern Utah. The Utes had traded with New Mexicans in Taos and Santa Fe for decades, and Mexican traders were equally familiar with Ute country.

They told Antoine that the confluence of the Rio San Xavier and the Rio de San Francisco (Uncompahgre River) was a favored Ute gathering place and an ideal site for a trading post. Fort Uncompahgre was erected in 1828 and became the staging ground for Antoine’s trapping and trading operation. The 300-mile route from the fort to Taos, over the same path taken four years earlier by Antoine and Huddart, became a well-traveled thoroughfare. It linked, both commercially and culturally, Missouri, New Mexico and the Ute-inhabited western frontier. Happy to avoid the lengthy travel to markets in Santa Fe or Taos, the Utes welcomed Antoine and his Mexican traders. The Indians became the mainstays of the business at Fort Uncompahgre, both as suppliers and as consumers. Intimately acquainted with the streams adjacent to the Uncompahgre and Gunnison, including what are now Leopard Creek and the San Miguel River, Ute trappers spread out over the region in search of valuable beaver. Trapping was prosperous work. During the late 1820s, high-quality beaver fur could fetch anywhere from $5 to $6 per pound—the average pelt weighed about 1.5 pounds—and an ambitious trapper could earn from $150 to $250 in as little as two weeks. At the same time, good agricultural land in the East was going for $1 per acre and wages for an average laborer ran $200 for an entire year. The Utes had no particular interest in dollars, yet they quickly learned that Antoine’s fur-trading business meant material wealth and cultural and social benefits. Butcher knives, axes, copper kettles, iron arrowheads, blankets, cloth, needles, trousers, shirts, jackets, combs, mirrors, beads, tobacco, coffee, tea and Mexican sugar were in great demand at the fort, and the ample supply of beaver pelts during the early years drove what appeared to be a surplus of riches for both trapper and trader. Homecomings in St. Joseph were festive those first few springs, for as long as they could supply him with beaver, Antoine was ready and all too willing to ship to Fort Uncompahgre whatever goods the Utes desired.

The Gunnison River (referred to here as the Grand River) near the site photographed in the image on page 45.

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Antoine also traded guns to the Utes at Fort Uncompahgre. In an arrangement that appeared to favor trader over trapper, a smoothbore flintlock rifle purchased in Missouri for $10 could be exchanged for $700 worth of Ute-supplied beaver pelts. The guns were valuable to the Utes, though, because the Shoshone and Comanche to the north of their territory were receiving firearms from the Hudson Bay and American fur trading companies. Obtaining their own weapons might help the Utes level a growing imbalance of power among the Native tribes in the West. That this beaver-for-guns trade did not sit well with Mexican or American authorities— both countries had made such commerce illegal—proved only a minor annoyance for Antoine. He simply cut a bypass from the main route through present-day, south-central Colorado—connecting with the Santa Fe Trail near what is now Walsenburg—thus avoiding, for the time being, any contact with New Mexican officials. What did concern him, as his enterprise was maturing in the mid-1830s, www.TellurideMagazine.com

were things over which he had no control— like the demand for beaver pelts. Chinese silk had arrived in European markets during the early 1830s. Lighter and decidedly cooler than beaver, silk hats, for both men and women, quickly became the rage among Europe’s upper and middle classes. Nutria, an aquatic rodent from South America, was imported to Europe in great quantities during this same time and soon displaced beaver as fashion’s fur of choice. A prime beaver pelt worth $7 to $8 during the late 1820s fetched no more than $2 in 1835. This adjustment in the supply and demand affected the Ute trappers, who couldn’t quite understand why the same number of pelts brought them fewer and fewer finished goods. Possessing a certain entrepreneurial dexterity, Antoine located new markets for alternate Ute products, finding a use for The Gunnison River below its confluence with the Uncompahgre River at the historic site of Fort Robidoux near Delta, Colorado. beavers beyond their furry skins. Castoreum, a glandular fluid secreted by beavers, was gaining popularity in the treatment of such by the cries for her husband’s arrest, Carmel, along with their adopted maladies as earache, gout, epilepsy and even dementia. The gland’s daughter, packed up their belongings and moved to St. Joseph. Aware apparent healing power derived from the beaver’s diet of willow bark, that things were faring poorly in Santa Fe as well as at the fort, Antoine which contains salicin, a chemical used as an analgesic and to treat fever left for Wyoming and, after arranging for the liquidation of most of his and rheumatism. business holdings in New Mexico, rejoined his family in Missouri during Aside from miracle drugs, Antoine also capitalized on the demand for contraband, even if it was obtained by questionable means. He soon realized that there was a need for horses and mules in northern New Mexico and on the western frontier of the United States. Allowed to roam free in California, equine mounts were often spirited away from western pastures by overly ambitious Mexican and Ute traders and, not surprisingly, found their way to Fort Uncompahgre. From there, they were moved south and east and quietly sold to eager buyers. Like horses, Native slaves were also a desired commodity in the northern regions of New Mexico, where domestic and agricultural labor was scarce. Powerful tribes such as the Utes were not at all reticent to raid weaker bands in search of “tradable” human flesh. Though slavery was declared illegal in all the territories governed by Mexico in 1830, boys from eight to 12 years old might bring $50 to $100 in trade at Fort Uncompahgre, and young girls could bring perhaps twice that much. In Santa Fe, Antoine discreetly sold young captives for much larger sums of Mexican silver. It’s probable that Antoine paid officials in Santa Fe to overlook his illicit trading; such was the level of authority he could exert over the management of his own business affairs. His influence, however, could reach only so far. Antoine was no peace negotiator. Though they viewed the permanence of Fort Uncompahgre as a sort of necessary evil, the Utes and other tribes grew increasingly agitated as Mexican farmers moved north from Taos into the San Luis Valley. Responding to a Navajo raid on a New Mexican frontier settlement, Mexican troops retaliated against the first Native village they encountered, inhabited by innocent and unsuspecting Utes. Five Ute chiefs and 100 warriors, in September 1844, traveled to the governor’s palace in Santa Fe—not to seek revenge, but to negotiate peace. The inexplicable murder of one of the chiefs in the governor’s office enraged the Ute delegation and set off a killing spree that ran from Santa Fe to Abiquiu—violence that ultimately made its way to Fort Uncompahgre, where three Mexican employees were killed and all of the trade goods stolen. Antoine was blamed for the outbreak of Ute hostilities. It was he, according to reports, who had supplied weapons to the Utes. Alarmed www.TellurideMagazine.com

the fall of 1845.

f

Epilogue

ort Uncompahgre, the first permanent American settlement in western Colorado, was more than a commercial outpost. It was, for Natives in the area, that life-altering moment of first contact with Anglo-Americans. The fort was also a destination, a reference point for westward-moving Americans. Antoine, by making the passageway from Missouri to eastern Utah accessible, essentially shortened the distance— geographically and psychologically—between what was known and what was not. Without Antoine and other entrepreneur-explorers of his time, the span of territory from the Continental Divide to the Pacific may not have been bridged as quickly as it was, and Californians might well have been pledging allegiance to the Queen rather than to the United States. By the mid-1840s, Britain, along with Russia, had established strong commercial interests in northern California. When Mexico offered the territory to England as collateral for a loan, Parliament was more than a little interested in exploring the possibilities. The United States, not about to let that happen, immediately offered $25 million for the purchase of New Mexico and California, which was, just as promptly, rebuffed. Following a well-publicized Texas border skirmish provoked by American troops, Congress—in full agreement with President James Polk’s call for aggressive expansionism—declared war on Mexico on May 12, 1846. Just over three months later, Antoine Robidoux, a soldier in Colonel Kearny’s Army of the West, stood on the roof of the governor’s palace in Santa Fe and interpreted into Spanish Kearny’s call to the citizens of the city to swear allegiance to their new American governors. For Antoine, it must have been a memorable and bittersweet homecoming. ■

winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 45


Stay and Spa: Lodging in Luxury

By Gabby Anstey McDonald Photos by Brett Schreckengost

T

hink Telluride is only for the hardcore, double-black-diamond skier or snowboarder? That a winter visit here means a “Survivor”-style vacation and spartan accommodations? Think again. It’s a misconception that Telluride is only for those tough types who associate sports with suffering, turning a blind eye to creature comforts and civilized finery. Telluride is actually a haven of high-end lodging, and in Mountain Village, you'll find your quarters paired with luxurious world-class spas.

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telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-10

Three of the area’s most lavish resort spas are found in Mountain Village—Capella Telluride, the Golden Door Spa at the Peaks, and Himmel Spa at Fairmont Heritage Place’s Franz Klammer Lodge. Each facility offers first-class accommodations, and the amenities are open to day guests, too. They feature a full range of services, swimming pools, hot tubs and fitness facilities. What sets them apart from one another are the signature treatments and decadent services that are unique to each locale. At the Himmel Spa (himmel is German for “heaven”), one of the most popular offerings is the Opulence Oxygen Infusion Facial, which uses a nourishing blend of jojoba, vitamin C, vitamin E and a blend of 87 amino acids. “This treatment is so good for you,” says Beth Gaudet, Himmel Spa Director. “Our oxygen facial uses pure oxygen, right out of the tanks, and is very holistic. It also assists with altitude adjustment.” For bodywork, Gaudet recommends Himmel’s famous Thai Massage, an invigorating tune-up that is great for athletes and people www.TellurideMagazine.com


With indulgences such as Cooling Cucumber Wrap, Opulence Oxygen Infusion Facials or a Jelly Bath to savor, Telluride has become the destination for spas, pampering and pleasure.

