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E X C L U S I V E I N S E RT: O F F I C I A L T E L L U R I D E & M O U N TA I N V I L L A G E V I S I T O R ’ S G U I D E

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LocALS mAKe u.S. SKI TeAmS | FAreWeLL To SHASTA ToWN ALTA LAKeS obServATorY: A reTroSPecTIve


eap the rewards of living in Telluride...






1 • 122 North Spruce Street, Telluride A fantastic value, 7-bedroom home with lock off option features superb patio views & abundant light. $1,685,000

3 • Wild Skies Ranch, Wilson Mesa Exquisite log & stone home with 5,921 SF on 14.14 acres, incomparable views plus 3 horse pastures. $2,950,000

5 • 118 Polecat Lane, Mountain Village Premier ski-in/ski-out location, rustic 5-bedroom log & stone home, exceptional views and sleeps 12. $4,995,000


2 • Lots 7 & 11A Gregory Avenue, Telluride Unique combination of lots with over 17,000 SF, commanding views from an exceptional vantage point. $1,950,000

4 • Tract I Muddy Creek Meadows, Wilson Mesa Situated across from iconic Wilson Peak, 111 acres offer a flat building site, aspens & domestic well. $2,500,000

6 • Laughing Dog Ranch, Specie Mesa Impeccable 7,593 SF compound on 104 verdant acres with elegant main residence, barn & 4 outbuildings. $2,750,000

Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 2

237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 |

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eace, balance, well being.





1 • 501 East Colorado Avenue, Telluride Refreshing, elegant interior, 6 bedrooms ideally located across from Town Park. Furnished on 2 lots. $3,595,000

3 • Granita Penthouse Unit 401, Mountain Village Slopeside & beautifully remodeled, 2,126 SF includes 3 bedrooms & comfortably accommodates 8. $1,695,000

5 • Knightsbridge, Mountain Village Refined 7-bedroom home, luxurious interior, exquisite views, mature landscaping, private drive & ski trail. $9,200,000


2 • Lot 1175R Benchmark Drive, Mountain Village 1.17 acres located in the private San Joaquin Village neighborhood, ski access, borders open space. $585,000

4 • Lot 364R, Mountain Village Great ski access, big views, located in the exclusive neighborhood of Hood Park. Superb ski-in/ski-out value! $1,295,000

6 • Elk Creek Meadows, Wilson Mesa Stunning 565+/- acres, 360° views, large pond, diverse terrain, year-round access, power, water rights. $12,900,000

Stephen Cieciuch (Chet-chu), Managing Broker | | 970.369.5322, Direct | 970.708.2338, Cell 237 South Oak Street | Telluride, Colorado 81435 | winter/spring 2011-2012


as grand on the inside as the view outside

Gaze out the window of your Cassidy Ridge mountain retreat and you’ll be rewarded with an incredible 270° panorama of the Sneffels Mountain Range. Cassidy Ridge combines top-of-the-world views with equally impressive amenities, courtesy of one of the region’s most luxurious destination hotels—The Peaks Resort & Spa. 136 SAN JOAQUIN BLVD - MOUNTAIN VILLAGE Offering two to four bedroom flats, town homes and penthouses Call for a personal tour.

Patrick Pelisson, Broker I I 970.239.4959 I Sales Center: In the Granita Building adjacent to the top of Lift 1 in Mountain Village


ive Now.

Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time you’ve got.





1 • 302 North Aspen Street, Telluride Stately, sunny 4-bedroom residence plus guesthouse of master craftsmanship with dramatic views. $4,495,000

3  • 101 Autumn Lane, Mountain Village Slope side location, dramatic views & a warm setting make this 5-bedroom home the ultimate getaway. $4,995,000

2  • 143 Adams Ranch Road, Mountain Village Spacious, new 5-bedroom home located on the golf course with tremendous views, sunshine & finishes. $2,790,000

4  • Elkstone 7, Mountain Village Steps to the Gondola & Elk Lake, this private 3+ bedroom residence is a tastefully decorated retreat. $1,995,000

See photos & info on these properties, real estate market analysis & Telluride lifestyle news at tellurideproperties. com/BrianOneill

Brian O'Neill, Broker | | 970.369.5367, Direct | 970.708.5367, Cell 237 South Oak Street @ the Telluride Gondola | Telluride, Colorado 81435 |

conTenTs W I N T E R / S P R I N G 2 0 11- 2 0 12



d e pa r T M e n T s

9 WiThin

From the Editor



evenTs calendar



Telluride Turns

Headlines and Highlights from the Local news


22 n aT u r e n o T e s

Moose Moves to Town, EPA to Clean Up the Dolores River

24 WriTe here, riGhT noW

Essay: Sofa Sojourn Around the World in 150 Couches



Athletic Advice from Our Mountain Guru


f e aT u r e s

M o u n Ta i n h o M e s & d e s i G n



34 38

The Magic of Glass

Buried alive

Imagine what it’s like to be six feet deep beneath the snow, waiting for someone to dig you out

40 44

BooKs: san Juan scriBes

Reviews of Local Books and Stories



Growing up Good

T e l l u r i d e fa c e s



Shasta town

inside arT

Three local skiers represent Telluride on U.S. Ski Teams

A farewell to the encampment on the east end of Telluride by MARtINIQUE DAVIs

Ann Brady, Todd Rector, Amanda Sturdevant

Judy Haas: From Fish to Fractals

58 l o c a l f l av o r

History: no Ordinary Joe

Full Moon Fiesta with Cindy Farny-Mallett

by pAUL o’RoURKE

dininG ouT

Gio “Joe” Oberto was one of the town’s early entrepreneurs

60 Where to Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Historic Places: alta Lakes Observatory Local’s favorite alpine getaway changes hands by MAtt bEAUDIN


asK JocK

66 a lasT looK

By Brett Schreckengost winter/spring 2011-2012

winter/spring 2011-2012


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Publisher JOHn ARnOLD Associate Publisher Creative Director kIM HILLEY Editor-in-Chief D. DIOn Copy Editor / Proofreader BOnnIE BEACH

[ cHrISTINA cALLIcoTT ] Local journalist Christina Callicott spent a couple of seasons covering the Telluride sports scene, and competitors such as Gus kenworthy and the Discoe brothers, for a local newspaper. But that didn’t prepare her for writing about slopestyle antics such as the double cork twelve sixty mute into a switch right ten tailgrab. “I had to hire a translator to figure out what they were saying,” she laughed. When Callicott isn’t interviewing ski racers, she’s likely to be found pulling on a couple of oars at the bottom of some canyon in the desert Southwest.

[ KATIe KLINGSPorN ] katie klingsporn (“Buried Alive,” page 32) is the editor of Telluride’s Daily Planet newspaper, where she hears a lot of Lois Lane jokes and spends more time buried under stories than avalanches. She is originally from Wyoming and grew up eating jackalope and sage stew and shooting guns. She is a word geek and wild mushroom hunter who loves to ride her mountain bike and snowboard in southwestern Colorado.

[ rYAN boNNeAu ] Growing up in rural Vermont, Bonneau developed a love for wild places at an early age. His passion for capturing unique imagery with natural light started as a hobby in college and is now his profession. Originally drawn to landscape and nature photography, his focus in recent years has shifted toward outdoor adventure photography—which is also a good excuse for him to go to “work” skiing, biking and flyfishing. His images have been featured in National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Sierra Club, Backpacker and Patagonia.

Web Director SUSAn HAYSE Contributing Writers Stephen Barrett Matt Beaudin Christina Callicott Reilly Capps Thom Carnevale Martinique Davis Deanna Drew Erika Gordon Elizabeth Guest katie klingsporn Jesse James McTigue John nizalowski Paul O’Rourke Anne Pizey Rosemerry Trommer Lance Waring

Contributing Photographers Ryan Bonneau Deanna Drew Lasse Fahlen Garth Hagar Robin Macdonald H. Marbler Chason Russell Brett Schreckengost ••••••••• Telluride Publishing also produces Telluride and Mountain Village Visitor’s Guide and the TELLURIDE CALENDAR. Our products are for sale at our office, retail shops in Telluride and on our website. For correspondence, subscriptions and advertising: 307 Society Dr, Suite D, Telluride, CO 81435 or phone: 970.728.4245 · fax: 970.728.4302 The annual subscription rate is $11.95. ©2011 Telluride Publishing Co., Inc., a division of Big Earth Publishing Cover and contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. ••••••••• COVER PHOTO


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Objects in I


CAN’T IMAGINE BEING BURIED in an avalanche for 45 minutes, immobilized in heavy snow and struggling to breathe. Time must have slowed to a trickle as Nick Dillsworth (“Buried Alive,” p. 32) gasped for air, waiting to be rescued. We don’t need Einstein to tell us that time is relative; there is a stark difference between the interminable wait for someone to dig you out of the snow versus the fleeting, fun moments we spend skiing or enjoying life. Perhaps it is just that—the fleeting, quickly fading nature of our time here—which makes us dig our heels into it. If we lived for centuries instead of decades, or for millions of years like the mountains that surround us, would we take such risks in the name of adventure? Would we snowboard down avalanche chutes, or do backflips on our skis? The lifestyle here in Telluride is such that we take for granted the danger inherent in the things we do every day. Our perspective of risk is skewed. Local U.S. Ski Team members Gus Kenworthy, Joe Discoe and Jim Discoe (“Growing Up Good,” p. 34) spend much of their time not on the snow, but in the air, upside down. Ann Brady (“Faces,” p. 50), our understated town council member and a senior citizen, says her favorite ski run is the knee-punishing, double-black-diamond Mammoth to Lower Plunge because “it’s not too hard.” And every day is an adventure for people such as Todd Rector (“Faces,” p. 52), who rescues injured climbers from the saddle between Mt. Wilson and El Diente for a living and who “slacklines” (like tightrope walking, but with loosely strung webbing) for fun. Even the roads here are dangerous. I remember the morning after the first big party I ever went to at the Observatory (“Alta Lakes,” p. 44), driving slowly down the steep switchbacks and seeing my friend’s old Volkswagen van suspended vertically against a tree, its nose on the ground and its taillights pointing up at the sky. No one was in the van. He had hopped out, walked down the dirt road to the highway and


Just because we accept a risky or adventurous lifestyle doesn’t mean we haven’t contemplated it. Most of us embrace it. hitchhiked home, as if nothing had happened. Such accidents are de rigueur in the mountains. Many of the people who have lived here for some time have flipped a car or a truck on a snowy day, or slipped off the icy Ophir Road into “special parking,” the gutter that runs along the hairy turn near the highway. Just because we accept a risky or adventurous lifestyle doesn’t mean we haven’t contemplated it. Most of us embrace it. The transitory nature of our existence is what endears us to life and makes us want to work and play with such gusto. Take Reilly Capps (“Sofa Sojourn,” p. 24) and Martinique Davis (“Shasta Town,” p. 38), who write about life on the road, sleeping on the couches of strangers or in a camp trailer, savoring each single moment, each snapshot in time. Maybe it’s not Einstein’s theory of relativity that guides us, but Newton’s law of inertia: Objects at rest tend to remain at rest, but objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Not knowing when, where or why it will stop, we should all celebrate this gypsy caravan that is life. We should all heed the philosophy espoused by Amanda Sturdevant (“Faces,” p. 54): “Never Stop Moving.”