Golden Door Spa Director Kristi Dickinson raves about the ISUN Platinum Facial, a repair and renewal treatment that is custom designed for each client’s skin. ISUN organic products are locally made in Ridgway and carried by the Golden Door Spa. The 80-minute facial includes a double exfoliation and treatment mask for deep hydration and refining of skin texture, as well as a head/shoulder massage, foot massage and special anti-aging hand treatment. Another Golden Door Spa signature is the Cooling Coconut Cucumber Wrap, an ideal remedy for sunburn and post-workout overheating. The treatment uses coconut cream, pure cucumber and rose distillates to pull heat from inflamed skin and help cool the body; aloe vera and calming herbs to soothe redness and skin irritations; and a moisturizing coconut-cucumber fragrant body wrap. The Golden Door Spa, the largest facility of its

kind in the region, has 32 treatment rooms, as well as a full-service salon offering manicures, pedicures, waxing and hair styling. There are private men’s and women’s spa lounges; a fitness center with workout studios; a lap pool, outdoor pool, water slide, several hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas; tanning services and oxygen inhalation room; and a climbing wall. The facility has undergone a $3 million renovation in the past two years, including a $2 million Zen-inspired facelift in 2007. “It really is an amazing sanctuary in the mountains here,” says Dickinson. “You have to check out the facility and the amenities to believe it.” Hotel guests can visit the spa at any time; day guests have full access provided they purchase a treatment of 50 minutes or longer. Capella Telluride opened in March 2009 and is the region’s newest spa. One of its specialties is the Lovers Ritual Journey, a three-hour (no, that’s not a typo) couple’s treatment, conducted in a private treatment suite. The ritual commences with herbal compresses and a side-by-side honey body scrub, followed by a private steam with detoxifying mud, then a double bath with bubbling jets, hydrotherapy and herbs known to have aphrodisiac qualities (jasmine, clove, neroli), “coupled” with a bottle of champagne. Next is

room service in front of the fire, then—to wrap it up—a dual couples massage. “Most of our treatments can be done as couple’s treatments, but this one is really special,” says Capella Spa Director Jenny Farrand. “We get a kick out of seeing two people go in casually for treatments and come out three hours later holding hands and looking all googly-eyed. It’s a great way to reconnect with your partner.” In addition to Capella’s signature treatments, there is a Self Spa option, where guests enjoy a mud bar with three different kinds of mud (Dead Sea, Sedona and seaweed). A Jelly Bath follows in a hydrotherapy tub, using a unique product made from rice starch and black tea. “The Jelly Bath is really amazing,” says Farrand. “It’s like being under a blanket in the water, and it’s incredibly nourishing.” Capella brands itself as a boutique spa with customized treatments in an intimate setting, with personal touches such as a warm shoulder wrap and beverage in the waiting room. The spa also offers manicures, pedicures and waxing, and Farrand says she’s looking to launch an in-room wellness program for guests that will feature yoga, acupuncture and other specialty services. “It will be like ordering room service, only you’ll choose spa options instead,” she says. Again, those staying at the hotel can use the spa and its facilities (indoor pool and fitness room) any time; day guests are welcome to use the facilities before and after their scheduled treatment. So who says you have to travel to the beach or the desert to soften and spoil yourself? There are also a multitude of day spas in Telluride and Mountain Village for those who prefer more traditional accommodations. With indulgences such as a Cooling Cucumber Wrap, Opulence Oxygen Infusion Facial or a Jelly Bath to savor, Telluride has become the destination for spas, pampering and pleasure. Oh, right—and there’s some skiing, too, that we hear is pretty good. ■

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telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-10

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who lead active lifestyles. “You feel really energized and rejuvenated, which is different from other types of massage,” she says. Although 60-minute treatments are available, the standard at the Himmel is 90 minutes, for a head-to-toe treat. Lodge owners and guests may use the facilities at any time; other visitors can enjoy the outdoor pool, outdoor hot tubs and workout facility for the entire day of their treatment.

PHONE 970 728 0630 AT THE BASE OF THE GONDOLA IN THE CAMEL’S GARDEN HOTEL WWW.TELLURIDESPA.COM

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winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 49


sanjuanscribes

By john nizalowski

work and long hours it takes to maintain these outfits, as well as reveal the deep satisfaction and moments of sublime beauty that come with all the toil. Altogether, Ranches of Colorado is a superb book, another remarkable achievement from Colorado’s preeminent photographer.

Voices of the American West by Corinne Platt and Meredith Ogilby (Fulcrum Group, $29.95)

Ranches of Colorado

by John Fielder; Essays by James Meadow (Westcliffe Publishers, $95)

In “The Conversion of an Environmentalist,” the introduction to Ranches of Colorado, famed photographer John Fielder explains that, at one time, he criticized the ranching industry for the grazing that denuded grasslands and disrupted delicate ecosystems. However, Fielder, along with many Western environmentalists, now views family-owned ranches as a bulwark against rampant development. For one, ranchers have in recent decades shifted their grazing practices to preserve rangeland and prevent overgrazing. But more importantly, if ranchers were to go bankrupt, their prime land holdings along rivers and streams would likely be covered in condominiums, wiping out vital habitat for wildlife and ruining Colorado’s natural beauty. To celebrate his philosophical conversion, Fielder has assembled 375 photographs of 50 of Colorado’s multi-generational ranches. As always, Fielder’s photographs are stunning, and the beauty is everywhere—from the state’s border with Kansas to the Utah frontier. On the eastern edge, Fielder features the Wray Ranch, with classic expanses of golden grassland tickling the horizon. Further south, near Pueblo, the J.E. Canyon Ranch boasts the red sandstone Purgatoire Canyon. By the Continental Divide, stands of white-barked aspen grace the Piney Peak Ranch, while the stark San Luis Hills loom over Salazar Ranch, home of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Not far from Telluride stands the Last Dollar Ranch, with its neat white house and barns made of logs and wood planks clustered beneath the dramatic peaks of the Sneffels Range. In a fine complement to the photography, James Meadow’s essays capture all the rough 50

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

Ironically, in 1967—the same year John Fielder, the photographer of Ranches of Colorado, arrived at a ranch near Pueblo to spend his first summer in Colorado—William Kittredge left his recently sold family ranch in Oregon’s Warner Valley. For both, that year symbolizes a personal transformation that would lead to a vision of the West based on environmentalism and social justice. Kittredge’s metamorphosis began with A.B. Guthrie’s The Big Sky and Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring, which helped him realize that Western settlement, unchecked grazing and the use of herbicides were ruining the land. After leaving the ranch, he went on to study the writings of James Welch, Vine Deloria and others who revealed the racial and cultural component to the devastation of the West. “I came to understand that the West was living out the end of one story, our racist, sexist, imperialist shootout story . . . and that a few Westerners were trying to figure out how to begin another story: forward looking, transcending, and useful.” As Kittredge explains in his foreword, Voices of the American West is a celebration of this new Western narrative. Platt (author) and Ogilby (author and photographer) traveled around the region interviewing and photographing a diverse group of visionary men and women who see the need to rethink how we live with the land and the people of the West. Recasting these interviews as short essays, they gathered them in this book, which includes pieces by Stewart Udall, Bill deBuys, Terry Tempest Williams, John

Fielder, Doug Peacock, Gary Nabhan, Sylvia Martinez and numerous others. The result is a work that is not only fascinating, but also highly important—a rare combination.

Intimate Landscape: The Four Corners in Poetry and Photography Poetry by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and photographs by Claude Steelman (Durango Herald Small Press, $15.95) When you combine the literary talent of Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, the poet laureate of San Miguel County and two-time winner of the Colorado Independent Press Association Poetry Award, with the photographic brilliance of Claude Steelman, whose work has illustrated the pages of Smithsonian, National Wildlife, Arizona Highways and many other important publications, the result is certain to be inspiring. Indeed, Intimate Landscape is a beautiful journey through one of the world’s most fascinating regions. In it, the poems and photographs mesh with a perfection that makes it difficult to know which came first. This is not merely a casual mix of images and words, but a tightly connected collaboration.

"And while faithful eyes guide me through an endless plot of white dotted lines, the restless mind runs— thick muscled and wet, throat tall, nose keen, untamable, refusing to pasture." For instance, a photo of black, snake-like tree trunks against the snow accompanies the poem “Or Perhaps Wash It All Away,” a powerful evocation of sorrow: “He gave her a beautiful / box full of ash. / Everyday she imagines / the lovely trees / they once were, / tries to plant them again / in the same dry soil. / If she cries enough, / might they www.TellurideMagazine.com

take root.” A shot of autumn-tinged cattails turns Trommer away from the pressure of deadlines to contemplate the beauty out her window, while a photograph of wild horses inspires the poet’s imagined escape from the confines of I-70: “And while faithful eyes / guide me / through an endless plot / of white dotted lines, / the restless mind runs— / thick muscled and wet, / throat tall, nose keen, / untamable, / refusing to pasture.” With many more of these diamond moments, Intimate Landscapes is a great book for lovers of both poetry and southwestern landscapes.

Telluride Storys by Rob Story (Telluride Story Press, $15.00) Readers of such publications as Bike, Skiing, Outside and 5280 are already familiar with Rob Story’s irreverent style. However, if you haven’t yet discovered his wry form of taletelling, or if you’d love to re-encounter all those great anecdotes, now is your chance. With Telluride Storys, Rob Story has gathered his humorous accounts of life in the San Juan Mountains in one delightful volume. Story creates a multifaceted portrait of the region’s outdoor life in such pieces as “Ski Towns and the Devaluation of Shoes” and “On the Fly with the Cult of the Big Stupid.” The titles suggest comedy, and Story does not disappoint. For example, we discover the inaccuracies of comparing Colorado to the Swiss Alps: “‘America’s Switzerland’ boasts no famous cheeses, doesn’t plunder Holocaust victims’ bank accounts, and will charge you full retail for a bag of Ricolas.” Or, the great difficulties in establishing a steady poker game in a resort town: “It took years of scouting to find the right mix—guys with enough discipline to sit on their ass for hours at a time drinking and gambling.” And the sublime power of jam bands to lure highmountain types out of their lairs: “No wonder the Grateful Dead’s annual spring shows in Las Vegas induced legions of skiers to descend from the Wasatch or Elks and head West in a kind of stony manifest destiny.” Indeed, we could fill the magazine with examples of Story’s witty observations on life in Telluride. But we won’t. The job has been done for us in Telluride Storys. ■

www.TellurideMagazine.com

[ MORE PAGE TURNERS ]

Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land

Top 30 Things to Do in Telluride

Norwood writer Amy Irvine’s haunting memoir starts from her perspective as an insider, a sixth-generation Mormon rancher, and ends with her on the outside, a liberal and an environmental advocate at odds with the predominant culture of the church and the storm of motorized recreation in southern Utah. As she processes her father’s suicide, she withdraws even further, to the outskirts of Deseret and the fringes of her marriage and her faith in the world. Trespass won the Colorado Book Award, the Orion Book Award and the Ellen Meloy Fund’s Desert Writer’s Award.