Deb Dion Editor-in-Chief winter/spring 2011-2012


events calendar November 24, 2011 Ski Resort Opening Day December 2-4 Robin Hood Sheridan Arts Foundation Young People’s Theater middle school actors perform Robin Hood. December 7 Noel Night Shop early and partake of holiday caroling, discounts and cheer in Telluride stores. December 7-9 Holiday Bazaar Locally crafted wares, special gifts and artwork are for sale at this annual bazaar, a Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities event. December 9 Jingle Jam Mountain Village businesses celebrate the season with a tree lighting and holiday discounts. December 9, 11 and 12 Holiday Show for Children Telluride Theatre presents a holiday show for children of all ages at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363

December 18-22 The Complete U.S. History (Abridged) Jeb Berrier’s Second Stage Theater presents an offbeat holiday play for the whole family at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 December 24 Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade As darkness falls, skiers light up the slopes as they descend the mountain to Telluride. December 24-25 Santa Skis and Santa Photos Look for Santa on the slopes and at Gorrono Ranch. December 26 George Winston The Palm Theatre presents jazz pianist George Winston. 970.369.5670

December 10 Christmas Celebration at Schmid Ranch An old-fashioned holiday event presented by the Telluride Historical Museum, with Santa Claus, sleigh rides, wreaths and tree cutting. 970.728.3344 ext. 2 December 10 Winter Concert The Rock and Roll Academy students put on their annual winter performance at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 December 14-17 Visa Snowboard World Cup Telluride is once again the lone U.S. stop on the FIS Snowboard World Cup tour and will host snowboardcross and parallel giant slalom races. photos by brett schreckengost

December 27-31 Sheridan Arts Foundation Holiday Concert Series Performances start at 8 p.m. at the Sheridan Opera House and guests include Joe Pug, Marrakesh Express, Justin Townes Earle, Head for the Hills and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. 970.728.6363 December 31 New Year’s Eve Celebrate 2012 in front of the historic county courthouse in Telluride or with a torchlight parade and fireworks in Mountain Village. January 7 Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit The blues rock ensemble performs at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363

Ongoing Events Avalanche Awareness Forums and Rescue Clinics Sponsored by the San Juan Field School and Telluride Ski Patrol, the free series takes place on select Monday nights and educates people about avalanche safety. Free rescue clinics include field sessions. Multi-day avalanche safety courses are also offered. 970.728.4101 Films at the Library Wilkinson Public Library hosts several film series: Telluride Film Festival Ciao Cinema on the first Monday of each month, Mountainfilm: Cine de Montañas on the last Monday of each month and Community Cinema’s PBS documentaries on the third Wednesday of each month. All are followed by group discussions and refreshments and are free to the public. 970.728.4519 First Thursdays Art Walk Take a self-guided tour of local galleries showcasing regional artists. On the first Thursday of each month, participating galleries stay open late and some serve refreshments. Maps are available at Stronghouse Studios and other galleries. 970.728.8959 Fitness at the Library Get moving for free at the Wilkinson Public Library’s Zumba classes on Mondays and Saturdays or Adult Yoga on Wednesdays and Fridays. 970.728.4519

winter/spring 2011-2012


events calendar

Ongoing Events $1 Movie Series Enjoy movies at the Palm Theatre for just one dollar on select Friday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. throughout the winter. The Palm also screens art house films twice a month, as the schedule allows. 970.369.5670 Open Recreation The Town of Telluride offers open hockey and ice skating at the Hanley Ice Rink and Pavilion (in Telluride Town Park) and drop-in basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer at the high school gym. 970.728.2173 photos by brett schreckengost

Storytime, Poetry and Cookbooks Celebrate the written word on the first Tuesday of each month at Wilkinson Public Library with free poetry readings by Art Goodtimes and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and with the Books and Cooks program, a culinary demonstration featuring cookbook authors hosted by Chef Bud Thomas. The kids will enjoy Storytime on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (Bilingual Storytime on Thursdays has stories in Spanish and English). 970.728.4519

January 13-14 The Infamous Stringdusters and Elephant Revival Two favorite acts from the bluegrass festival play at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 January 15 “Satisfaction,” A Tribute to the Rolling Stones Classic rock at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363

Reliving History Telluride Historical Museum hosts several programs throughout the winter: periodic Historic Pub Crawls, Tours of the Sheridan Opera House (Wednesdays), Telluride Unearthed Lecture series, Historic Ski Tours With Johnnie Stevens (Mondays), and fun, traveling Aprés Ski History Slideshows that can be scheduled at local hotels. 970.728.3344 ext. 2

January 20 Guest DJ Day Local celebrities take over the airwaves to raise funds for community radio. 970.728.4333 January 20 Dude and Bro’s Excellent Adventure Telluride Theatre presents a comic play at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 January 27 Ladysmith Black Mambazo The Palm Theatre presents all-male South African a capella singing sensation Ladysmith Black Mambazo. 970.369.5670

Telluride Film Festival Presents On the third Thursday of each month at the Nugget Theatre, catch one of the recently released films selected by the festival directors of the Telluride Film Festival. Environment, Education and Tech Programs at the Library Check out the The New Community Coalition’s Green Business Roundtable, a free breakfast seminar at 8:30 a.m. on the first Friday of the month. The University Centers of the San Miguel hosts discussions on the last Tuesday of each month. There is also a Tech Guy program on Thursday afternoons, where the library’s technological guru answers questions about computers, smartphones and other tech gadgetry. 970.728.4519

January 27 KOTO Lip Sync Locals perform irreverent tributes to pop music and culture in this benefit for the community radio station. Get your tickets early to this wild and wacky event as it sells out quickly. 970.728.4333

Metropolitan Opera at the Palm The Palm Theatre opera performances are presented on a large HD (high definition) screen throughout the winter on Mondays and Saturdays; dates and times vary. 970.369.5670

February 3, 4 and 6 13 Sheridan Arts Foundation’s Young People’s Theater high school troupe performs 13. 970.728.6363

Sunday at the Palm Telluride Film Festival, Telluride Foundation and Telluride’s R-1 school district present family-friendly films on the first Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. at the Palm Theatre. 970.708.4001


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winter/spring 2011-2012


events calendar March 9 Goin’ Cowboy at the Opera House This is an annual fundraiser for the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program. 970.728.6363 March 11 Leftover Salmon Bluegrass-inspired jam band Leftover Salmon performs at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 March 16 An Evening of Latin Flavor Eat, dance and be merry at this spring fundraiser for the Sheridan Arts Foundation. 970.728.6363 March 22 Extreme Canines Specially trained dogs perform tricks at the Palm Theatre. 970.369.5670

February 3 Name That Tune Local teams compete to see who knows the most about music in this fun annual benefit for KOTO community radio. 970.728.4333 February 11 Chocolate Lovers Fling Sample delectable chocolates, dress up and dance all night at this fun event in support of the San Miguel Resource Center. 970.728.5660 February 9 39 Years of AHHHH’s Telluride Historical Museum, Sheridan Arts Foundation and Travis Julia present a celebration of Telluride in ski films. 970.728.3344 ext. 2 February 16-19 13th Annual Telluride Comedy Festival Famous comedians from “The Daily Show,” “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” come to Telluride and perform hilarious skits and improv at a weekend full of shows.

February 24-27 Telluride Theatre Winter Production See some of Telluride’s finest homegrown drama— written, performed and produced by a local company. February 26 Oscar Night Watch the awards and support Telluride Academy at this annual fundraiser. 970.728.5311 February 26-March 3 Telluride Gay Ski Week Show your pride in Telluride and Mountain Village. T-12 promoters put together a week of fabulous skiing, après-ski festivities and dance parties. March 1-5 Telluride AIDS Benefit A multi-day event for HIV/AIDS prevention and education, the benefit includes a signature fashion show, art and clothing auctions, trunk shows and more.

March 25 Donavon Frankenreiter Enjoy the surf rock music of Donavon Frankenreiter and his band at the Sheridan Opera House. 970.728.6363 March 30-31 Burlesque Fundraiser The Sheridan Opera House goes vaudeville and performers bare it all (almost) for this annual event supporting the Telluride Theatre company. April 6 KOTO Street Dance This annual après-winter block party is traditionally held on the last Friday of the ski season. (Saturday, April 7, is reserved in case of inclement weather.) Telluride closes its main street for live music, dancing and a beer garden. April 8 Ski Resort Closing Day May 25-28 Mountainfilm in Telluride Celebrate the spirit of the mountains, culture and the environment with films, presentations and seminars.

February 18 The Butch Cassidy Chase Fun Nordic skiing event for all levels, featuring 5k, 10k, and 30k races at noon on the Valley Floor. 970.728.1144 February 22 David Wilcox The singer-songwriter takes the Sheridan Opera House stage. 970.728.6363 February 24 Judy Collins The legendary performer plays at the Opera House. 970.728.6363 photos by brett schreckengost


winter/spring 2011-2012

Directly overlooking the San Miguel River and only steps away from Telluride’s gondola, ski lifts and restaurants, this ski-in/ski-out home is the perfect vacation getaway.

• 6,000-square-foot residence • Five spacious master bedroom suites • Large media/bunk room with private bath • Sleeps fourteen people comfortably ~ Spectacular great room • Gourmet kitchen Private office • Spacious mud room • Hot tub ~ Outrageous views • State-of-the-art amenities Ski-in / ski-out • Short walk to downtown Telluride 310-600-1217

telluride turns Headlines and Highlights From the Local News

photo by brett schreckengost

Some of Telluride’s best and most raved-about terrain is not on the ski resort itself, but outside its boundaries— through backcountry gates that have been closed and reopened several times throughout the resort’s history. While the ski company grappled with safety and liability issues, Telluride’s off-piste skiing into Bear Creek was, for many years, a rebel activity. A series of avalanche fatalities during the resort’s early years resulted in Bear Creek’s closure by the U.S. Forest Service but the company’s current CEO, Dave Riley, an avid powder hound himself, made it a priority to expand the on-mountain terrain and resolve boundary issues. The company partnered with the Forest Service and Telluride Mountain Club to determine skiers could, at their own risk, descend through hundreds of acres of pristine powder, navigate harrowing cliff bands and tour to surrounding peaks and chutes in the beautiful, high-country basins that surround the resort. However, a recent land dispute has foiled those efforts—at least in part. In the spring of 2011, Forest Service officials removed the upper Bear Creek access gates above Revelation Lift due to complaints from Gold Hill Development Company landowners. The company (led by Tom Chapman, a notorious developer who buys precious in-holdings surrounded by public recreation lands) owns mining claims in the basin in upper Bear Creek and has threatened the agency with a lawsuit to halt skiers and hikers from trespassing on these claims. Despite closing the upper gates, the Forest Service responded to the growing demand for off-piste terrain by opening a new gate on Palmyra Peak allowing skiers to access the backcountry terrain from that in-bounds point. Additionally, the two gates into lower Bear Creek (Contention and Reggae) remain open. There is also a Forest Service gate on the saddle below the resort’s Bald Mountain that accesses Alta Lakes Basin. Skiing beyond the resort’s boundaries can be a risky undertaking; the San Juan Mountains snowpack is dangerous and unpredictable. Extreme variations in temperature, heavy snowfall, wind and sunshine create avalanches that have taken the lives of several skiers and snowboarders over the years. Off-piste skiing and snowboarding require skill, experience, knowledge and the proper equipment. For detailed maps, photos and information about the terrain surrounding the ski resort, visit: —Anne Pizey

Several Backcountry Gates Still Open


winter/spring 2011-2012

Telluride Turns

allred Makes Ski History aT a roaST for Ron Allred, his friends made cracks about him being the “worst skier” ever inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame, but his leadership in creating Mountain Village, free gondola transportation, the Telluride Regional Airport and the region’s first luxury hotel is no joke. It took Allred’s vision and know-how to turn remote Telluride into a destination resort. When he first hit the slopes in the late 1970s, Allred might not have impressed hardened locals with his light blue ski suit and mittens, but Telluride made quite an impression on him. The dentist-turned-developer said he immediately recognized its world-class potential, even if the ski area consisted at the time of five lifts, a day lodge and van that shuttled skiers from one side of the mountain to the other. Allred and his Benchmark Corporation purchased the ski area from Joe Zoline in 1978, then set out to transform it as they did Avon and Beaver Creek. With the mines closing permanently, and the town’s future in the balance, Allred launched an ambitious plan to develop an entirely new community with hotels, restaurants, and year-round amenities, with a supporting infrastructure that included a local airport and dedicated employee housing. It took more than four years to get the government approvals and the airport alone almost bankrupted the company. Allred named the ski area’s first restaurant after the Goronno Ranch in 1979. But by the time The Doral hotel opened its doors, and the gondola started running in the 1990s, his eponymous restaurant atop Coonskin Ridge, “Allred’s,” had set the new standard of what passes for luxe. When he purchased the ski area and laid out his plans, Allred told a Grand Junction newspaper that he wanted a project that would occupy him for the next 20 years. (That same article claimed Allred couldn’t ski at all.) True to his word, Allred and his partner sold the ski area to Hideo “Joe” Morita in 2001, having established its reputation and his own. Even if he can’t ski as well as fellow Telluride inductees Bill Mahoney Sr. or Johnnie Stevens, Allred now stands beside them in the Colorado’s ski hall of fame under the category of “Sport Builder.” — Stephen Barrett