A simple guide on how to stay entertained in the Telluride area. Provides quick advice on everything from nightlife to hot springs. As the authors write: “A land of extremes. An eclectic mix. Hippies, billionaires. Artists and retirees. Gray panthers and twenty-somethings. Flattops and dreadlocks. Millionaires, international tourists.” Enjoy the blend.

by Amy Irvine (North Point Press, $25)

Turn Me On: 100 Easy Ways to Use Solar Energy by Michelle Kodis (Gibbs Smith, $12.99) This is the latest in Michelle Kodis’ series of superb books on earthfriendly architectural design and related subjects. In Turn Me On, Kodis enlightens readers about a wide range of ways in which solar energy is used, including utility neighborhood vehicles, a coffee roasting company, a heating and cleaning system for swimming pools, and preparing food. The book contains a host of sun-powered concepts along with links or addresses for more information.

Etta by Gerald Kolpan (Ballantine Books, $25) In his debut novel, Gerald Kolpan weaves what little is known of Etta Place, the lover of the notorious Sundance Kid, into a wondrous adventure that includes Philadelphia’s high-class neighborhoods, the murderous streets of Grand Junction, the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang’s remote Wyoming hideout and the far reaches of Argentina. Even Leon Trotsky makes an appearance in this wild ride of a historical tale.

By Mark D. and Amy Becker Williams (Wayfinder Press, $9.95)

Telluride Promise by Edward Massey (Opi’s Books, $14.95) Based on an actual banking scandal in Depression-era Telluride, Massey’s first novel charts the journey of a banker whose elaborate schemes to save the liquidity of his small mining town’s financial institution ultimately land him in prison. In consideration of recent headlines, Telluride Promise is a remarkably relevant tale, though in this case, the banker is not the villain, but the shining hero.

Descriptive Pamphlet of Some of the Principal Mines and Prospects of Ouray & San Miguel Counties 1882-3 in the San Juan Gold and Silver Region by W. Weston (Western Reflections, $12.95) The title says it all. A reprint of the original text, the book includes ore sales, mill runs and a Ouray business directory. Western Reflections has added photographs, historical notes and a foreword by Colorado historian P. David Smith, who notes that the “extensive assay notes” are “invaluable for the…serious mining historian.”

[get MORE] Regional reads at bigearthpublishing.com

winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 51


greenbytes

a year—and will sell for about $2,000. That would mean that the batteries provide energy for about three cents per kilowatt-hour, less than half the cost of electricity from the grid.

—D. Dion

Mary Duffy

[get MORE]

I

nstead of thinking green , try thinking pink—

as in pink cruisers, single-speed bikes with big baskets for running errands around town. The free “Telluride Townies” cruisers keep people out of their fossil fuelburning cars, so when local Jacey DePriest proposed the idea of the loaner bikes to The New Community Coalition, the eco-organization got their wheels spinning and found grant money from The Body Shop Foundation to fund the venture. Bikes were donated and converted to single-speeds, so the program wouldn’t compete with local sports shops who rent mountain bikes. There are about 20 pink bikes in the Telluride Townies fleet, which is housed on the east side of the library. The Town of Telluride tried a free cruiser program a few years ago, but the bikes “disappeared.” This time, the Wilkinson Public Library is using its book checkout system to loan them out. Anyone with a library card can borrow a Telluride Townie for three days.

[get MORE]

—Kris Holstrom

[ Better Batteries ] A new discovery could recharge the solar and wind energy industries: a battery to store electricity that is small enough, safe enough and inexpensive enough to be used in your home. Coors is best known for making beer, but a research and development component of the brewing company, called “CoorsTek/Ceramatec,” is developing a prototype battery that could deliver five kilowatts of electricity continuously for over

52

four hours—enough to potentially power a house. “Right now, with a traditional solar/grid tie-in, you put your solar energy into the grid when the sun is shining, and you draw from the grid at night,” says Dana Orzel of Great Solar Works, a local solar design and installation company. “Batteries allow you to store energy yourself.” There are a few problems with conventional batteries that store electricity produced by the sun or wind. Today’s energy-dense batteries are enormous containers

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

To explore more of what it means to be green or sustainable at 8,750 feet above sea level, go to newcommunitycoalition.org

of sodium heated to a blistering 600 degrees Celsius—too big, too corrosive and too hot to store at home. The Ceramatec prototype battery, about the size of a refrigerator, has a ceramic membrane that sits between a solid sodium metal and a sulfur compound, which allows the battery to operate at or below 90 degrees Celsius. According to Ceramatec, the new battery will last approximately 10 years—compared to some energy-dense batteries on the market that are dead in about

Batteries, whether they are in your cell phone or automobile or are part of your home energy array, are only getting better. For reviews of the latest in battery advances, go to MIT’s technologyreview.com

[ Tapping Into the Earth ] The earth’s ambient temperatures and a home’s ideal temperatures have something in common: They both range from 50 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Geothermal heat pumps capitalize on that fact, harnessing underground heat to warm your above-ground home. Geothermal pumps use a network of subterranean tubes to channel the warmth into a building, an eco-version of traditional central air heating. Using the earth’s heat works well in concert with other modes of energy production, such as solar, according to Brett Guarrero. He is a partner with Telluride eGroup, a solar and geothermal engineering and energy efficiency business. “What we do is make conscious design efforts to have each individual system complement the other systems.” Those efforts begin from the ground up, starting with landscaping. Before the excavator digs in, the group determines where to move the dirt to accommodate the geothermal plan and landscape architecture without having to truck soil away. Like most green ventures, geothermal heating costs more up front but, in the long term, provides a return on the investment. Geothermal systems require less maintenance and can save homeowners as much as 85 percent on energy bills. The

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opportunities to incorporate alternative energy and save money are endless, Guarrero says. “You can retrofit any system. We learned how to take the cost out of solar systems, we learned how to take the cost out of geothermal, and we learned how to take the cost out of the two systems working together. This is the true definition of synergy.”

—Kara Tatone

[get MORE] Search for "geothermal heating and cooling" on YouTube to see how this simple technology is installed and functions

[ Put Your Money Where Your Leak Is ] Think a new refrigerator is expensive? Your old one might cost you just as much. Try this trick: Place a dollar bill between the seal and the door as you close it. If you can pull it out easily, it’s time to replace the seal or adjust

the latch. You can also make your fridge more efficient by keeping it stocked up and by vacuuming the coil on the back of the unit twice a year.

—Kara Tatone

[ Green Gondola ] When the “g” first purred to life in 1996, it made history as the only transportation system of its kind in North America. The gondola not only provided access to the ski area, but also reduced the number of cars and buses driving between Telluride and Mountain Village and was seen as a move away from fossil fuels—or so it seemed. “Because the gondola runs purely on electricity it feels green,” says Mountain Village Mayor Bob Delves. “But in reality, it burns coal-fired power.” Enter Town of Mountain Village’s “Green Gondola Campaign,” intended to counteract 20 percent of the gondola’s energy use. The campaign seeks to raise nearly $2.3 million to install a 250-kilowatt solar array on tram

stations and town buildings. As the second busiest mass-transit system in Colorado, the gondola uses nearly five percent of the Mountain Village’s total electric load. The campaign, designed and implemented by Getting Climate Change Handled (GCCH) and The New Community Coalition, could carbon-neutralize more than 455,000-kilowatt hours annually. By giving a tax-deductible dollar, donors receive four pounds of carbon-offset credits. Offsets can be met by the pound, metric ton or, for the right contribution, an individual or company name can be placed in a gondola cabin. With two million riders each year, that statement will reach a large, captive audience. “Contribute and your dollar stays here,” GCCH Manager Ben Williams says. “It helps stop global warming in a meaningful way…. It’s as ‘think locally, act globally’ as you can get.” For more information about the Green Gondola Campaign visit www.townofmountainvillage. com/greengondola. ■

—M. Duffy

[ Just the Facts ] * Wagner Skis, a business located just outside of Telluride, is one of only two carbon-neutral ski factories (the other is in New Zealand) in existence. Wagner uses solar panels, purchases wind power and limits waste. * Composting does slow down in the winter, but the decomposing organic matter gives off enough heat to melt snow. * In the U.S., each human uses an average of seven trees per year in paper, wood and other products. Throughout a lifetime, this is about 525 trees, enough to cover nearly an acre of land. * We throw away thousands of plastic water bottles during our lifetime, but it takes the plastic of just five bottles to make the fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket.