Outstanding citizen: Bill “Senior” Mahoney To many PeoPle, Bill Mahoney Sr. is Telluride personified, though it could reasonably be argued it is Telluride that bears his imprimatur. Whichever way you prefer to look at it, his selection as “Outstanding Citizen” by the Telluride Foundation only begins to acknowledge his lifelong contributions to the community. As one of the last of town’s hard-rock miners and foremost of its modern-day skiers, Mahoney sent Telluride down its current path. He grew up during the Great Depression, skiing down the unpaved streets on Catholic Hill behind St. Patrick’s Church, getting towed back up again behind the cars of accommodating drivers. Later Mahoney explored the surrounding basins when everything around Telluride was backcountry. “We’d ski anything we could find where there was snow,” he explained. “When you go out like that, you try to have as much fun as you possibly can.” “Senior” remembers every rope tow that was set up in Town Park and every automobile engine that was rigged to power it. He can recall each attempt to establish a bona fide ski area here and how they all failed before Joe Zoline arrived with the financial resources to make the dream come true—and named Mahoney the area’s first mountain manager. Mahoney was there with the French Olympian, Emile Allais, to map out the ski runs, and he was there, clearing trees with a chain saw, to give them shape. And he made sure they were named after the mining claims, shafts, working girls and brothels that they supplanted as Telluride’s defining characteristics. No one has ever questioned Mahoney’s ferocious work ethic or his encyclopedic knowledge of local history. Mahoney has donated scores of mining artifacts and totems from those early ski days to Telluride Historical Museum and he is a local resource who readily shares his detailed stories about the past. Through all his efforts, Mahoney has ensured that Telluride never loses touch with its unassuming origins. — Stephen Barrett

“We’d ski anything we could find where there was snow.”

winter/spring 2011-2012


Telluride Turns

Lightning Shuts down Water Plant IT SEEMS logical to conserve water during a drought—but during the summer monsoons? That’s what residents were asked to do when lightning hit Telluride’s Mill Creek Treatment plant during a July rainA plant near the storm, crippling the town’s water system for more than a week. Idarado Mill will The town of Telluride has long eventually become recognized the vulnerability of the primary source its water system. Town staff upof treated water. graded the Mill Creek plant just two years ago to help process the turbid spring runoff, so that the system would not have to rely upon the older Stillwell Tunnel, which collects groundwater from Liberty Bell basin during the summer. Work on the system’s ultimate fix only began in earnest this year, as crews trenched the switchbacks on Bridal Veil Road and laid down pipe for an entirely new water network. A plant near the Idarado Mill will eventually become the town’s primary source of treated water, with Blue Lake as its source. The new system will have the capacity to serve the entire town as well as the unincorporated county out to Lawson Hill, and perhaps generate its own hydroelectricity someday, without being so susceptible to a jolt from above.

Shale Gas attracts Industry SOUTHWEST COLORADO could become a major new producer of natural gas if energy companies are allowed to explore nearly 650,000 acres in Montezuma, Dolores and San Miguel Counties. Energy companies believe an underlying formation called the Gothic Shale Gas Play could produce as many as 1,700 wells given advances in horizontal drillThe plan is facing ing and hydraulic fracturing. intense scrutiny from The discovery by energy environmental groups. companies led public land agencies to revise a draft management plan in anticipation of the potential bonanza, which would require a network of new roads, compressors, pipelines and other infrastructure. The agencies have also started to rewrite their regulations to protect air and water quality from increased gas production. The production of shale gas has transformed communities in places such as Pennsylvania and upstate new York, where residents are just learning about fracking and other extraction techniques. In Colorado, the plan is facing intense scrutiny from environmental groups accustomed to energy development and its related impacts.

— Stephen Barrett


winter/spring 2011-2012

Passings Nick Kyle spent the last 33 winters of his life patrolling the ski runs and riding the ski lifts he helped to build when he first moved to town. kyle was born in Fruita, Colo. on Christmas Day, 1948, and after he graduated from MontezumaCortez High School in 1967 he enlisted in the U.S. navy. He served two tours in Vietnam as a Seabee before settling in Telluride. He was an elder in the clan that is Telluride’s Ski Patrol and he spent most of his time outdoors—in the winter as a professional patroller and in the summer as an avid golfer. kyle leaves his wife, two daughters and several grandchildren. She was a healer who touched even those people she was not in physical contact with—marianne Hamilton was a nurse, a massage therapist and a yoga instructor—and had a special gift for making the people around her feel nurtured and loved. Hamilton was a mother of two grown children and a graceful telemark skier, nordic skier and hiker who reveled in the outdoors. She was the lead massage therapist at Franz klammer Lodge and is memorialized in its spa area with The Garden of Love and Light, which is filled with her favorite flowers and trees. Ted Steele passed away last summer in the Telluride home that he built in 1976. Steele enjoyed a successful career as a developer and builder all over the United States, as well as in the Virgin Islands and Mexico. Steele was a native of Chicago and graduated from Yale University and Harvard Business School; he was also a U.S. Marine who served in the korean War and a member of the Marine Corps Reserve, which was a source of great pride for him. Steele is survived by his wife, children, stepchildren and many grandchildren. An avid skier and self-proclaimed “Seventh Day Adventurist,” michael Johnson passed away this summer. Johnson fell in love with the Rocky Mountains while he was enlisted in the Army, and remained in Colorado after he graduated at the top of his class from Officer Candidate School. Johnson was beloved for his sense of humor, good nature and fondness for the outdoors. He was preceded in death by his 12-year-old son, with whom he shared a passion for skiing. Johnson leaves his wife, two daughters, two sons-in-law and three grandsons. It was apropos that friends of Adam Stetson gathered to celebrate his life with free beer and an open mic; Stetson was a talented musician, a bluegrass fan and a beloved member of the kOTO family. His radio show was called “Getting By With Adam” and he served on kOTO’s board of directors and often volunteered at the station’s special events. Stetson loved to read and to discuss and debate. He was also a ski instructor and he worked for Camel’s Garden and Planet Bluegrass. Stetson is survived by his parents, two sisters and a brother. Anyone who lived in Telluride for any length of time has surely bought a pair of skis or a bike from J. michael brown. Brown was one of Telluride’s original ski bums, moving here during the 70s and establishing the first outdoor retail store, Olympic Sports. He later opened Paragon Sports and, more recently, Life Cycles. After qualifying for the mountain biking world championships in 1990, Brown formed the Paragon team, which became a Telluride institution. Paragon’s classic purple and pink jerseys were proudly worn by multiple cyclists who went on to become professional riders, thanks to Brown’s advocacy. He also started the Lunar Cup and a program to outfit local kids with affordable ski gear. Brown will be missed by his many friends, as well as his wife, daughter and two sisters.

Telluride Turns

new Microbrew Business on tap when you conSider that Colorado is the craft brewing capital of the United States and that many locals qualify as world-class beer connoisseurs, it should come as no surprise that the Telluride Brewing Company has been the most anticipated new business to open its doors in years. It helps that the three business partners behind the company have earned the confidence of the community. Brewmaster Chris Fish made his mark at Smuggler’s Brewpub and Grille with Rocky Mountain Rye, a gold medal winner at the 2005 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, and Tommy Thatcher served his share of pints as a bartender there before taking a teaching job at Telluride Mountain School. Brian Gavin often manned the bar at 221. Now the three plan to make a name for Telluride in the world of microbrewing. They’ve set up a nondescript shop in Lawson Hill, installing a system of stainless steel tankards shipped in from California and a long row of taps for sampling. Their ales, lagers, porters, and stouts will only be available in kegs, cans, or reusable glass jugs (“growlers”). Because Lawson Hill’s zoning prohibits restaurants and allows limited sales, the brewery will serve only four-ounce tastings and no food. Their full range of beers will be available on tap at The Llama restaurant.


Already, the company’s logo has become a familiar presence, appearing on trucker hats and stickers plastered throughout town. Soon it should become unavoidable. By selling their beer in cans rather than bottles, Fish, Thatcher and Gavin expect it will become the local’s choice for rafting, biking, skiing and virtually every other outing that ends with a frosty cold one. It’s also an environmental decision; aluminum is the most recycled and recyclable material around. Attaching Telluride’s name to a local beer is a somewhat recycled idea itself. The town was once home to a Telluride Brewery that closed shop in 1930s, as well as a bottle works that packaged and sold beer brought in by the barrel from familiar brands like Coors and Pabst. Now the tables are turned, and Telluride Brewing Company is poised to be one of the region’s largest exporters, with the capacity to produce up to 6,000 kegs a year. — Stephen Barrett

Wild Horses Kick up controversy THe SPrING creeK HerD of wild horses roams the Disappointment Valley, most of the time, in splendid isolation. Occasionally, however, they are the focus of intense scrutiny—such as when the Bureau of Land Management announced this summer that it would conduct one of its periodic roundups to reduce the herd’s numbers. The roundup was scheduled just weeks after activist and filmmaker James Anaquad klienert screened his documentary, Wild Horses and Renegades, to a local audience. kleinert’s movie was shot largely in the Disappointment Valley and the film advocates for greater protection of the nation’s wild horses, despite more lucrative uses of public lands such as grazing, mining, and drilling. klienert asserts that the Bureau of Land Management is keeping the Spring Creek herd’s numbers too low to maintain genetic diversity, with the eventual goal of driving them entirely from public lands. Officials say the valley’s carrying capacity of about 65 horses is based upon available forage for the animals. now they are facing a lawsuit by kleinert and the non-profit

Spirit Riders Foundation to justify their calculations in court. The lawsuit asks that the 40-or-so horses rounded up in September be returned to the Disappointment Valley but the suit’s interpretation of the federal Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act as its basis could be farreaching. The Bureau of Land Management is already under political pressure to find a long-term solution to its growing horse population. The agency estimates that there are 33,000 wild horses in ten western states—2,000 more than it says the range can accommodate. Meanwhile, there are an additional 40,000 equines that have been taken off public lands and are now being held in long-term facilities, at a cost of nearly $37 million a year. The BLM’s current response has been to establish a contraceptive program that stops wild horses from reproducing so quickly. Without such measures, the herd’s numbers can double every four years. Some county residents have another idea: They are adopting the rounded-up members of the Spring Creek herd and hoping to return them to Disappointment Valley.

— Stephen Barrett

winter/spring 2011-2012


naTure noTes

Bull Moose Moves Into the neighborhood


The oPhir Valley is no place for a bull moose to go unnoticed, especially on a placid September morning. The rare moose sighting was quickly reported to the local radio station, and by midday the animal’s picture had made the rounds on Facebook. The reason for its instant celebrity is that only a thousand-or-so moose live in a few discrete pockets of Colorado. Despite San Miguel County’s proximity to established populations, moose have only recently made cameo appearances here. About 300 moose live in the upper Rio Grande basin around Creede; the Grand Mesa hosts roughly 160 more. Both populations were established by state wildlife officials, more out of novelty than any scientific imperative. Moose are the largest big game animals on the continent and arguably one of the strangest, with all sorts of Native American legends about how they arrived at their unusual appearance, the males having odd-looking, palmate antlers. Moose gravitate toward marshy, woodland areas, where they can quietly feast upon willows and induce awe in whomever they encounter. That’s not to say they are entirely reclusive animals. A bull moose can easily wander hundreds of miles. They have been spotted along Interstate 25, and in years past, lone moose have been sighted on the outskirts of the towns of Norwood and Rico. But it’s best for everyone that they keep to themselves. An animal weighing up to 1,200 pounds has little fear of wildlife enthusiasts or their pets, and moose have been known to charge anyone that tries to get too familiar. — Stephen Barrett

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winter/spring 2011-2012

naTure noTes

dealing with the dolores river discharge walking along The doloreS riVer just north of the town of Rico, you’ll see a thriving, natural wetland complex with beaver ponds, wading waterfowl and lush riparian vegetation. But keep walking upstream and the scene quickly begins to change. The green wetlands take on a tint of orange, reflected up through the water from the ponds’ mucky bottoms. Plastic PVC piping directs water from one pond into the next; the banks become steep and thick with weeds. Soon the hearty sedge plants and aquatic wildlife disappear altogether, and the wetlands morph into shallow pools of rusty heavy metal sludge that comes from a hole in the mountain called the “St. Louis Tunnel.” During Rico’s mining heyday in the early 1900s, miles of tunnels were driven into nearby Telescope and Dolores Mountains to explore for and extract the rich metal ores that exist hundreds of feet beneath the surface. Serving as the path of least resistance, these tunnels collect and reroute ground water and send it out through one main portal at the St. Louis Tunnel. From there, it travels through a series of man-made settling ponds before discharging into the wetlands and 100-year floodplain of the Dolores River. Historically, the discharge was treated with lime to meet water quality standards in the river. Although this method of treatment cleans the water, it also results in the accumulation of lime and heavy-metal sludge left behind in the settling ponds. Now, approximately 64,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and sludge remain in the ponds, which leak about 40 percent of their water into the river alluvium below. The sludge contains high concentrations of cadmium, copper, lead, silver and zinc, all hazardous substances that are threatening the health of the river. In March 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered the property’s current owner, Atlantic Richfield Company, to clean it up, pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). The order requires the mining company to stabilize and remove the solids that are in the ponds, then plan for ongoing treatment of the contaminated mine water coming from the tunnel. The problem is that the lime additive treatment previously used to clean the water is energy-intensive, requiring ongoing drying, transportation and long-term storage of tons of settled solids once they are separated from the water. So the EPA is trying something new. The agency is enlisting the help of hydrologists from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Silverton’s Mountain Studies Institute to analyze the potential for restoring the mountain’s natural hydrology, which has been disturbed for nearly a hundred years. Essentially, they want to put the water back where it came from—in the mountain. By studying existing maps and surveys of geological structures and mine

for the


photo by DEAnnA DREW

workings, and using water-tracing techniques to identify travel times from the mines to the tunnel, scientists hope to better understand the connection between the source of the contaminated water and the St. Louis Tunnel. If the natural paths of the mountain’s water can be recreated, a reduction in the flow through the mines and water contamination can be achieved, with less water coming through the tunnel needing treatment. Rory Cowie, a Telluride resident and PhD candidate in hydrology studies at the University of Colorado, is working on the project. “We’re looking for the natural, historic patterns of ground water and surface water that existed in the mountain,” he says, “before we made it Swiss cheese.” — Deanna Drew

NOVEMBER 2010 High: 63° (Record 73° in 1941) Low: -11° (Record -22° in 1931) Precip: 1.67” (Avg. 1.53”) Snow: 26.5” (Avg. 21.5”; Max. 57” in 1991)

JANUARY 2011 High: 48° (Record 58° in 1990) Low: -15° (Record -32° in 1963) Precip: .87” (Avg. 1.64”) Snow: 15” (Avg. 26.9”; Max. 80.5” in 1979)

MARCH 2011 High: 62° (Record 73° in 1986) Low: 4° (Record -20° in 1932) Precip: 1.32” (Avg. 2.19”) Snow: 22” (Avg. 33.9”; Max. 127” in 1995)

DECEMBER 2010 High: 55° (Record 66° in 1973) Low: 4° (Record -27° in 1949) Precip: 2.36” (Avg. 1.58”) Snow: 32.5” (Avg. 25.5”; Max. 107” in 1983)

FEBRUARY 2011 High: 56° (Record 65° in 1986) Low: -18° (Record -36° in 1933) Precip: 1.18” (Avg. 1.72”) Snow: 19.75” (Avg. 26.8”; Max. 97.9” in 1936)

APRIL 2011 High: 68° Low: 11° Precip: 3.53” Snow: 55”

winter/spring 2011-2012

(Record 78° in 1992) (Record -10° in 1980) (Avg. 2.17”) (Avg. 22.8”; Max. 64.5” in 1917)


WriTe here, riGhT noW

sofa sojourn

around the world in 150 couches

By Reilly Capps piled high with dirty dishes, kitchens with no trash cans, kitchens with coffee WHEn I TRAVEL I MOOCH OFF OF FRIEnDS AnD RELATIVES, staying with grounds spattered like someone has just bashed a coffee piñata. Being fed by a cousin or a high school or college buddy, crashing wherever they have a flat well-meaning people—over and over—too many vegetarian meals, too much space. It’s usually fine. Sometimes it’s great. But slowly, cousins and buddies tofu, too much pasta. Too much organic, indigestible food. Some of the couchstart to get married to lovely wives and husbands who are always gently asking es must have been designed by sadistic chiropractors hoping to create more my departure date. So, lately when I’m looking for free places to stay, I turn to clients. They sink down like quicksand, they swallow you like Venus the Internet—, for example—with three million flytraps, or else they are as hard as wood floors or have springs people (and counting) who let travelers sleep on their couch. that shift and poke you in the middle of the night. Millions of new buddies. The people? The people are insane. It is reckless to let not many wives. The people? a stranger like me into your house. I could steal all your This year, I am living almost entirely on the couchfurniture, filch your books, poison your cats. Of course, es of other people. The goal is 150 couches over 20 The people are insane. I never do. And for some reason, these people are alcountries and three continents, in order to set a most always nice to me and usually even take care world record and become the world’s most accomIt is reckless to let of me, lend me bikes, cars and towels, share stories plished bum. Then my mother will finally be proud. a stranger like me and advice. There are all kinds of these nice people, I am about halfway through my adventure, but priests and drag queens, stockbrokers and freegans. A from the very first couch I ever slept on, I could see into your house. kind couple living the simple life in a cabin in Appalathe limitations. I was on the navajo Indian Reservation chia, who have no running water and who eat rice bought in Gallup, new Mexico, and the couch was too short, so in bulk to save money, went out and purchased a new sofa I slept with my legs accordioned up. And to get to the only when they heard I was coming. Before I came, they used to sit on bathroom, I had to walk through the homeowners’ bedroom. In the floor. They are obviously crazy. But when I move back to Telluride, after the middle of the night came that ache in the lower belly. I thought of my year of discomfort is over, I plan to buy a long couch and a few extra towels, deserts—the Sahara, the Gobi. I tried to fall asleep. no dice. Instead of stepping and I plan to be crazy just like them. over people I barely knew at 3 a.m., I stepped out on the balcony and leaked a mini fountain out to the street below. This would be my year of discomfort. Reilly Capps was a reporter at the Telluride Daily Planet before he embarked on Bathrooms with dirty toilets, bathrooms that are constantly occupied, his sofa sojourn. Capps is writing a book about his expedition, possibly titled Sofa bathrooms with no toilet paper, no towels, no mirrors, no sinks. kitchens king or Sofa So Good. To read more about his adventures, visit 24

winter/spring 2011-2012



Ask Jock

athletic advice from Our Local Mountain Guru



photo by RYAn BOnnEAU



I find myself late to work and social engagements in the winter because I have to put my bike away and go on foot, which is slower to begin with, and made even slower by ice and snow. I have seen people zipping around on their bikes in the winter with the greatest of ease. How are they doing it? — Weary of Walking

A: Readying your bike for winter use in Telluride is as easy as getting a new set of tires—studded ones. Several bike tire manufacturers make tires with small metal studs that keep the wheel side down while you pedal across ice in the winter. The DIY version (which, frankly, might not really be worth the time and will ruin your summer tires) is to insert short bolts at even intervals around the entire tire. Better to just have two sets and switch them out. But that’s just the beginning. Does carrying your skis on your shoulder whilst you bike in the winter give you the chills? Consider attaching a piece of PVC pipe to your bike using hose clamps or zip ties or some combination of the two. A pipe that is wide enough to accept the skis but narrow enough to catch the bindings works best. Bring your skis to the hardware store to ensure you are getting the proper size of PVC. According to locals, the consummate winter bike is the Pugsley, made by Surly. Its super-fat tires just float on the snow. Word is, though, that Surly has recently discontinued the Pugsley and has introduced the Moonlander— with even fatter tires—in its place. keep on rolling, — Jock

I love living in a ski town and playing outside and the constant influx of new people, but what I don’t love are the colds that seem to come along with it. It’s like living in a Petri dish! Any suggestions on avoiding the rhinovirus I seem to contract a couple times every winter? — Serious Sniffles

A: If Jock had the cure for the common cold, he’d not be writing this column. I feel your pain, though. The scourge of the sniffles seems to affect everyone in this cozy valley at least once a winter. Internet research, talking to medical professionals, and experience all point to the traditional treatments: rest and liquids, once you are in the throes. In addition to proper rest and liquids (no, not beer), frequent hand washing or use of an effective hand sanitizer (containing 60 percent or more alcohol) when soap and water is not available can help prevent colds. new research suggests that when cold symptoms first appear, zinc, taken as a lozenge or syrup, will shorten a cold by one to three days. Maybe this doesn’t sound like much, but think of what getting back on the slopes a few days earlier could do for your spirit! The verdict is not yet in whether regular, consistent use of zinc will prevent illness. Getting a solid eight hours of snoozing and washing your hands frequently is still the best way to keep those germs away. You can help keep Telluride the Town Without A Bellyache… and without colds. — Jock


winter/spring 2011-2012



I would like to go Nordic skiing this winter but I am a little confused about the gear. Is there a difference between skate and classic skis and poles? — Nordic Newbie

A: The simplified version is that a skate ski is like an alpine ski: it has a single camber and is designed for glide. A classic ski has double camber, creating room underneath your foot for a wax “pocket” or fish scales that grip the snow, facilitating the kick part of the technique. For this reason, it is difficult to use them interchangeably for the two styles of nordic skiing. Traditionally, skis were sized according to a skier’s height. now, they are matched to the skier’s weight, strength, and skill level because the flex pattern of the ski takes precedence over its length. That said, skate skis are usually about 10 centimeters shorter than classic skis. Classic poles should fit comfortably under your armpits when you stand on the ground. Skate poles are longer and should reach to somewhere between your chin and your lips. And remember, the boots and bindings for each are slightly different, too. If you are in the market to buy, the friendly folks at your local ski shop can fill you in. If you are in Telluride, Midnite and his band of nordic nerds at the nordic Center in Town Park can help advise you as well as rent you skis and set you up with lessons. Glide on! — Jock




MounTain hoMes & desiGn GLASS HAS LONG REPRESENTED A MAGICAL BARRIER between reality and fantasy. Alice stepped through the looking glass and Cinderella’s glass slipper unlocked a dream world. In Telluride, glass is used in a similar fashion—to bring the magic of the outside world inside our homes—erasing the barrier between inner and outer spaces. Most of us spend a lot of time outdoors, but the expansive windows of some properties make you feel as if you are actually living outside. Gray Head’s Catmando and Pa Gomo challenge the imagination with bridges, turrets, glass stairs and floating bedrooms. The Ski Ranches BY JESSE JAMES MCTIGUE Solar Concept House, as its name suggests, uses floor-to-ceiling windows to flood the interior with sunshine. Pa Gomo consists of nine structures, artfully linked through glass-encased hallways and bridges, allowing for the constant play of incoming light. The design incorporates hard elements such as stone walls, wooden beams and steel trusses, yet wall-sized windows, exposed beams and high ceilings give the house a sense of weightlessness. Two glass bridges add to Pa Gomo’s mystique, one leading to a glass staircase and game room on the west side and the other running over a gurgling brook and to the master suites on the east side. The walls of this bridge are not perpendicular, but rather slope outward, reaching toward the pond and enticing visitors to hang out, if just for a moment. And it makes sense that a bridge would lead to a floating island, or at least that’s what the master suite feels like—it’s a perfectly square room with ceiling-high windows, positioned on the pond’s edge.

the Magic of

At Catmando, even the bridges have windows: a Bhutanese bridge connects to the master suite on the house’s south side, hovering over a spring that feeds the pond in front. Square windows, framed by dark, antiqued wood, line the bridge’s sidewalls, creating a tranquil transition from the house to the bedroom. On the house’s north, a Vermontstyle Burr truss bridge leads to the guest bedroom. Glass fills the space in between the bridge’s trusses, treating its pedestrians with views of the surrounding mountains– Camel, Whipple, and the San Sofia Ridge to the north, Ajax and Ballard to the east, and Lizard Head and the Wilson Range to the west. The house also has a turret with gorgeous, tall glass panes that invite people in its perch to enjoy the scenery. The Solar Concept House in the Ski Ranches is diamond-shaped, with glass facets that face south, southeast and southwest. The glass windows are glazed to collect and trap solar heat while at the same time allowing unobstructed views of Mt. Wilson and the sylvan forest surroundings. The sleeping loft in the guest unit is enclosed with glass walls, for the same effect: cozy, warm interiors that still feel connected to the outdoors.





winter/spring 2011-2012

Telluride, Colorado

Real Estate Sales

Owner / Broker Todd Creel

400 East Depot Town of Telluride

106 Christina’s Way Aldasoro Ranch

One of Telluride’s premier custom homes in the town’s best location adjacent to the river and steps from the Gondola. This 5 bed/6.5 bath home offers a high level of finishes and quality construction for the discriminating buyer. $6,950,000

Very private setting on a 2-acre lot with a year-round creek and protected south views of the Wilsons. This 4 bed/5.5 bath home has been impeccably remodel by Casey Smith with all the best features and finishes. $3,650,000

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One of Telluride’s best residential values, this home offers over 4,000 sq. ft. of living space - $1,795,000