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;ϵϳϬͿϲϮϲͲϱϱϰϵͮ;ϵϳϬͿϴϲϰͲϳϯϭϭͮǁǁǁ͘ƐŵƉĂ͘ĐŽŵ www.TellurideMagazine.com

winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 53


Telluride Historical museum

Telluride Historical Museum

Mary Duffy

tellurideplaces

Shares sold in the structure were not restricted to lodge members, and many Telluride citizens contributed to the project’s success. A hot water system provided heat, and electrical lighting was installed throughout the Italianate building. In February of 1899, the ladies of the Eastern Star auxiliary organized a Valentine’s Day ball. More than 100 couples attended, raising money to purchase furnishings for the hall. The final construction cost was about $23,000. This was the heyday of the Telluride Freemasons. By the time the building was complete, membership in three Masonic bodies (Telluride Lodge No. 56; Telluride Chapter No. 28, Royal Arch Masons of the York Rite; and the auxiliary Miriam Chapter No. 20, Order of the Eastern Star) totaled 250, and application had been made for a Knight Templar Commandery, which is a type of Masonic degree. In May of 1899, the Daily Journal ran a story on the front page with the banner headline, “A Red Letter Day For The Masons Of Telluride,” declaring the new Masonic Hall “unsurpassed in Colorado.” The May 1899 dedication ceremonies, a splendid affair, lasted for days. Ten of the 15 officers of the Grand Lodge of Colorado traveled by special train with other lodge members from Denver, Grand Junction, Cañon City, Walsenburg, Colorado Springs, Ouray and Glenwood Springs to attend the events. The

mason's HALL

T

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telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

The central, requisite belief in a Supreme Being or God, “The Great Architect of the Universe,” is represented by the “G” in the midst of the square and compass, and a replica of this symbol is affixed to the western wall of Telluride’s Masonic Hall. The hall was built in 1899 to serve a local lodge, which started as a Masonic school in 1880 and was eventually designated a “lodge under dispensation” in 1882. From the original nine school members, the group grew into a charter membership of 18. The meetings moved several times to different locations before members leased rooms over Van Atta’s clothing emporium at Colorado Avenue and Pine Street, but because a saloon occupied part of that building, the Masonic group was denied a charter. They continued to meet under dispensation, their

membership having grown to 104. After a fire destroyed the emporium in 1887, they leased rooms elsewhere for another 10 years. As the lodge’s membership grew, so did its treasury, and Telluride Lodge No. 56, A.F. and A.M. (Antient [Ancient] Free and Accepted Masons), invested in land at the corner of Spruce and Colorado. For a number of years, the lodge earned rental income from several small buildings on the site. In 1897, the Telluride Masonic Building Association was established with a mandate to raise $25,000 through the sale of 5,000 shares of stock at $5 each. The lodge conveyed its land to the Association for stock worth $3,000. During that same year, contractors started excavating the basement and pouring the foundation, and in 1898, locals were hired to erect the building.

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city council allowed the miners free water for baths and drinking. Alas, the health of the local Masons mirrored that of the community at large, with the Depression and other economic fluctuations in the mining business depleting its membership over the years. The lodge barely functioned in the 1950s. In 1959, Jack Pera and Raymond Fancher opened Timberline Hardware on the first floor of the hall. Today, the store is under new ownership and leases the basement and entire first floor from the local lodge. The only other lessee is the Telluride Film Festival, which builds a 150-seat theater on the second floor for a few days’ use every September. Aside from being utilized by the hardware store and film festival, Telluride’s Masons still meet in the hall four times a year, with members attending from Ouray, Norwood, Ridgway and other regional towns in order to sustain a quorum and keep the lodge viable. Pera says that the centuryold lodge is beginning to see an influx of a new generation of local Masons—a good sign, perhaps, for this venerable institution. ■

[get MORE] To learn more about Telluride's historic landscape, visit the museum on the north end of Gregory Avenue

TELLURIDE MUSIC COMPANY

By Pam Pettee

he wildly popular fiction of Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol) delves into the secret rites, mysterious signs and ancient ceremonies of the Freemasons, a global network that Brown implies evolved from an even older and more clandestine religious organization, the original Knights Templar. Whether that association really existed or not is the topic of much debate, but we do know that Freemasons have a Telluride connection. A chapter of the organization has convened in Telluride for more than a century and continues to meet today. Freemasons likely evolved out of medieval workmen’s guilds, organizing formally during the 1700s. Their emblem displays the stonemason’s tools: the square, representing virtue, and the compass, signifying control over passions.

dedication was followed by dinner, speeches and orchestra music, after which the Masons joined 200 couples at the opera house for a dance lasting until 2:30 a.m. Later that morning, a band played in front of the Sheridan Hotel before another train took 101 celebrants off to Trout Lake for a picnic. That evening, the first regular session of the lodge, called a “special communication,” was held in its new quarters with more than 125 Masons present and one new local member inducted. After a light supper at 11 p.m., the oratory continued for two hours, touching predominantly on Telluride’s accomplishment in building such a fine hall in a small community. The next day, two couples were inducted into the local chapter of the O.E.S. during a luncheon gathering of almost 60 people. The expense of the new hall was offset by leasing out some of its space, with the earliest tenants including a barber and Perino and Giono Groceries. Present-day Telluride Mason Jack Pera recalls a variety of enterprises inhabiting the building, such as a mortuary and a boxing hall. Other lodges, including the Elks, the Knights of Pithias and Odd Fellows, rented meeting space, and rooms were used by St. Michael’s Mission of the Episcopal Church for weekly services. The Telluride Reading Room Association, an alternative recreational outlet for miners, met at the hall, where—for a few years starting in 1903—the

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both images: erin raley

insideart

meredith

Nemirov By Shawna Hartley

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t first glance, Meredith Nemirovâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest artwork might look like a topographic map. Look closer and you will see that her paintings and drawings are not charting an actual journey, but an artistic migration. Nemirov has explored her favorite subject, the aspen tree, for so many years and in such depth that her artwork has transformed from figurative representation to abstraction. In her latest series, Nemirov portrays the trees from different perspectives. She takes an up-close look at the knots and scars in the trunkâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and a larger view of the way their branches and leaves dance and moveâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and juxtaposes them in her compositions. The repetitive outlining of the aspens suggests motion. Even in triptych, when she stitches three pieces of art together to vertically portray

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a tree, her work rarely connects one piece to the next because her imagery is so dynamic. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just never see a single image of a tree,â&#x20AC;? says Nemirov. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always shifting my weight, looking at it from this side and then that side. Plus, the tree is always movingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part of its design and its beauty.â&#x20AC;? Even Nemirovâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genre is fluid: She works in watercolor on paper, which has been her medium of choice since she was a little girl. As the daughter of two commercial artists in New York, she grew up drawing and began her formal studies at the NYC Arts Student League at the tender age of 14. She went on to earn a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in fine arts from the Parsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Design and subsequently worked as a freelance illustrator in New York City for 12 years. During that time she met and married Jorge Anchondo, a creative director, and they added a ring to their own family tree. Their son is a part of the next generation of artists and is currently studying at New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prestigious Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. It was by chance that Nemirov put her roots down in this region. She had hand painted antique engravings of Colorado for an East Coast dealer for years, and she offered to bring them along and try to sell them when she made her way out West. A last-minute change of venue for a meeting brought her to the San Juan Mountains, and then she discovered she was pregnant. Everything snapped together, and she and her husband spontaneously purchased a house in Ridgway and made a commitment to start their own art gallery. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When Jorge and I decided to leave New York City, neither of us knew how dramatically our lives would change,â&#x20AC;? says Nemirov. The day after their son was born, they opened the Ridgway Gallery a few doors down from the True Grit CafĂŠ. For more than 10 years, the gallery was widely known as the place to find exquisite hand-colored antique prints, photographs and maps of the region. She and Anchondo fostered a local artist community, holding exhibits and art shows and teaching classes at Tellurideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ah Haa School for the Arts and Ourayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Weehawken Center. Nemirovâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Telluride show was at Julie McNairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gallery, located in the space that today houses the Telluride Legacy jewelry store. In New York, she had been working on â&#x20AC;&#x153;environmental portraits,â&#x20AC;? innovative multi-media works featuring detailed family watercolor portraits that were cut out and mounted in the foreground of a painting of their home. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It turns out that they were successful here as well. I got to do some commissions of some of Tellurideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early celebrities,â&#x20AC;? says the artist.

After a period of painting portraits, Nemirov went on to capture the regional landscape. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t until I was out painting as a thunderstorm moved through that I really got inspired,â&#x20AC;? she explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;New York City has so much energy in the air. I missed it, living in this peaceful valley. And suddenly, that storm started lighting different parts of the mountains. They were popping in and out of the air with angles and depth. I found the grandeur, the essence of it all.â&#x20AC;? The artist moved on from landscapes, narrowing her focus on the aspen tree, and her work evolved again. Nemirov credits workshops with Gregory Botts in 2001 and 2003 at Anderson Ranch Arts Center with helping her to see the natural worldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and her paintingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;in a contemporary light. She pushed her work in an even more abstract direction while attending an Artist-in-Residency program at the ranch during the winter of 2009. She had been inspired by a handful of drawings by Vincent Van Gogh, and the way he brought the landscape to life and expressed the space between objects. By moving into the abstract, Nemirov is able to convey more about her subject than what is visible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is something about repetition,

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painting an aspen again and again, that enables me to see beyond what the tree looks like and express something less tangible, like space and movement,â&#x20AC;? she says. Painting trees obsessively, one every day for an entire season, she found a greater depth to her subjects. The artist made a connection with another of the earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s living beings, albeit one with a life span far longer than and different from her own. In her paintings, she shows them whispering, waving, breaking; she depicts the rings that show their age and the scars from their youth. Her choice of color, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wild celebration or a muted contemplation, adds to the mood of each piece. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to get lost in her world of color and in the forest of her creations. Every one of the artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trees says so much about all trees, about all life. She shows us the beauty of being out in the forest by yourself and of feeling connected to the ground beneath you, the sky above you and the trees quivering in the wind around you. â&#x2013;

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above:

Spring Triptych, middle panel, watercolor, graphite and gouache on paper, 20" x 60".

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Motion and Rest; watercolor, acrylic, gouache, graphite and pigment marker on paper, 22" x 22"; Collection of St. Mary's Hospital, Grand Junction, Colorado.