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winter/spring 2011-2012

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winter/spring 2011-2012



When the world finally stopped lurching, Nick Dillsworth’s body was folded in half, his head between his knees and one arm twisted under his leg. Everything was black, and he couldn’t tell which way was up. He was cemented into place by snow that had settled like concrete. The pressure was unbelievable—so intense that it was hard to inhale. He managed abbreviated breaths into his AvaLung and started to think. He had set off small avalanches before, so he wasn’t too worried. Actually, considering the dire circumstances, he was relatively calm. His brother, Joe, was out there somewhere, no doubt with a shovel and beacon, working on freeing him. What Nick didn’t know, what he couldn’t know, was that the avalanche he set off—the one that just finished taking him on a 500-foot ride down the mountain, knocking him against trees and burying him under more than six feet of snow—had triggered a secondary slide that swept up his brother, stripping him of his skis and carrying him below the bench he was standing on when Nick last saw him. Nick’s lone chance of rescue was partially buried himself. Squeezed in his black box, however, Nick wasn’t pondering that possibility. Instead, he started to wait. *********** This is a story about luck. It’s about the kind of bad, terrible, near-fatal luck that can befall someone with a single backcountry turn, a slash of board in snow that triggers something massive and powerful, something loud and angry and destructive. But it’s also a story about a rare and odds-beating kind of very good luck. *********** Nick awoke on the morning of March 8, 2011, to discover that a foot of snow had fallen overnight in Ophir, leaving the tiny town muffled under a blanket of white. It was the second day of a late-winter storm, and judging by the turns he and his brother made the day before, it was going to be fantastic out there. Nick strapped on his avalanche beacon and pulled on gloves still wet from yesterday’s tour. He and Joe— his skiing partner since forever—left the house between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., skinning out the door and up into the massive, silent mountains above. It was snowing out. They headed up the east side of Waterfall Canyon, following a fresh skin track. By the time they got to the top of what locals call the “Banker Trees,” it had stopped snowing. They checked their beacons, then Joe dropped in. Nick watched him ski through the trees, carving through deep powder in the 32

winter/spring 2011-2012



glade. He saw Joe ski to the high, left-side bench, a safe spot. Joe turned and hollered at Nick to follow. Nick inserted his AvaLung into his mouth—a backcountry habit of his—and dropped in on his splitboard. Instead of snowboarding through the trees he had hit the day before, however, he decided to cut farther left to another tree alley. He gave it a stomp, and nothing moved. He started snowboarding, and made three or four turns before noticing that the snow was moving with him unnaturally. “I thought I had set off a surface slough,” he said. But soon, said Nick, “Everything broke into squares; it just kind of spiderwebbed, like when you throw a rock at a window. Everything was moving.” Nick tried to stay on top of the slide, tried to slow down by digging his edge in, but got sucked into the avalanche instead. Soon he was moving inside a great, dark torrent of snow, smashing through the trees. He was able to stick his board in front of him as a kind of shield and swears that the body armor he was wearing saved him from breaking bones. He had a faint sense of direction, but it was impossible to see because his goggles were packed with snow. Soon, the river of snow slowed down and he felt wind on his face. But he thinks that’s when a secondary slide was triggered, because everything started moving again, pulling him down another steep embankment and another ledge into more snow. “And then everything stopped. It was completely black and I couldn’t move at all,” he recalled. Miraculously, the AvaLung was still in his mouth—he would later find deep bite marks in the mouthpiece. He was able to puff a few ragged breaths into it. He wanted desperately to straighten from his bent position, but was beyond stuck. He somehow managed to stay calm. “I just have to wait a minute,” he thought. “My brother is going to dig me out.”

Joe was perched on a bench when the avalanche ripped, setting off two secondary slides—one of which headed straight toward him. He clambered as high as he could on the slope, but he couldn’t get out of its way and was pulled into it. The snow ripped away his skis and poles as he was swept down the mountain and partially buried. When he had finished digging himself out, Joe had no idea where Nick was, but he immediately turned his beacon to “search” and started hiking. The beeps led him slowly uphill. *********** The minutes ticked by for Nick. He couldn’t stop thinking about his hands. They were freezing, painful, packed in snow. And he couldn’t help but wonder where Joe was. It was hard to tell how long he’d been down there, hard to grasp the difference between seconds and hours. He wondered if his beacon had been broken when he hit a tree but smothered that worry, telling himself that it just seemed like a long time because he was cold. He waited. Inhaled slow breaths. Waited more. Then he felt something hit his right knee. More than six feet above him, Joe had plunged his probe into the avalanche debris, pushing almost the entire length in the snow until it hit his brother’s body. Joy erupted in Nick. Joe began to dig frantically, using his shovel to carve out a wide circle of snow around Nick so that it wouldn’t collapse into him. Meanwhile, Nick waited. The minutes passed. He wondered, was that a dream? Another eternity passed. At last the shovel hit him on the knee. He wiggled it so Joe would know he was still alive. Soon, Nick could talk to his brother, letting him know that he was OK. Over the next 20 minutes or so, his head and torso were freed, allowing him to stretch out. Then Joe lay down, utterly drained, as Nick chiseled his feet and board out of the hard-packed snow. “That’s when I looked up and thought, ‘Holy shit,’” Nick said. “The hole was six and a half feet deep.”

The entire gully had ripped. He had survived a massive slide. Josh Butson, who teaches avalanche and backcountry courses through San Juan Outdoor School, said that with avalanche rescues, you typically want to unbury someone in seven minutes or less. After 15 minutes, statistics of survival start to plummet. Nick was buried for something like 45 minutes. Butson has never heard of anyone being buried that deep and for that long and surviving. Butson said Nick’s tools probably saved his life. The AvaLung allowed him a lifeline, and the armor and snowboard protected him from contusive impacts. And Joe, who was able to keep himself collected until he found Nick, was a key element in his brother’s survival. All the practice they had done on their nearly daily backcountry outings paid off. And there was that luck. “They were just beyond lucky,” Butson said. “Luck was on their side.” *********** Getting home took forever, post-holing back to the skin track and over the mountain, Nick carrying his splitboard and Joe trudging. Nick went to work that night, arriving late for his shift driving the bus. It didn’t seem real yet. He even went skiing two days later. It took some time before the magnitude of it all hit him. “It would have been fine if I hadn’t cut over to the tree alley,” he said. “That was my biggest mistake. I got greedy. I pushed the boundary a little too far. “You go out every day and you just get over-relaxed about it,” he said. “You have to be careful. You can die out there. I’m definitely going to be a lot more careful.” But he’s not going to stop. “It’s what I love to do. It’s the whole reason that I live here.” winter/spring 2011-2012


Growing Up


Three Locals Compete on U.S. Ski Teams BY C H R I ST I N A CA L L I C OT T



winter/spring 2011-2012

Most folks have childhood memories of sleeping in when Gus’s performance Down Under kept him in the forefront school was out or snuggling under a blanket on the couch on of media attention. According to Freeskier magazine, his run Saturday morning, watching cartoons. But not these kids: For “was incredibly technical, with a rodeo six thirty off the canU.S. Ski Team members Gus Kenworthy, Joe Discoe and Jimnon box straight into a double cork twelve sixty mute into a my Discoe, growing up in Telluride meant Saturday mornings switch right ten tailgrab into a switch five forty onto the lily in the lift line. And there was no place else they’d rather be. pad and a rodeo five forty out.” The freeskiing lingo is a little Telluride’s newest hometown hero, Gus Kenworthy, started over the heads of the uninitiated and so are the competitors— skiing before he was even able to walk, strapped to his dad’s dozens of feet over our heads, upside down and with skis on. It chest in an infant carrier. “My parents always had me on the probably makes parents such as Peter Kenworthy (Gus’s dad) mountain, and I remember that when I would get tired, my more than a little wary. What about the potential for injury, or mom would sing me to sleep worse? The park and halfpipe on the chairlift rides and then events don’t typically conwake me up again at the top.” cern him, Kenworthy says; By the time he was three, he Gus has been training for had his first pair of boards. that stuff since he was teachAt 16, he picked up a sponing his action figures to do sor and started skiing profesdouble flips off the kitchen sionally, appearing in films table. “The life-threatening for Matchstick Productions stuff is the big-mountain and competing against some skiing, where they’re flyof the industry’s most elite ing them into some peak in skiers. “Since then, I’ve travAlaska, and the skiers are out eled all over the world, met there one-upping each other some amazing people and for the cameras. That’s when got to experience things that I tell him, ‘Just say “no.”’ It’s I never would have dreamed not your event, it’s not what of,” Kenworthy says. you should be doing, and it Even if he never dreamed scares the hell out of me.” of going to the Olympics, Gus doesn’t seem so worthat’s where he’s headed. ried about it. “I’ve been feaGus took the world by storm tured in magazines, filmed with his first big win at the video parts, landed never2010 Aspen Open in both before-done tricks, stood the slopestyle and halfpipe atop the podium at major events. Throughout that seaevents, and I’ve had a truly son and the next, he was a awesome time every step of regular on the podium. In the way,” he says with a wide April 2011, he was crowned grin. And he’s not planning the 2010/2011 Overall World on slowing down. “I definiteChampion by the Associaly want to compete as much tion of Freeskiing Profesas I can, win an X Games sionals, an organization medal and compete in the dedicated to the globaliza2014 Winter Olympics.” tion of the so-called “new Gus isn’t the only rising [ Gus Kenworthy makes it look easy at the 2011 X Games in Aspen. ] school” of freestyle skiing: star who skirted child-labor halfpipe, slopestyle, big air laws as a hardworking young and terrain-park events. That June he was named to the athlete in Telluride. “There wasn’t a lot of sleeping in, let’s just brand-new U.S. Freeskiing Team, which will field athletes say that,” laughs Jimmy Discoe. Between training on the weekin Sochi, Russia, as the first-ever halfpipe and slopestyle days, competing on the weekends and keeping up with schoolskiing events debut at the 2014 Olympics. Then, to cap off work at night, by the time Sunday morning rolled around he the 2011 summer season, Gus was in the spotlight again was physically exhausted. “We were on the road with the ski with two more back-to-back wins, this time in the New team every weekend,” he explains, “so instead of doing the Zealand Winter Games slopestyle and halfpipe comps; he usual high-school stuff like football games or school dances or also won the “One Hit Wonder” event, a high-profile, singoing to the skate park with our buddies, we were traveling all gle-jump contest in Australia with a $10,000 prize. over Colorado and Utah. But it was fun. Every week, you came back to school and there was a whole new story to tell.” photo by steven kornreich

[ Jimmy Discoe at U.S. Ski Team Training Camp in Zermatt, Switzerland. ]


Jimmy caught the attention of coaches when he was just nine years old, taking runs down the moguls on the Lower Plunge course during breaks in his older brothers’ competitions. “I would be doing these zipper lines down the side of the course with everyone watching,” he says. The next season they gave him his own bib and stuck him in the starting gate. Shortly after joining the U.S. Ski Team in late 2007, Jimmy made a big splash, taking eighth at the 2008 Deer Valley World Cup and winning a number of first- and second-place finishes in North American Cup events. Then, at the NorAm finals that spring, Jimmy won both the qualifier and the finals run in the single moguls event, edging out his closest competitor by a mere hundredth of a point and securing himself the championship title before the last race even began. He then proceeded to win both the duals qualifier and final to take the 2008 NorAm Cup Grand Prix in high style. “It was one of the most amazing performances I’ve ever seen,” says Telluride Ski and Snowboard Coach Harold Ehnbom of the event. “It was just total domination on his part.” A month later, Jimmy blew out his knee, but it wasn’t “game over” for the young skier—he recovered and was soon back on the race course. However, the injuries kept coming. “I’ve had four knee surgeries in the past four years,” Jimmy says matter-of-factly, “so I’m taking the season off to think about what I want to do—keep competing, move on to coaching or do something else. I’ll at least spend this season healing up so that I can compete better next year.” There will be no respite for Jimmy’s older brother, Joe Discoe, as he charges ahead into this year’s competition season. Joe is a two-time U.S. Champion—for single moguls in 2010 and duals in 2011—with three top-ten finishes in World Cup competition in 2011. And he’s hungry for more: His new goal is to reach the podium in the World Cup. He’s also skied in the World Championships, but now he wants to win. After that, it’s the Olympics and the gold medal. Joe acknowledged that his ambitions are big and that he’s got his work cut out for him. “Podium in World Cup, Olympic medalist—that would be great. It’s a big order, though.” The Discoe brothers are no strangers to hard work. Growing up as elite athletes, they missed a lot of school—Mom estimates that Joe missed 40 days his senior year and Jimmy missed 60. But Mom and Dad insisted that the

photo by garth hagar and lasse fahlen

[ Jimmy Discoe catches some air. ]

[ gus kenworthy ]

“I’ve traveled all over the world, met some amazing people and got to experience things that I never would have dreamed of.” — gus kenworthy

photo by h. marbler

[ Joe Discoe glides through the moguls. ] photo by robin macdonald

boys keep up their grades, and it paid off: Joe was valedictorian and Jimmy graduated fourth in his class. The environment in the Discoe home must have been pretty competitive. “We are brothers, after all, so there’s always a little head-butting,” Joe laughs. “But it was good traveling together and having someone you could depend on, someone who would always want to ski with you.” The freestyle community is competitive but also supportive—and even more so among brothers: “It’s pretty cool to have someone rooting for you and pushing you hard to be better than everyone else,” Joe says. “If you were letting off, they would let you know it. It would make you try harder.” When all is said and done, for Gus Kenworthy and the Discoes, their success comes back to one thing: Telluride. “Telluride is still my favorite mountain that I have ever skied,” says Joe Discoe. “It’s a mountain that makes you a great skier. You can’t fake anything there. If you try to, you’re going down.” Gus Kenworthy agrees. Telluride is his favorite, too, despite having skied all over the world now. “Telluride is not so much a hotbed for park or pipe skiing,” he says, “but more so for big open terrain, moguls, trees and amazing hike-to terrain.” Having Telluride’s diversity in his back yard, however, “encouraged me

to become a more well-rounded skier than I may have been otherwise. Plus,” he says, “because Telluride is such a tight-knit community, I feel like no matter where I go, I’ll always have a devoted support team standing behind me.” All three skiers noted that Telluride is more than just a mountain: It’s a community. There is a feeling of camaraderie not just with teammates but also with friends. Skiing is a social activity, with people on Lift 9 hollering and hooting at their friends below who are ripping down Kant Mak-M. “There was no shortage of great skiers on hand to inspire the young boys,” says Peter Kenworthy, “to show them what kind of greatness was possible.” In addition to the average Jane or Joe (because, really, you have to be good to ski Mak-M, right?), there were awe-inspiring coaches— brothers Hugh and Andy Sawyer and Will Wasson—and there were lots of older kids who started the local legacy decades ago. Telluride’s world-class coaching programs produced the likes of Rory Lanning, Jenny Albin, Kristin Taylor, Justine Van Houte, Kate Reed, and Orion Helms, all former competitors on the U.S. Ski Teams. Tellu-

[ jimmy discoe ]

ride even produced one of the first pro snowboarders, Rocket Reeves, before that sport ever fielded a national team. There was also Harold Ehnbom, a dual citizen who trained in Telluride and in Switzerland and who skied on the World Cup circuit for the Swiss national team. Ehnbom coaches now with Caleb Martin, another Telluride kid who preceded Gus, Jimmy and Joe on the U.S. Ski Team. Martin skied with Jonny Mosely, whose knees fared a little better than Martin’s, and who went on to put U.S. mogul skiing on the map with a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Martin retired after being sidelined by injuries and came home to take the reins from Wasson and the Sawyers and raise a new generation of freestyle champions. Today, he’s still hitting the lift line at a ridiculously early hour on Saturday mornings, hoofing up and down the course on the Lower Plunge, shoveling the bumps out after a big snowfall, and handing down the grace and skill he learned as a young skier in Telluride. Martin is as passionate about coaching as he was about competing. “And I hope I can pass the torch to one of the Discoes,” Martin says, “but not before they’re done competing and are ready to take it.”

[ joe discoe ]

“We are brothers, after all, so there’s always a little head-butting. But it was good traveling together and having someone you could depend on, someone who would always want to ski with you.” — Joe Discoe photo by h. marbler

photo by h. marbler

A cloud of condensation billows from the open door into the crystalline, cool afternoon, and I’m tempted to pull it shut and stay inside a little longer. I want to snuggle back under the down comforter, pull a corner up to my chin, and sit in the orange glow of the gas-powered lamp overhead; the one my husband has, miraculously, fixed seven times now following various mishaps. It’s nearly impossible to find replacement parts for an original gas lamp in a 1964 Shasta camp trailer, so every time the thing gets knocked over by the kids or we forget to unscrew its components from the wall before heading out on a bumpy ride and it smashes to the ground, he painstakingly glues the lamp back together. That’s what you learn when you own one of these decades-old camp trailers—how to put the various pieces back together after they fall apart. The way we fix things is a common topic of conversation among our neighbors in this little improvised community we call Shasta Town, in a dirt parking lot full of camping rigs. When our friend Matt’s puppy clawed the screen door one night at the Circus-Circus KOA campground in Las Vegas, he found a replacement door online. When one of our electric light’s glass globes shattered into a million pieces following the rough ride to Chaco Canyon, we found an even better one (a delicate floral design in frosted glass) at the Second Chance thrift store in Ridgway—for only $2. I don’t participate as much in the fixing-up discussions, though, since the interior design of our 14x9-foot abode is more my realm. Meg and I trade curtain-sewing tips: “They’ve got to be double-thickness,” I’ll tell her. Or Frannie and I will discuss the detailed care of the all-important cushion-cover, that it must be stain-resistant and given regular treatments of Scotch-Guard.

“Shasta Town became our in-town ski locker room and boot valet…just without the locker room or the valet.”

Shasta By Martinique Davis



winter/spring 2011-2012

photo by brett schreckengost

It’s what we talk about when we get together, those of us who own one of these vintage Shastas (or Serro Scottys, or other camp trailers that by their age or appearance could be considered “vintage”). We’ve taken them everywhere—from beaches in California, where the sand that stuck to the soles of our feet still remains in the cracks of the panels of faux-maple laminate flooring; to weddings in Norwood, where the circle of our rounded-up camp trailers felt like a gypsy caravan. We’ve taken them everywhere, but we always bring them back here, to this parking lot on the east end of Telluride: Shasta Town. It’s home. It started one summertime as a place to park our rigs for those down times when they weren’t on the road. Yet during the festivals, Fourth of July, or just any old spectacular summer afternoon in Telluride, those uneven lanes of mismatched old campers became our homes-away-from-home. Few of us actually live within Telluride’s town limits, and so the cozy respite those four trailer walls could provide was enticing: a quiet place to decompress after a long day at Bluegrass…a dry haven during an ill-timed rainstorm…a comfortable spot to change a diaper and feed a cranky child while running errands in town. Telluride’s abrasive winter weather deterred some of Shasta Town’s summertime regulars, but not all of them. The cold actually made our little community even more inviting for its year-round contingent, who found a convenient place to suit up for a powder morning and a comfortable spot to trade stories after a day on the mountain when the après-ski scene in town was too much. “Shasta Town became our in-town ski locker room and boot valet…just without the locker room or the valet,” says one winter regular. Our trailers, tenderly tinkered with when they break and often hanging on by just a few well-placed screws, are not immortal. We love them, but perhaps we love them a little too much. Despite our great affection, we seem to wear them out…and in doing so, we know that they have only a few good years left in them. Our Shastas won’t last forever, and neither will our makeshift village. In fact, this winter could be Shasta Town’s last: Telluride’s town council recently awarded a local businesswoman a special permit to use our vacant lot as an events venue, starting next summer. But that’s the beauty of trailer life: It is, by nature, impermanent. We will hitch up our Shastas and move down the road, carrying our homes-away-fromhome—and the stories we shared together during our years at Shasta Town—with us.

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No Ordinary Joe


GIO “JOE” OBERTO WAS THE CONSUMMATE BUSINESSMAN OF HIS TIME. Oberto sold liquor to miners around the time of Prohibition, bought an interest in the Tomboy Mine with a beaver skin coat, owned the land that is today’s Valley Floor (and which used to house a golf course), and sold his mining claims near Uravan to the Vanadium Corporation, a company that supported the Manhattan Project.

Gio Oberto


n the afternoon of February 10, 1942, just two months removed from the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Gio Oberto stood on a street corner in Nucla, Colorado, talking with friends. Beyond their somber discussion of war, there was another topic on his mind: vanadium mining and the activity at the mill in the newly developed company town of Uravan, farther down valley. There was an excitement in his tone; mining was making a comeback in the region, and Gio figured he’d be a part of it. He’d been active in mining in western Montrose County for some time and had been involved in the business affairs of San Miguel County and Telluride for more than 40 years. There was certainly no reason to think things would change now. 40

winter/spring 2011-2012

Gio Oberto left his home in northern Italy in 1892 at the age of 19 and made his way to Telluride—for reasons that aren’t entirely clear—via Wisconsin and Illinois in the years just prior to the turn of the century. It’s possible he joined relatives already living in the area, or he may have followed Mike Perino, who grew up just three miles from Gio’s hometown and who’d arrived in Telluride during the late 1890s. No matter how or why Gio Oberto ended up in Telluride, everyone who met him was advised to call him “Joe,” a phonetically anglicized version of the name he had chosen to call himself—Gio—despite being born Giuseppe, not Giovanni. >>


On the night of March 21, 1913, a snowslide tore out one end of the mill and ripped apart the transformer house and power lines.

Telluride’s economy prospered in the years around the turn of the century, thanks to the boom in gold mining. It seemed that any enterprise catering to the needs and whims of miners couldn’t help but do well, and Joe’s stores in Marshall and Savage Basins apparently offered a few items much in demand by the district’s large population of miners. Joe’s retail emporiums were dispensing liquor, among other merchandise, but that wasn’t the problem. That they were doing so without a license got him arrested and fined in February 1900 and, again, in April 1902. To make the situation more troublesome, the managers of the Tomboy and Smuggler Mines suspected the stores of exchanging “high-grade,” a term for ore stolen by mine workers, for gold coin. Through prominent Telluride attorney (and Joe’s only known biographer), E.B. Adams, the managers “suggested” the Savage Basin store be moved. On Saturday afternoon, May 31, 1902, the store was relocated to a new site on property owned by Joe’s fried, Ed Herbert. The trouble wasn’t over, though. According to the Daily Journal, on the night the store was moved, Joe’s establishment was “subjected to a dose of dynamite and blown all to pieces.” But what was later found to be simply an act of malicious vandalism, perpetrated by the property’s other owner, Ike Kling, was nonetheless used as a political tool. Quoted in The Denver Post in early December 1902—while Kling’s trial was underway and only one month after the murder of Smuggler-Union Mine manager, Arthur Collins—Telluride Miners’ Union president, Vincent St. John, intimated that “…the lawless mine managers dynamited Oberto’s saloon.” Joe, who was anything but political, was thus thrust smack-dab into the fray and, for a few years, his reputation was bounced back and forth like a rubber ball between the union miners and pro-management advocates in Telluride.

If Joe’s first few years in Telluride appeared to be on the exciting side, they were also attended by a more calming domesticity. On March 5, 1901, he married Henrietta (Hattie) Gallo, and in midSeptember, he purchased the residence at 119 North Willow, where he and Hattie welcomed their firstborn, Leo, on May 17, 1902. Silvio, their second son, was born on December 11, 1905. The appeal—or fatal attraction, as was more often the case—of striking it rich in a mining venture was never far from Joe’s mind. For several years, he developed his numerous claims in Gunnison County and, in September 1912, purchased the lease on the highly regarded Nellie Mine and Mill up Bear Creek Canyon. At first, all looked hopeful. On February 1, 1913, the Journal reported, “…with the steady shipment of concentrates and rich crude ore from this property, [the Nellie] is bound to be a factor in the mining industry in this vicinity.” Fine prospects often turn sour in mining—as quickly, you might say, as a change in Telluride’s weather. On the night of March 21, 1913, a snowslide tore out one end of the mill and ripped apart the transformer house and power lines. It was weeks before Joe could get operations back up and running, but as spring turned to summer, more serious matters occupied his attention. Joy about the news of another pregnancy turned quickly to sorrow when Hattie’s sudden miscarriage was followed by complications that resulted in peritonitis, and she was gone. A hardedged stoicism may have marked his personality as much as any trait, but there is little doubt Joe was laid low by his wife’s death. In February 1914, Leo and Silvio were enrolled in a military school in Crete, Nebraska, as Joe acknowledged that he’d be unable to be a good father and businessman at the same time. The boys would spend their high school years with relatives away from Telluride and their father, save for periodic holiday or summertime visits. >>

Hattie Oberto (noted with arrow) at a wedding party in Trout Lake

Portrait of the Oberto family: Hattie, Silvio, Gio and Leo (left to right)

The widow Gio Oberto and his two sons, Leo and Silvio

circa 1903

circa 1910

circa 1914


winter/spring 2011-2012


The Brunswick Saloon, near the turn of the century. Prohibition came early to Telluride and on Valentine’s Day, 1923, federal agents raided a dozen such establishments.