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winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 57


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telluridefaces

S k i Pat r o l m a n

jason Rogers By Elizabeth Guest

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e was raised by a wolf on a snowy, remote mountaintop. Well, not quite. It was actually a chocolate lab named Solo on the Telluride Ski Area. Still, Jason Rogers admits that handling the avalanche rescue dog his rookie year helped train him for his job as a ski patroller. Now in his fifteenth year as a patroller, and his fourth year as Ski Patrol Manager, Rogers continues to work like a dog. Last spring, he was rewarded with the 2008-09 Colorado Ski Patroller of the Year honors for his hard work and dedication to the job. Rogers likes to be the first person on the ski hill, which is typical in this town. His dawn patrol starts under coffee-black skies, hopefully with a dousing of fresh, milk-white snow. Powder days are the obvious

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reason for getting up early, when patrollers have to be on the mountain before daylight to control the snowpack for avalanches. But Rogers also craves the morning quiet, the kind you find in a Robert Frost poem. It’s the calm before a storm of daytime duties. "I love coming to work in the mornings," he says. "Being up on the mountain before everyone else—it's so peaceful and beautiful.” Rogers isn't the type to wax poetic: He's much more of a practician, managing a 68-person-strong ski patrol while fulfilling daily chores of heavy schlepping, hiking Palmyra Peak and responding to wrecks. The recent expansion of the resort and the new avalanche artillery keep ski patrol busier than ever before, and all of the additional terrain means there are more red jackets rotating around the mountain. “The expansion has made us one of the best ski areas in North America,” Rogers says. “It keeps you honest, too, when you have to hike the peak three or four times a week.” It also gets you in really good shape. Rogers is a tall, Nordic-looking blonde with square shoulders and an easy smile. He’s come a long way from the 11-year-old novice skier who once stood on top of the 450 vertical feet of Peek’n Peak in Clymer, New York. Just one trip up Palmyra is like hiking three Peek’n Peaks. For Rogers, though, it’s not the physical labor that’s the toughest part of the job. He says his biggest challenge is managing his fellow patrollers, who range from old-timers to rookies. “I try to make everyone happy, and lead by example,” he says. “I never thought [ski patrol] would be this big. We’re almost like Breckenridge.” "Almost" is the key word. Telluride’s ski patrol is still one of a kind. Although they’ve doubled in size since Rogers’ arrival in 1996, they are still a tight-knit team of tough mountain men and women. "When I got hired, Mona [Wilcox] said, 'Welcome to the family,'” Rogers recalls. “It's so true. It was immediately like being adopted into a family.” There is a heavy social schedule, including the 100-day party in mid-August, celebrating the days remaining until the opening of the ski area, and the evenings after work, when the crew—still energized and amazingly not sick of one another—unwind over beers. As with any family, there’s also a fair amount of teasing. Heckling happens daily and is directed at the patroller who performs the biggest faux pas: a snowmobile capsized in powder, a yard sale beneath a busy Lift 9, inappropriate comments over the radio. The patrol family also includes some fourlegged friends, dogs trained for avalanche rescue. Enter Doris, Rogers’ five-year-old chocolate lab. Like Doris’ grandfather, Solo, who broke Rogers in during his first season, Rogers’ sidekick is a strong, hardworking hound who accompanies him to work religiously. There is a local tradition of naming ski

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patrol dogs after prominent Telluride women. First came Jane “Watenpaw,” after Jane Watenpaugh, the inaugural female patroller. Then there was Ellie “Wunderlick,” for longtime local Elvira Wunderlich. Doris “Roof” is named after the former county clerk, Doris Ruffe, a diligent, spunky woman who would stay up all night counting votes on election night and who passed away in 2007. Ruffe was famously opinionated, but Rogers says she gave the thumbs-up in approval of his newly named pup. Rogers earned his new patroller-of-the-year title from Colorado Ski Country USA for his “ability to make sound decisions during crises and strong skiing credentials,” according to the organization. He remains humble, however, as he pulls out the plaque stashed inside his drawer. "I'll probably break it before I figure out what to do with it," he jokes. "They used to give the winner a pair of skis, but I guess that got to be too expensive. I think I would have liked the skis." Rogers is a no-frills kind of guy, satisfied by the simple things in life. He built his own house in east Ophir in 1999. Last summer, he added a stone patio, and next is a mudroom for Doris. The room will also be a place to hang his newest jacket, which he wears as a rookie firefighter. Solar panels power the house, and pictures of skiing and mountains adorn the walls, including one of his parents, himself and his brother, Johnny, skiing in Telluride in the late '80s. “We fell in love with Telluride,” recalls Rogers, who grew up in Erie, Penn. “It was a great ski area that was laid back and right in town.” After graduating from Penn State, Rogers moved to Telluride with childhood friend, Brett Schreckengost. Rogers supported his ski habit by working at the Scott Fly Rod Factory, but he planned to eventually pursue a medical career like that of his father, a doctor, or his mother, a nurse. Instead, two years later, Rogers signed on with ski patrol. Patrolling and medicine, however, are not as divergent as they might seem. As a patroller, he practices emergency medicine, and has responded to many serious incidents. In his second year, he successfully resuscitated a woman using CPR and an AED, an automatic defibrillator. The woman suffered a heart attack and fell off Lift 3, but she is alive and well today. Rogers’ more recent responses to cardiac arrests and avalanches have had much grimmer outcomes. “It’s part of ski patrol, and I tackle it along with any other part of the job,” he says. “You just have to try to separate yourself from the personal side and do the best you can.” Fortunately, Rogers receives lots of free ski therapy. It’s the skiing they get to do on the job that makes Rogers and his fellow patrollers love their work. He turns toward his favorite skiing buddy, Doris, and gives her a hearty pat on the muzzle. "We're all just ski bums, trying to legitimize ourselves and get by.” ■

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winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 59


telluridefaces

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I

Volunteer

marilyn Branch By Emily Dresslar

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n Telluride, a small town with big-time happenings, everyone has a favorite way to give back to their community. Some volunteers live for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, while others take their turn serving on the board of a local non-profit organization, bartending at the Telluride AIDS Benefit, or working the checkout at the KOTO-FM radio station’s annual ski swap. For longtime Telluride resident Marilyn Branch, however, it is easier to ask in which community organizations and festivals she is not involved. “Blues and Brews,” she answers definitively. “I have to just enjoy myself during at least one event a year.” The rest of the year it’s back to work, and not just the kind she gets paid for as a professional event planner with her own business, Weddings in Telluride. It’s also her volunteer duties, which were extensive enough to have Branch recognized as 2009’s Citizen of the Year by the Telluride Foundation for her 25 years of service to the community. At one time or another, Branch’s beneficence has included (but is not limited to) the Telluride Rotary Club and its international student exchange program, Angel Baskets, Young Life, Telluride Wine Festival, Telluride Jazz Celebration, the local women’s network, Bluegrass Festival, Christ Church and the Balloon Festival. It is Telluride’s Balloon Fest, the summer season’s most picturesque yet precarious festival, for which Branch is perhaps best known. For 17 years she’s headed up the small event that occurs each June—or not—depending on which way the wind blows. The festival’s early morning hot air balloon flights and evening “glow” on main street are vulnerable to weather conditions and often get cancelled. “People ask me, ‘Why do you keep trying?’” says Branch. “Because every once and a while, you get to do it. Balloon Fest really gives something to the community. It’s probably one of the most photographed events in town. And it’s one of those first events of the summer season that really brings families out of their homes to greet each other on main street.” A balloonist herself since the mid-1970s, Branch loves the camaraderie associated with the sport. “It’s a whole community in and of itself,” she says. “I was in Kenya, years ago, and took a commercial trip. I looked at the pilot and said, ‘I know you.’ And he recognized me, too. That’s how it is in that community.” Community is a common theme in Branch’s life and has been since she first visited Telluride in the 1970s, when the ski area was still in its infancy. She was instantly intrigued by the town’s small charms and big possibilities. “There was this little trolley car pulled by a horse that would give you a ride over to Chair 7. It went all over town and you would put your skis on the outside and get in,” she remembers. “You could walk to Chair 7 faster than you could get there by horse, but still…” By the early '80s, Branch, who organized tours and worked in sales and marketing in Santa Barbara, California, was back in Telluride, leading a tourist group of 100 people. That trip led to a www.TellurideMagazine.com

job offer in Telluride, where the new ski area was just starting to put the unusually named town on the map. She moved here despite the fact that no one knew exactly where she was going. “Everyone told me I was crazy,” she recalls. “They thought Telluride was in New Mexico. But it was adventurous. I loved skiing, I loved being in the mountains, and it was exciting to be here with Telluride just getting going.” It was a new era for the Town, and Branch decided to put down roots here. She became an active member of Christ Church and created a home for herself and her daughter, Kim. Branch spent time skiing, hiking, traveling, working for various local employers and volunteering her time for community organizations. One of her closest associations was, and continues to be, the Telluride Rotary Club—a service club made up of professional community members. Rotarians in Telluride raise funds for student scholarships, participate in community service projects, and make sure all third graders in the region have brand new dictionaries. Branch runs the Rotary Club’s international student exchange program, placing Telluride teenagers in study-abroad settings across the globe and, in exchange, helping to welcome international students into Telluride classrooms and homes. What started with a singular Rotary exchange student 10 years ago has blossomed into a popular, competitive program under Branch. This fall, instead of getting the typical handful of requests for applications, she handed out nearly 40 applications at Telluride High School. She is passionate about her volunteer work with the student exchange, for which she was named Rotarian of the Year. “I love being able to help the students through this opportunity, through the ups and downs of the exchange,” says Branch. “I always tell parents that they are not going to recognize their students when they get home. They are more mature, more independent, with a new mind-set. It really helps them to see all of what they can be.” Her work with the Rotary’s exchange students, says Branch, lets her travel the world vicariously, keeps her energized and helps her stay in touch with her youth. “I don’t know that I’d be able to load one, but at least I know what an iPod is,” she laughs. Despite all the ways she has been able to give back to her community, Branch says she still owes plenty to this little town that has provided the good life for a quarter of a century. “As much as Telluride has changed in the time that I have been here, it still has a community that is Telluride,” says Branch. “If I can make a little difference, that’s where my passion is.” Being named 2009’s Citizen of the Year won’t change that. “I’m not one of those people who gets an award and just quits,” she says. “I will continue to keep going with weddings, with volunteer work, with everything. I am very, very happy doing what I’m doing.” ■ www.TellurideMagazine.com

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telluridefaces

I C ON

jack Carey By Rob Story

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’m not sure Jack would want to be remembered as pixellated dots in

a blog, but the photo in question does say a lot about Captain Jack Carey. The shot of the 2008-09 ski season’s final day appears on TellurideSkiResort.com, in CEO Dave Riley’s blog. The picture shows the first people in the lift line of Chair 7, the people who most wanted to catch fresh tracks, and there’s Jack, awake and in line before all of Telluride’s youngsters, standing tall, gray Santa-Claus beard tucked into his retro parka, goggles down, ready to rip.     Jack Carey was 64 when he died last summer. He was an ambassador for old school skiing and the embodiment of the Telluride outdoors lover. He skied hard, worked hard (he cleared timber from overgrown forests), and partied hard (he could always be found dancing in the VIP area of the Bluegrass Festival). His mountain-man bona fides earned him coverage in Bike, Couloir, Freeze, SKI, and Powder magazines. Ski runs have been named after him in Telluride and at Red Mountain in BC, Canada. He was in his element again, recreating outdoors, when he departed this mortal coil.