Prohibition came early to Colorado and Telluride, the state having passed temperance laws a few years in advance of the 1919 Volstead Act. According to E.B. Adams, Joe, like many others in Telluride, saw Prohibition as an opportunity. Adams counseled his friend to have nothing to do with the bootleg business, and apparently his advice stuck, or at least prompted Joe to take whatever precautions were necessary to avoid unwanted scrutiny. When seven federal agents stormed into Telluride on Valentine’s Day 1923, about a dozen establishments were searched and their proprietors summarily placed under arrest. But Joe and his “soda fountain, billiard parlor and tobacco shop,” known locally as the Pastime, were, fortunately—and a bit curiously—not among those raided. Joe did, however, have a role in the affair. For as long as Joe lived in Telluride, he possessed the unusual habit of putting up bail for people, often strangers, who were unable to raise the necessary funds to get out of jail. Perhaps his past run-ins with the law—many of which he deemed “misunderstandings”— had something to do with his generosity, or maybe he just felt a kinship with the underdog. In any event, Joe was often present when bond needed posting, and of the 16 friends and associates arrested in the Valentine’s Day raid, a half dozen were the recipients of Joe’s unique form of kindness. E.B. Adams said of Joe: “I do not think that he was ever afraid of any man.” Joe compensated for his inability to read and write in English with an innate intelligence and a rather intimidating presence. Human beings aside, Adams made no mention of Joe’s apparent reticence where the automobile was concerned. Many people who knew him said Joe never drove and that he often called on his nephew, Charlie Silva, or his son, Leo, to motor him to and from his many business engagements. Billy Mahoney Sr. recalls Joe “hanging around Peterson’s Garage, waiting to get a ride.” It was true that he didn’t drive, but only after a point in time. On the afternoon of August 12, 1921, as the Daily Journal reported it, “By some special act of providence, Gio Oberto and Chris Cromer escaped without a scratch…when the car driven by the former left the road west of Ridgway and rolled over into six feet of water.” Joe’s conclusion that the passenger seat was preferable to the one behind the wheel may explain why he didn’t drive after the accident, but it offers no help in understanding why, just a little over a year later, he purchased a Durant roadster and decided to open a Dodge dealership in Telluride.

Perhaps his past run-ins with the law...had something to do with his generosity, or maybe he just felt a kinship with the underdog.


winter/spring 2011-2012

A bold-lettered headline ran the full length of page one in the Friday, April 29, 1927, edition of the Daily Journal: “TOMBOY MINE SOLD.” The citizenry of Telluride—reduced to just a few hundred with the onset of the economic woes that accompanied the Great Depression—were informed, “The entire holdings of the Tomboy Gold Mines Co. in the district have been sold to Gio Oberto…the confirmation coming Friday was a distinct pleasure to everyone in the district and has served to liven things up in the camp.” Joe didn’t go it alone on the Tomboy transaction. He’d vowed never to invest his own money in another mining venture after the debacle at the Nellie, where he reportedly lost $30,000. When the London- and New York-based mining company executives took the advice of local mine manager, N.S. Kelsey, and accepted a $26,000 offer for the Tomboy property, it had actually been John Moore’s and Dr. Charles Tidd’s cash that changed hands. For his part, Joe contributed a beaver skin coat, a coveted prize given to Mrs. Kelsey as a way to convince her husband to go along with the deal. Joe did make some money through the sale of a portion of the Tomboy’s extensive assets, but in the nearly 10 years of his involvement with one of Telluride’s most famous mining properties, he spent more time with his lawyer, Adams, in a variety of lawsuits and legal hassles with Moore and Tidd than he did extracting ore. Never one to sit idle, Joe also The Van Atta building was built in 1883, housing a saloon and a second-floor meeting space for county commissioners. The Pastime, a “soda fountain, billiard parlor and tobacco shop,” occupied the Van Atta building in 1913 and Oberto bought into the business during the 1920s.


bY THe eND oF THe 1930S, Gio Oberto had acquired most of the property west of town extending past Society Turn—known today as the Valley Floor. On a portion of this land Telluride Municipal Golf Course had been built.

spent time during the 1930s consolidating his real estate holdings west of town. Joe was said to have always been ready and able to offer a loan to a friend or business associate when funds were needed. He wasn’t timid about reminding people of this “generosity,” however, and he almost always gained when loans went unpaid. In late April 1930, Joe loaned $3,600 to rancher Robert Alexander. The note, at 8 percent interest, was secured by a substantial piece of property, including the Denver and Navike placers, along with an additional 93 acres nearby in the vicinity of the old San Miguel town site. Five years later, the property was deeded to Joe. Alexander was either unable or unwilling to pay him back and, thus, relinquished a portion of his ranch holdings. It’s likely Joe was on the receiving end of several such transactions, and by the end of the 1930s, he owned most of the property west of town, out to and slightly beyond Society Turn, much of which today is known as the Valley Floor. It was on a portion of this land that Telluride Municipal Golf Course had been built. By the mid-1930s, Joe had also acquired the Talbot Ranch property in the Paradox Valley, along with several mining claims in and around Long Park southwest of Uravan. In this latter enterprise, he found a measure of success. According to Nadine “Peggy” Lippoth, Joe’s granddaughter, the claims he owned in Long Park were sold to the Vanadium Corporation of America for $60,000. And, with the last vestiges of the Great Depression sinking slowly behind the brightening economic horizon during the early months of 1942, things were looking up. If the future offered new opportunities that were on Joe Oberto’s mind during that February afternoon in Nucla, he didn’t have much of a chance to experience them. In the midst of what was always his earnest way in conversation, Joe collapsed on that street corner, dead from a massive heart attack. It was, perhaps, fitting. For a man who chose to live life in fast-forward, easing into the finish line, as it were, would have been out of character. He was, after all, no ordinary Joe.


The Telluride Times, on October 27, 1967, announced that “the largest single land deal in the history of Telluride was organized this week, with Silvio (Dutch) Oberto as the principal.” The paper went on to report that Silvio and associates had formed a “nominee corporation” named Poshib, Inc. (retained, it turned out, by Idarado Mining Company to research land acquisition opportunities in the area), and had developed plans for housing as well as “skiing, an airport, and a golf course.” Court documents dated October 20 of that year indicate that Poshib (which is Bishop spelled backwards, for Arthur Bishop, a real estate and land development consultant) paid Silvio and his brother, Leo, $270,458.83 for their land on the Valley Floor—the beginning of the long and colorful history of that coveted piece of property. photos CoURtEsy TELLURIDE HISTORICAL MUSEUM

winter/spring 2011-2012


hisToric places

Alta Lakes Observatory Changes Hands

IT RISES FROM THE EVERGREEN FOREST and window-clear lake almost seamlessly, an extension of the environment from which it was born. The Alta Lakes Observatory, perched at 11,000 feet in the mountains south of Telluride, is equal parts Telluride legacy, folk story and ski-culture icon. It has played host to weddings, blowout parties and end-of-ski-season celebrations. In October of this year, there was still a keg in the partially iced lake, a leftover from one of those events. The “Observatory,” as it’s simply known, is a much-celebrated place that has, for the past 35 years, borne witness to Telluride’s rise as a ski destination. But what the people who toast in its dining room don’t know is how the Observatory came to be—how its beams were cut and dragged from the basin in which it stands, or how the rocks that create its chimney were carried, for a few dollars a load, from the scree fields just outside its front door. To know the Observatory, one must first know one man: Jim Russell. He visited Telluride in November of 1972 fresh out of the Navy after serving in Vietnam and decided to stay. He and a partner were looking for a place where they could build a mountain cabin after something they’d seen in Breckenridge. In 1974, the pair purchased a mining claim near Alta Lakes from Silver Mountain Mining Company. “I designed it on a Sheridan Bar napkin,” Russell says of the structure. Local architect George Greenbank had just begun his career and helped ink the project. “We had him draw it up and went to work in the summer of ’75.” The Observatory came together over three typical San Juan summers, the days laced with severe weather, hard work and good times. It was built by local hands, a crew of Telluride’s finest that Russell had pieced together to realize the napkin sketch and Greenbank’s drawings. “We were a bunch of local hippies. I had a problem at the time—if they left on payday, I’d never get ’em back,” he says of his team. So, he rented the old mining housing from Silver Mountain and put up the men there. They had a cook for lunches and dinners and brought in potbelly stoves for warmth. “It’s always cold at night above 10,000 feet,” says Russell, “even in the summer.” The crew used a 1941 Army truck with a new Chevy engine to haul whatever materials hadn’t come from the basin itself. The truck is still there, about 50 feet from the front door, sinking slowly into the ground. There were, and still are, two issues at Alta: access and weather. “You forget something and you need to go to the lumber yard…that’s 2.5 hours, plus at least a half-hour in town. That’s three hours out of the day,” Russell grumbles. “And then, the weather. We’d shut down, then hunker down in the basement area against the stone walls, because the


“ It’s an incredible place; all the

history it has, its proximity to the ski area…step out these doors and look around you. It’s absolutely gorgeous.”


winter/spring 2011-2012



historic places

lightning was so intense it would make your hair stand on end. And the thunder would just reverberate in that basin. Up there, everything is at the pace of the mountain and its weather.” The Observatory is nothing if not overbuilt. In a region of dainty Victorians and old miner’s houses that now groan in the high-mountain winds, the building is a testament to strength. The basic structure is concrete, stone and timber with the foundation secured to the bedrock below. The walls are thick 12-foot logs. The inside is made up of cedar and Douglas fir from Oregon, and the outside logs were dead trees from Wilson Mesa, the victims of beetle kill. Those logs were milled in Dolores before coming up to Alta. There is no sheetrock whatsoever, anywhere. “We built everything ourselves,” recalls Russell; they had a generator to power the saws and a gas-powered cement mixer. He paid the men $10 each for a truckload of scree. “I didn’t care how long it took ’em to gather it,” he says, “it was still $10 each.” The stonework in the cabin comes from the talus fields nearby. A bullwheel from an old tram that used to run above the structure now serves as the window above the sunken, wood-fired hot tub. The interior of the Observatory was finished in 1978. All the windows are custom-crafted, and many of them are arched. There was stained glass in every window downstairs, but they were famously stolen in the early ’90s. They were never found and never replaced. Salli Russell met her future husband, Jim, when she first moved to town in 1973. She went to look at the lot with him, and to get there she had to ski in. She is from Los Angeles, and that was her first time on Nordic skis. While the Observatory was under construction, it was her travel agency that kept them afloat. She lived in the ghost town of Alta over the summers. “The whole crew was living in these old, funky houses without electricity,” she says. “I spent as much time up there as I could.” Among the old guard such as the Russells, there is nostalgia for Telluride in the ’70s: It seems to exist as a golden age for nascent ski bums carving fresh tracks and fresh starts into the mountains. Even the local historical museum devotes an exhibit to this era, when mining operations ceased and the ski resort came to be. “The whole thing was truly a party,” Salli says. It wasn’t until the late ’80s that the Observatory became what it is today, a beloved community institution that, for a price, can be rented out. In the winter, Russell shuttled goods in and out on a snowmobile while Salli cooked up a catering business to help make the

A crew of “local hippies” (left) pieced together the Observatory. The building was constructed with mostly local material, some of which was scavenged, such as the beetlekill lumber from Wilson Mesa (right) used on the exterior.

Observatory more of a destination for retreats and weddings. During her catered dinners, no matter where in the meal the clients were, she would make them leave the table and watch the sunset bounce off the lake in front of the house. “Alta is a very special place…[one] of celebration and healing…a giving place,” says Salli. “It always made me feel so good when all these high-powered corporate people, after a few hours or a walk around the lake, transformed themselves a bit.” The Observatory also transformed the Russell’s two sons, Garrett, 27, and Chason, 31, into phenomenal skiers. Having the incredible backcountry terrain at Alta Lakes at their disposal helped them become the extreme skiing stars they are today, stomping the Freeskiing World Tour competition and gracing the pages of Powder Magazine. The Observatory is beloved by people in this community, and the Russells consider it their legacy to Telluride. In that spirit, they sold the Observatory this summer to a local man, Matt Bowling, and his brothers. On a sunny but cold day last October, a new crew was working on the building, chinking the log structure. It had already snowed, and they were getting it it ready for another winter at 11,000 feet. Bowling, who’s worked as a lift op, snowmaker, shuttle driver, landscaper and day trader, is making some improvements and then will offer it up for rent, just as the Russells did. The kitchen will be reworked, the vaunted hot tub will be operational, and the décor will shift a bit. There is a new well that will bring water year-round to the building, and Bowling will partner with catering and snowmobile companies to improve access and bolster the experience—but the soul of the Observatory will remain the same. “It’s been an institution here for 35 years, and it’s always been open to anyone and everyone alike,” says Bowling. “I hear every other day, ‘Oh, we fell in love there, we got married there.’ It’s an incredible place; all the history it has, its proximity to the ski area…step out these doors and look around you. It’s absolutely gorgeous.” For more information visit: winter/spring 2011-2012


BooK revieWs

san juan scribes

Reviewer John Nizalowski tells readers which local books to curl up with this winter.