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  Carey was road biking with his wife, Monica, over 10,222-foot Lizard Head Pass July 17 when he was hit by a truck. The tragic accident was not the fault of the driver, but a split-second lapse in judgment, a tiny mistake in the long life of an extreme athlete who had survived decades of adventures and lived his time on earth to its full potential.          Carey grew up in New Hampshire where, as a child, he climbed up old logging roads before skiing down them in a tuck, hardly making a turn. He left skiing for a long while to play hoop, since he was an athletic 6’4”. He balled through high school, college and the Air Force. In the military, he was based near Kansas City, MO, where TWA’s huge flight attendant school was located, and Jack sometimes regaled listeners with tales of chasing budding stewardesses. (It was the ‘70s; they weren’t called flight attendants then, and almost none were male.)      He didn’t get back into skiing till he was in his late twenties, when he moved with a buddy to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. That’s where he also took up hang gliding. In 1974, however, a hang glider was killed in Steamboat, and local peaks were closed to the sport. So Captain Jack moved to the open skies of Telluride—where the thermals are huge, owing to the confluence of the nearby desert and the nation’s highest concentration of 14,000-foot peaks. Jack set a hang-gliding record in the ‘80s when he became the first to fly above 20,000 feet; indeed, he soared to 21,000 feet, close to the cruising altitude of transcontinental jets.      Telluride—which was a tiny, embryonic ski town when he moved here and still has less than 2,500 year-round residents—obviously has no traffic helicopter. But it does have a community radio station, and Jack periodically strapped a remote broadcasting unit to his back, launched off Gold Hill in his hang glider, and reported to an amused audience his descriptions of the mountains, the canyons and the forests. With his deep, enduring New Hampshire accent, rivers were always “rivahs.”      He stayed near Telluride the rest of his life. Despite a lack of steady instruction, much less a race heritage, Captain Jack became one of Telluride’s most hardcore skiers. On powder days, he showed up hours before lifts opened so he could snag the first chair. When he got face shots, it was a spectacular scene, because Jack wore a foot-long Gandalf beard for decades. The chin-puppet made him an icon. He appeared on the cover of SKI Magazine.      If you’re lucky, you’ll still hear him on KOTO. Jack recorded a station I.D. for KOTO where he sounds downright evangelical about life in Telluride. “Sky high in the Rockies!” he preaches in a way that makes listeners glad they live or visit here. Captain Jack found a lot more than just great skiing and flying in Telluride—he also found love. It was here that he met and married his

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soulmate, Monica, and where he had the biggest surprise of his life: In the 1980s, a beautiful, lanky young girl showed up in town and became a ski patroller. It was Jill Curtis, the daughter he never knew he had fathered; she bore a striking resemblance to Jack not just physically, but also in her aptitude for skiing and the outdoors. All at once, the Captain had a family. Jack’s skiing jones governed his work life. He busted ass in the summers, clearing timber so he could spend winter days on the slopes. He worked for Telluride Sports many years, raving about new gear to customers who couldn’t possibly miss a towering guy with a bald head and that beard. He became especially famous in British Columbia, where he’d go every winter to be a starter for International Free Skiing Association (IFSA) competitions, including the Fernie Freeskiing Challenges and Red Resort Canadian Freeskiing Championships. Competitors spoke of him being there, encouraging a good run even when the weather was positively nasty and the crowds had all gone home.     He regularly dusted skiers half his age. Former helicopter-skiing guide Brian O’Neill of Telluride tells of a story when Jack joined him and former World Extreme Skiing Championships winner Dean Cummings for a descent of Telluride’s gnarly Sheep Chute:  “Captain was by far our senior, but he kept up with us all day as we did a variation on the climb—unintentionally, of course. At one point, we had to climb a tree and jump over onto a rock and snow face with ski boots on and skis on our backs. Captain was so in his element and energized, I was blown away. He was climbing and skiing with some of the world’s best, and it made him feel like he was 20 years old because he was on an adventure with his friends.”      On the final day of Telluride’s ski season, when everybody drinks too much and flouts rules, Jack joined a bunch of friends, including me, for an out-of-bounds  powder run. We’d grabbed him at a slopeside bar where we’d all had a few, not expecting to go out of bounds. But Jack nailed the run, even though the uphill slog out crushed even the most fit of skiers.      Since 2002, Jack had become an avid poker player. He played in my Tuesday night game almost every week. As poker goes, Jack enjoyed a pretty good spring and early summer, winning often. Just days before he died, he sat next to me at our regular game. That Tuesday was a poor one for the Captain; I don’t believe he won a single hand. That’s how it goes sometimes when you compete. Anyway, Jack’s damages that night probably were less than $60, a tolerable deficit. Nothing like the hand the Captain was dealt three days later, a terrible, terrible loss from which Telluride will never really recover. ■

www.TellurideMagazine.com

winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 63


exploring our big backyard

localflavor

Coq Au Vin La Marmotte Chef/Owner Mark Reggiannini INGREDIENTS ½ cup lardoons (thick pork fat or bacon), cut into ¼ by 1 ½ inch strips (optional) 2 or more tablespoons olive oil 2 ½ pounds ready-cut frying chicken, thoroughly dried ¼ cup Cognac or Armagnac Pinch of salt and pepper

Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper; add bay leaf and thyme. Place onions around the chicken. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning once. Uncover and sprinkle with flour, turning the chicken and onions so that they absorb it; cook a few minutes more, turning once or twice. Remove the dish from the heat and gradually swirl in the wine and enough stock to almost cover the chicken. Add the browned lardoons and garlic. Cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, then test chicken; remove those pieces that are tender, and continue cooking the rest a few minutes longer. If onions are not quite softened, continue cooking them; then return all the chicken to the pan, add mushrooms and simmer four to five minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning—sauce should be just thick enough to coat chicken and vegetables lightly. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down rapidly to concentrate it; if it’s too thick, thin it with spoonfuls of stock.

1 bay leaf

Serve topped with tender, braised red cabbage or with bacon-mashed potatoes.

¼ teaspoon thyme

Serves four.

NEW AMERICAN CUISINE An eclectic blend of flavors and styles served in an intimate atmosphere. Enjoy patio dining just steps away from the Gondola Open 5:30pm to Close • Sunday Brunch 10am to 1pm 970-728-9507 • reservations@221southoak.com

Merrick Chase

16 to 20 small white onions, peeled 3 tablespoons flour

Naughty Root Beer Float

2 cups red wine

Smuggler’s Brewpub

2 cups (approximately) brown chicken or beef stock 1 or 2 cloves garlic, mashed or minced ¾ pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed, washed and quartered

signature recipes

T

Start with a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream in a frosted pint glass. Slowly pour in a half-pint of Smuggler’s home-brewed root beer, add one-and-a-half ounces each of Absolut Vanilla vodka and root beer schnapps, and swizzle—don’t shake, or you will have a fizzy, sticky mess. Dress with a dollop of whipped cream and drizzle root beer over the top. ■

If you are using lardoons, sauté them several minutes in oil in a heavybottomed casserole until lightly browned; remove lardoons to a side dish and leave the fat in the pan. Otherwise, coat the pan with a thin film of oil.

elluride has a classic style, simple and refined; the local

64

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

Heat fat or oil in pan moderately and add chicken, being careful not to crowd the pan; turn frequently to brown all sides. Pour in the Cognac, shake the pan a few seconds until bubbling hot, then ignite Cognac with a match. Let it flame a minute, swirling the pan by its handle to burn off the alcohol, before extinguishing it with the pan cover.

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Merrick Chase/telluridephotography.net doug berry

fare has the same flair, with dishes like La Marmotte’s Coq Au Vin, a timeless and savory chicken entrée with red wine and onions. Chef Mark Regiannini puts his own twist on the traditional recipe, flashing the pan with Cognac, simmering the fowl with rich lardoons and using fresh mushrooms. Smuggler’s Brewpub gets creative with a conventional American drink, the root beer float, using their homebrewed root beer, schnapps and vanilla vodka to make this fountain favorite a little warmer, perfect for an après-ski bracer.

www.TellurideMagazine.com

winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 65


localflavor

diningOUT 221 South Oak Situated near the Telluride Gondola Plaza in a restored 1800s residence, 221 South Oak serves cuisine characterized by fresh ingredients and rich flavors from New Orleans, France, the Caribbean coast and New England. Open for Sunday brunch or dinner nightly.

221 South Oak St., Telluride 970.728.9507

9545 Restaurant & Bar 9545 offers an elevated dining experience featuring Chef Kelly Patton’s modern American cuisine with Rocky Mountain influences. Join them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, patio dining and cocktails on the terrace next to Sunset Plaza in Mountain Village.

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Located at Inn at Lost Creek 119 Lost Creek Lane, Mountain Village 970.728.6293

Allred's Experience haute cuisine at high altitude: Allred’s contemporary American fare is served 10,551 feet above sea level, at the gondola’s top San Sophia Station, with amazing views of the Telluride valley and surrounding peaks. Allred’s is known for its culinary excellence and award-winning wine list.

Whole Foods-Style Mexican Restaurant & Catering Company

· SERVING BREAKFAST, LUNCH · MANY VEGETARIAN AND AND DINNER 7 DAYS A WEEK GLUTEN-FREE DISHES AVAILABLE · FRESH ORGANIC JUICE BAR · FEATURING LOCAL AND · HANDMADE TORTILLAS & SALSA BAR ORGANIC INGREDIENTS · TAKE-OUT & CATERING AVAILABLE · BEER, WINE & MARGARITAS

123 E. COLORADO · 728-9355

Visit lacocinatelluride.com to see our Restaurant and Catering menus

Top of the gondola, Mountain Village 970.728.7474

Baked in Telluride A longtime establishment, known to locals simply as “B.I.T.”, serves world-wide cuisine from bagels to baguettes, calzones to cookies, pasta to pizza (by the slice and to order), salads to sandwiches. Adult and kid’s portions, nightly specials.

127 South Fir St., Telluride 970.728.4775

Now offering small plates with smaller prices

Cosmopolitan Restaurant & Tasting Cellar Chef Chad Scothorn turns comfort food into innovative cuisine, featuring wild salmon, saffron and tomato fish stew, grilled pork tenderloin, grilled beef fillet and more. The Tasting Cellar also hosts private dinners paired with wines from the collection.

300 West San Juan Ave., Telluride 970.728.1292

Crazy Elk

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Located at the base of the Village Express/Lift 4 in the Mountain Village core, Crazy Elk offers delicious pizza made from scratch daily with handrolled honey dough and zesty sauce. With an excellent variety of fresh salads and subs, Crazy Elk has something for the entire family.

565 Mountain Village Blvd., Heritage Plaza, Mountain Village 970.728.7499 www.TellurideMagazine.com

Ask about our Durango Location

winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 67


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localflavor Fat Alley

Maggie's Bakery & CafĂŠ

Where else can you get fried okra and southern BBQ? Fat Alleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s menu includes other favorites: the Carolina-smoked pork shoulder sandwich, beef ribs, sweet potato fries, and the ever-popular potato and black bean sautĂŠ. Offering lunch and dinner, bourbon and beer.

Maggieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has a new location, next to Elks Park. Maggieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s features classic American breakfast and lunch fare and homestyle baked specialties, sticky buns, cinnamon rolls and carrot cake. Bread is baked fresh daily for thick, delicious sandwiches and French toast. Sit at the counter and enjoy an espresso, cappuccino or latte before or after skiing.

122 South Oak St., Telluride 970.728.3985

Gray Jay CafÊ The relaxed Gray Jay CafÊ serves breakfast, lunch and après ski daily. A European-style cafÊ, where easy meals are available for guests to dine-in or take on the go. Reminiscent of a country kitchen, Gray Jay CafÊ enjoys premier real estate on the mountain, thanks to Capella Telluride's convenient slopeside ski-in/ski-out access.

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localflavor

300 West Colorado Ave., Telluride 970.728.3334

New Sheridan Chop House

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

â&#x2014;&#x2020;

BAR

â&#x2014;&#x2020;

RESTAURANT

This steakhouse and wine bar features executive chef Erich Owenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new American cuisine. The Chop House is known for its dry-aged, USDA prime steaks, fresh seafood, free-range organic fowl, and an array of fine cheeses and local ingredients. The Chop House also has Tellurideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only nitrogen wine bar.

Best appetizers in Town, Great Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads, Steaks, Ribs, Seafood and more!

223 West Colorado Ave., Telluride 970.728.9100

Award-winning Smugglerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Brews

Himalayas

Onyx

225 South Pine Street, Telluride 970-728-0919

Enjoy the exotic cuisine of Nepal and India, from chicken tikka masala to steamed dumplings, in an intimate setting. Authentic mountain food from across the globe, specially-made here in the San Juans.

A modern, sleek setting creates the perfect balance between mountain spirit and casual elegance. Onyx's menu provides extraordinary interpretations of traditional dishes from the best alpine restaurants in the world, complemented by a sophisticated selection of fine wines and aperitifs unique to restaurants in Telluride, Colorado.

Located at Capella Telluride 568 Mountain Village Blvd., Mountain Village 970.369.0880

627 West Pacific Ave., Telluride 970.728.1770

Hop Garden Located slopeside at the base of the Village Express/Lift 4 in the Mountain Village core, the Hop Garden offers craft beers from around the world and exceptional casual fare. Open daily for lunch and dinner, and featuring après ski in the European-style beer garden.

565 Mountain Village Blvd., Heritage Plaza, Mountain Village 970.728.7467

La Cocina de Luz

225 South Pine St., Telluride 970.728.0919

123 East Colorado Ave., Telluride 970.728.9355

La Marmotte In a quaint, 125-year-old building that once provided Telluride with ice, La Marmotte now provides Telluride with exquisite French cuisine in a provincial, elegant setting. Contemporary chef and owner Mark Reggiannini uses fresh, simple ingredients to create the rich, classic French flavor without the traditional heaviness.

150 West San Juan Ave., Telluride 970.728.6232

www.TellurideMagazine.com

Visit us in Montrose and our newest location in Grand Junction! 1571 Ogden Road, Montrose 970-249-0919 â&#x20AC;˘ 6 & 50 Road, Mesa Mall, Grand Junction 970-263-0919

Smuggler's Brewpub & Grille This brewpub serves a selection of handmade lager, ale and soda. Smugglerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also offers gyros, ribs, sandwiches, salads and burgers and is a great place to bring the entire family. Open for lunch and dinner; outside seating is available.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Kitchen of Lightâ&#x20AC;? specializes in food prepared with love. It features handmade tortillas, a salsa bar and daily specials as incorporating traditional cooking methods with organic and whole foods. La Cocina is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a small bar. Take-out is available. Casual dining indoor or out.

Catering from 10 to 1,000 people!

Located at Capella Telluride 568 Mountain Village Blvd., Mountain Village 970.369.8989

Suede Bar Elegant Suede Bar is the social epicenter of Capella Telluride, where guests can enjoy a relaxing lunch or après-ski aperitifs. It promises a departure from the usual lodge pub, providing guests with an upscale meeting space and offering a chic spin on casual American cuisine. In addition to local brews and European wines and champagnes, Suede Bar also features signature cocktails.

Located at Capella Telluride 568 Mountain Village Blvd., Mountain Village 970.369.8949

La Marmotte La Marmotte

A food and wine experience î &#x160;î &#x2013;î &#x2014;î &#x2DC;î &#x2030; Serving Contemporary French Cuisine in one of Tellurideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most historic buildings, the Ice House

A food and wine experience

As of press time, these listings were accurate.

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BREWERY

www.TellurideMagazine.com

Serving Contemporary French Cuisine in one of Tellurideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most buildings, the Ice House (970)historic 728-6232 One block from the gondola â&#x20AC;˘ Reservations Recommended

One block from the gondola â&#x20AC;˘ Open 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 10 pmwinter/spring â&#x20AC;˘ Reservations Recommended 2009-2010 telluride magazine 69

(970) 728- 6232


The place to be for après ski!

Located at the base of the Village Express (4) look for the big yellow umbrella!

970-728-7467

A classic pizzeria Located slopeside in the Mountain Village Core, Crazy Elk features pizza, sandwiches, soups and salads. It is the perfect spot to grab a family-style lunch or dinner.

AGENCY: STUDIO BLUESKY • CONTACT: BRANDY COHEN • ADDRESS: 5615 TWELVE OAKS DR, CUMMING GA 30028 • PHONE: 770.888.5210 JOB NUMBER: DINING_TMW0910 • PUBLICATION: TELLURIDE MAG • AD TITLE: DNG_TMW0910 • BLEED SIZE: 8.875 X 11.375 • INSERTION: WINTER 2009-2010

Don't miss Mountain Village's newest slopeside bar & grill, offering lunch and dinner, craft beers from around the world, an outdoor bar and huge beer garden with live music.

Located at the base of the Village Express (4)

970-728-7499 70

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-10

www.TellurideMagazine.com

www.TellurideMagazine.com

winter/spring 2009-10 telluride magazine 71


advertiserindex ACCOMMODATIONS Capella Telluride ................ 66 www.capellatelluride.com Fairmont Heritage Place .... 32 www.fairmont.com/franzklammerllodge Peaks Resort, The .............. 47 www.thepeaksresort.com Telluride Resort Lodging ... 27 www.tellurideskiresort.com BANKING Wells Fargo Bank ............... 23 www.wellsfargo.comCONION& developers & DESIGNERS designers DEVELOPERS KDC Inc. of Colorado ........... 7 ron@kuruzcdevelopment.com Modern Log Homes ........... 25 www.modernloghomes.com WmOhs Showrooms ............. 6 www.wmohs.com HEALTH & BEAUTY Aromatherapy Spa,& Salon & Aroma Spa, Salon Boutique ....................... 31, 49 www.aromatherapydayspa.com www.aromaspa.me Atmosphere Spa .......... 33, 49 www.telluridespa.com Jesse’s Salon ...................... 33 Mihelich, Liz Latham ........... 31 Ptak, Jeffrey J, MD FACS .. 63 www.doctorptak.com San Miguel Wellness Center................................. 31 www.sanmiguelwellnesscenter.com

Shumway, Dr. Kristyn ........ 31 www.telluridemotion.com Sorina’s Head to Toe ......... 33 Telluride Hyperbarics ......... 31 Telluride Motion ................. 31 www.telluridemotion.com Telluride Medical Center ... 33 www.telluridemed.org law LAW Wolfeson Law Office of Diane Wolfson .............................................59 www.telluridelaw.com Photography PHOTOGRAPHY Telluride Photography ....... 61 www.telluridephotography.net management PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Snowy Peaks Management . 25 www.snowypeaksmgmt.com utilities PUBLIC UTILITIES San Miguel Power Association ............................. 53 www.smpa.com PUBLISHING Big Earth Publishing ........... 29 www.bigearthpublishing.com Telluride Calendar .............. 49 www.telluridemagazine.com Telluride Publishing ............ 35 www.telluridemagazine.com

Women's Adventure magazine ............................................ 49 womensadventuremagazine.com

REAL ESTATE

RESTAURANTS 221 South Oak ................... 65 www.221southoak.com 9545 ................................... 66 www.innatlostcreek.com

Catsman, Steve .................... 8 www.catsman.com

Allred's ............................... 71 www.allredsrestaurant.com

Cieciuch, Stephen: Telluride Properties .................. 2, 3, 35 www.tellurideproperties.com

Baked in Telluride .............. 68 www.bakedintelluride.com

Foley, Elizabeth: Real Estate Affiliates ............................. 61 www.tellurideaffiliates.com Joshua & Co ........................17 www.joshuaco.com Lucarelli, James Real Estate Affiliates ............................. 59 www.tellurideaffiliates.com Roer, Albert: Telluride Properties ............................ 4 www.tellurideproperties.com Real Estate Affiliates ... 59, 61 www.tellurideaffiliates.com Telluride Properties ......... 2-4, www.tellurideproperties.com Telluride Real Estate Corporation .......... back cover www.telluriderealtors.com Village Real Estate ............. 32 www.telluridevillagerealestate.com RECREATION Telluride Ski & Golf Club ... 15 www.tellurideskiandgolfclub.com

Cosmopolitan Restaurant ....................v.......... 67 & Bar .................................. .... 67 www.cosmotelluride.com www.cosmotelluride.com Crazy Elk ............................ 70 Crazy Elk ............................ 70 Fat Alley ............................. 68 Fat Alley ............................. 68 Gray Jay ............................. 66 Gray Jay ............................. 66 www.capellatelluride.com www.capellatelluride.com Himalayas Restaurant ......... 73 Himalaya Restaurant .......... 73 Hop Garden ....................... 70 Hop Garden ....................... 70 La Cocina de Luz ................ 67 La Cocina de Luz ................ 67 www.lacocinatelluride.com www.lacocinatelluride.com La Marmotte ...................... 69 La Marmotte ...................... 69 www.lamarmotte.com www.lamarmotte.com Maggie's ............................ 73 Maggie's ............................ 73 Market at Mountain Village .72 Market at Mountain Village .72 New Sheridan Chop House & New...................................... Sheridan Chop House &65 Bar Bar ...................................... 65 www.newsheridan.com www.newsheridan.com Onyx ................................... 66 Onyx ................................... 66 www.capellatelluride.com www.capellatelluride.com Smuggler's Brewpub .......... 69 Smugglers Brewpub ........... 69

Suede Bar ........................... 66 Suede Bar ........................... 66 www.capellatelluride.com www.capellatelluride.com RETAIL REtail Bounty Hunter ................... 12 Bounty Hunter ................... 12 www.shopbountyhunter.com www.shopbountyhunter.com Cashmere Red .................... 18 Cashmere Red .................... 18 www.cashmerered.com www.cashmerered.com Gardenstore ....................... 57 Gardenstore ....................... 57 Kellie's ................................ 19 Kellie's ................................ 19 Lustre, An Artisan Gallery .. 11 Lustre, An Artisan Gallery .. 11 www.lustregallery.com www.lustregallery.com Neve Sports at Capella Neve Sports at Capella Telluride ............................... 5 Telluride ............................... 5 www.telluridesports.com www.telluridesports.com Next Door .......................... .......................... 23 23 Next Door www.shopscarpe.com www.shopscarpe.com Pip's Pip's ................................... ................................... 23 23 Scarpe Scarpe ................................ ................................ 23 23 www.shopscarpe.com www.shopscarpe.com Star, for All All ........... Star, A A Store Store for ........... 18 18 Telluride Telluride Music Music Company Company ... ... 55 55 www.telluridemusic.com www.telluridemusic.com Telluride Sports .................... 5 www.telluridesports.com Two Skirts .......................... 12 www.twoskirts.net TRANSPORTATION Peak Aero ................. IBC / 75 www.peakaero.com

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winter/spring 2009-2010 telluride magazine 73


finalword

Gus Gusciora

Activist Tim DeChristopher [R] and Andy Bichlbaum of the "Yes Men" at Telluride Mountainfilm 2009.

he would go to prison

To Stop Climate Change

A Conversation with Real-Life Monkey Wrencher, Tim DeChristopher Environmentalists sit in redwoods and chain themselves to bulldozers, but maybe no act of civil disobedience has ever been as effective as the one University of Utah economics student Tim DeChristopher pulled on Dec. 19, 2008. He walked calmly into the federal government’s oil and gas lease auction in Salt Lake, picked up bidder paddle No. 70 and proceeded to jack up the prices on oil and gas drilling rights near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Then he bought up $1.8 million in leases with no intention of paying, effectively barring their development. He got busted, but his action probably helped convince the Obama administration to throw out 77 leases, including the ones DeChristopher “won.” Now he’s a hero to liberals and a scourge to drillers, and a movie’s being made about him. At Mountainfilm, where he won the 2009 Director’s Award, Reilly Capps sat him down in the vault at To follow DeChristopher's La Cocina de Luz for an interrogation over chips and salsa, story, go to bidder70.org just as he was in the middle of a legal battle that threatened to land him in jail for 10 years.

[get MORE]

Reilly Capps: Why do you think, at this point in the environmental movement, more extreme measures are necessary? Tim DeChristopher: It’s not realistic that the environmental movement is ever going to have more money than the fossil fuel industry. So if we can’t be bigger, it means that the environmental movement is going to have to fight harder. People should be willing to fight harder for our lives than the fossil fuel industry is fighting for their profits. RC: The lawyer for the government says that there were other ways to protest. You could have written letters to your congressman, you could have protested the lease. DeChristopher: All those things had been done for a long time and weren’t effective. They were, at best, getting us minor concessions, and we were only taking half a step backward toward the cliff. With the tipping points that we’re getting close to, our heels are right at the edge. RC: Should people stop paying their taxes? Should people burn down SUV lots or set fire to subdivisions?

74

telluride magazine winter/spring 2009-2010

DeChristopher: No, because I think that’s not productive and not effective and isn’t going to get people on our side. Earth First and the Earth Liberation Front people—I always found that to be pretty counterproductive. …I don’t think that “pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable” or “fighting a lot harder”—or any of the other phrases that I’ve used—I don’t think those necessarily mean breaking the law. You know, something like a hunger strike—it’s not illegal, but it’s certainly a controversial, confrontational tactic. I think the thing that gets people on our side the most is to show that we are willing to sacrifice personally. RC: You’re studying economics. Are you saying that the cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action? DeChristopher: Exponentially so. When they measure things like the cost of climate change, it’s based on these cost-benefit analyses that put a price on a human life. That’s something that has no basis in the rest of our culture. Nowhere else do we put a price on a human life. RC: The Gages, who live in Telluride, are making a movie about you, called Bidder 70. What’s your hope for this movie?

[get MORE] To see Andy Bichlbaum of the "Yes Men" in action, go to YouTube

DeChristopher: I hope it shows people that this is something that they can do as well, and that I’m not some kind of hero who has some abilities that other people don’t, but that this is a path available to everyone. RC: You’ve got a lot of people behind you, including Patrick Shea, the head of the Bureau of Land Management under Clinton, who’s now your defense lawyer, and writer Terry Tempest Williams. Do you feel like you’ve become a big rallying cry? A cause célèbre? DeChristopher: I’ve gotten all sorts of support, and it certainly feels good to have people shower me with praise, but I’d trade all the swag in Telluride for a few hundred people willing to fight, to see this machine that just continues to blindly go forward and be willing to throw themselves into it. And people see it every day. There’s probably not the opportunity to do exactly what I did, but what’s going on in Congress right now with our climate legislation—that’s the exact same process as the BLM auction magnified by a million times, with a million times greater effect. RC: So chain yourself to your congressman’s office? DeChristopher: Chain yourself to your congressman. RC: Are you prepared for prison? DeChristopher: I think that I am prepared for prison. I mean, I’d been looking at where we were headed as a society for a while and preparing myself for that, for that kind of ugly chaotic desperate world that climate change is putting us on track for. And so, while I understand that prison is a pretty hard and ugly place, I think I’ve been preparing for a lot worse. RC: …all these people supporting you. But at the trial, in a lot of ways, it’s just you.

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DeChristopher: It could be. I think that if this doesn’t inspire other people to really take to the streets or do whatever they can do on the scope of the Montgomery bus boycott—or much bigger, 'cause it’s a much bigger problem—then it could just end up being me on my own. RC: Alone in a cell, forgotten. DeChristopher: Yeah. But hopefully it doesn’t turn out that way. ■

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NOW IS THE TIME There is only one Telluride. Despite fluctuations in the financial markets, the beauty of Telluride is a constant in this unpredictable world. The experts at TREC have been sharing both our experience and this enviable lifestyle since 1981. We understand what it’s like to have a passion for this place—it’s why we live here. There’s never been a better time than now to purchase property. Telluride—a priceless investment.

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DOWNTOWN TELLURIDE

MOUNTAIN VILLAGE

Winter 2009-10 Telluride Magazine  

All about Telluride Colorado: history, activities, dining, personalities, outdoor adventures, culture.

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