Notorious Telluride Tales from San miguel county By Carol Turner While many Telluride histories include tales of desperadoes, this book concentrates solely on San Miguel Valley’s rogues. As Carol Turner states, “Along with the regular folk came a stream of gamblers, ‘sporting women,’ thieves, addicts, con artists, killers, obsessives, megalomaniacs, idealists and ghost chasers—not to mention the gullible, desperate and a few pure innocents.” naturally, Turner devotes several chapters to famous crimes. There is Jesse Munn’s shooting of Marshall Goeglein in the back, for which the murderer received only a seven-year sentence for manslaughter. However, in 1912, when Munn escaped from a road gang, he was shot for resisting arrest near the Wyoming border. A more comic incident involved Bulkeley Wells, manager of the Smuggler Mine and leader of the anti-union militia during the bitter 1904 strike. In a probable act of revenge for his anti-union measures (though some argue the incident was a hoax intended to darken the union’s reputation), a load of dynamite was placed under Wells’ bed. The detonation blew the pajama-clad Wells clear of his bedroom, where he was found in the deep snow, completely unharmed. And, of course, no book of Telluride outlaws would be complete without the first bank robbery performed by the legendary Butch Cassidy. On June 24, 1889, Matt Warner, Tom McCarty, and LeRoy Parker (better known as Butch Cassidy) rode into Telluride. While McCarty waited with the horses, Parker and Cassidy strode in, leveled their guns at the teller, and emptied the bank of all its cash. Then the three escaped to the Mancos Mountains with $30,000. Cassidy had begun his lifelong career of crime. Some of my favorite aspects of Notorious Telluride are the eccentric names given to Telluride’s outlaws, names worthy of a Dashiell Hammett novel. For instance, we read of Rattlesnake Liz, who was involved with a high-grading scheme on the Liberty Bell Mine. Then there is the Millionaire kid, a mail robber and forger who kept escaping into the high, snowy San Juan Mountains. My favorite: the Trembling Bandit, who robbed the norwood to Placerville stage. Turner finishes with a chapter on the 1911 shooting death of her greatuncle Charlie Turner in Ophir, adding a personal touch to this utterly delightful work of local history. (The History Press, $19.95) 46

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emus Loose in egnar By Judy Muller The Telluride area has lately attracted some high-powered journalistic talent. First there was Ridgway’s Peter Hessler, recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and author of two recent pieces in The New Yorker concerning the naturita area—“Uranium Widows” and “Dr. Don.” And now we have Judy Muller, who, when she is not teaching journalism at the University of Southern California, resides in norwood. As a correspondent for ABC, CBS, PBS and nPR, she has won numerous Emmy awards and a Peabody. It is no wonder, then, that her newest book, Emus Loose in Egnar, is an absolute gem. In it, she sets out to prove that journalism “is alive and kicking in small towns across America thanks to the editors of weekly newspapers...” Muller supports her contention by describing the editorial integrity and true grit found in publishing throughout backcountry America, especially in the West. For instance, there is Jason Miller of Washington’s Concrete Herald, who had to navigate the political explosiveness of reporting on the theft of one church’s food bank by another church. Or Laurie Ezzell, editor of the Canadian Record, whose reporting on the downside of industrial hog farming kept such operations out of Canadian, Texas. And to top everything, there is M.E. Spengelmeyer of the Guadalupe County Communicator, who drove 100 miles through a raging blizzard to deliver the paper from the printers in Clovis, new Mexico, to its readers in Santa Rosa. The book also includes many engaging stories from the Telluride region. Muller depicts the truly delicate journalistic maneuvers performed by Bill Boyle of Monticello, Utah’s San Juan Record when prominent community members, including the beloved Dr. James Redd, were arrested by federal agents for illegally selling American Indian artifacts. She also relates the exploits of Jim Stiles, the outspoken publisher of Moab’s Canyon Country Zephyr, who has managed to anger just about everybody from miners to environmentalists. Finally, there is an entire chapter devoted to the Norwood Post and how its editors handled two controversies that garnered national attention: norwood High School’s ban on Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me Ultima and the proposed Paradox Valley uranium mill. (University of nebraska Press, $24.95)

BooK revieWs

Gatsby’s Last resort A Telluride murder mystery By R.J. Rubadeau

The mephisto covenant By Trinity Faegen In this young-adult novel, Alexandra Annenkova, better known as Sasha, attends a meeting of a mysterious San Francisco cult called the “Ravens” in the hope of finding some information about the mysterious death of her father, a CIA agent slain in a Moscow hotel. Instead, the cult, which is devoted to a demonic figure named Eryx, begins to taunt her at the orders of their leader, Alex kasamov, the former lover of Sasha’s mother. When Sasha demands to know why they are attacking her, Alex explains that she is an Anabo, one of the pure beings descended from Aurora, Eve’s daughter from the Garden of Eden. The cult members begin to stone Sasha, but in the midst of their deadly frenzy, Jax, a tall dark stranger in black leather trenchcoat and “hair black as midnight,” paralyzes the cult members and helps Sasha to her feet. After announcing himself to be a son of Mephistopheles, Jax explains that Eryx is in a battle with Lucifer for control of Hell, and if Eryx succeeds, the earth will be engulfed in a terrible, unyielding darkness—for unlike Lucifer, Eryx believes in a total, nihilistic evil. He also explains that he will finally find peace if he can gain the love of an Anabo such as Sasha. When Sasha asks if Jax wants her to join him in Hell, he answers with my favorite line in the novel: “We don’t live in Hell. We live in Colorado.” Jax and his brothers live in Telluride. Since Sasha must fall in love with Jax without manipulation, the son of Mephistopheles erases her memories of that night. But when Sasha’s mother is deported to Russia, Sasha lands in Telluride with her aunt and uncle, and there she meets Jax, for what she thinks is the first time, on the ski slopes. While skiing, Sasha crashes against a boulder and Jax magically heals her broken leg. They kiss and, as the saying goes, sparks fly. With that, Sasha is on her way to fulfill her destiny as an Anabo, a powerful being of light, descendent of Aurora, the woman born before the Fall. (Egmont, $17.99)

“kissing a dead man is not as glamorous as it sounds. The blue lips feel cold as a frog’s belly. The taste is a mix of despair, mucous and table salt. The smell is a funeral without the flowers. If given a choice, I wouldn’t do it before breakfast.” These are the opening lines of this wild ride of a mystery novel by Telluride resident, R.J. Rubadeau. Gatsby’s Last Resort is the ultimate Telluride insider’s novel. Wit Thorpe, amateur author and (barely) professional private detective, careens across the San Miguel landscape to solve the murder of the Telluride Savings and Loan manager, who was killed by having his head wrapped in a plastic bag while he sat at his desk. The narrative plays out in several iconic Telluride locales, including Rose’s Victorian Market, Sofio’s Restaurant, La Marmotte, the gondola, and, most often, the new Sheridan Bar. Meanwhile, Thorpe is writing his own novel, an erotic, noir reworking of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The two novels intertwine to create a post-modern, meta-fictional work that is quintessentially Telluride in character. R.J. Rubadeau has written a second Telluride novel, The Fat Man, which is due out in January 2012. Local booksellers, however, will have the title on shelves by Christmas. (Beacon Hill Publishers, $19.95)

Groovin’ in the canyon By Jill Burchmore In this book, Telluride’s Jill Burchmore narrates a raft trip down the Grand Canyon led by a high school friend who had since become a professional river runner. Burchmore tells her story as a diarist, taking the reader past classic Colorado River landmarks—Lee’s Ferry, Redwall Cavern, Chuar Butte, Temple Butte, Phantom Ranch, Grapevine Rapid, Elves Chasm, Deer Creek Falls, Havasu Creek and the climactic madness of Lava Falls. In addition to the landscape, Burchmore describes her river companions, the friends and family who accompany her on this journey of inner and outer discovery: “We are musicians, landscape artists, lenders, veterinarians, realtors, photographers, educators, and students. We live in Colorado, Georgia, Arizona, Florida, and Illinois. ...We will only see a couple of dozen people other than our group over the next seven days.” A set of fine photographs rounds out this portrait of a voyage that is becoming a rare and privileged experience. (Lulu Press, $20) winter/spring 2011-2012


BooK revieWs

The Last matinee By John nizalowski Jack kerouac, Medusa, Picasso, Hermes, Sand Canyon, Route 66, Zuyva…these are a small sampling of the voices and places invoked in John nizalowski’s long-awaited collection of poems, The Last Matinee. It’s an ambitious book that achieves what all poems are meant to do: join in a literary conversation that spans cultures, continents and centuries. nizalowski’s contribution to the conversation weaves landscapes, dreamscapes and scraps of dialogue to explore the paradoxes that blossom between love and loss, life and death, time passing and time standing still. The strength of the book is its images. In this excerpt from “Messages from the Dead,” nizalowski writes: Find a cactus with two flowers no bigger than a baby’s heart. Two crimson blossoms— there is your message. Interpret them however you wish. Here we understand the invitation of poetry: Allow the words of the writer to enter us, to become our own urgent message. There are, throughout the book, actual messages that arrive, sometimes out of nowhere. “Awaken, the sky has fallen,” says the circus acrobat. “Holy is the night,” says an aged drifter. “It’s like an ocean voyage,” says a lover. “Full Moon conjunct Jupiter,” growls a gypsy woman. These voices with their strange wisdom call on us to pay attention. It’s like finding fortune cookies in the desert—an odd discovery, but there’s a feeling that they just might hold some truth about the future. In the book’s first poem, there is a nod to how a single action— the skimming of a bird’s feet across the ocean—can have a farreaching effect, affecting everything from sleeping whales to the orange planet, Jupiter. One well-wrought image can have a similar effect in a reader, rippling across her imagination. This sense of opening, of re-seeing the world, happened for me several times in The Last Matinee. With this collection, nizalowski shares treasures such as this image of cottonwood leaves in autumn: “their gold scattered/ along elder rivers/and in my heart/and, I hope,/ in your heart, too.” (Turkey Buzzard Press, $12) — Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer 48

winter/spring 2011-2012

relative Strangers Italian Protestants in the catholic World By Frank Cicero Jr. In Relative Strangers, Telluride resident Frank Cicero delivers a deeply fascinating study of his family’s European roots and immigrant experience. In many ways, Cicero’s Italian family exemplifies the classic immigrant narrative of the early twentieth century. However, his family possessed a characteristic that made them unique: They were Waldensian, or Italian protestants. This protestant side originated in Cicero’s mother, Mary. In 1904, Mary’s father, Giacomo Balma, left his home in the Alps of northern Italy to head for America. Balma came from a long line of Waldensians, a reformist sect formed in 1173. The Waldensians—who practiced lay preaching, took vows of poverty and believed in an individual’s right to interpret scripture— tried at first to remain Catholic. However, the church hierarchy reacted with hostility, and by 1184, the Pope declared the Waldensians heretics. Three centuries later, that enmity turned violent as the group became a primary target of the Inquisition. Many members of the sect settled in remote Alpine valleys to escape persecution. Beginning in 1656, some Waldensians came to America to escape Europe’s religious turmoil. By 1904, when Cicero’s grandfather left Italy, there was a sizable Waldensian community in Chicago, so Giacomo and his wife, Marguerite, who arrived later, chose the Windy City as their new home. In 1933, their daughter, Mary, met Frank Cicero, the author’s father, while they were both working at LaMantia Brothers wholesale produce house on the northwest side of Little Italy. Frank’s father, Giuseppe Cicero, a Sicilian Catholic, left his wife, Maria, in their village of Montemaggiore and emigrated to Buffalo, new York, in 1893. Tragically, Maria died before leaving Sicily and in 1897, Giuseppe married his second wife, Antonina Panepinto, in Buffalo. It was to Antonina that Frank Sr. was born. Family troubles with the Black Hand sent the Cicero family to Chicago, where Frank would meet Mary. The relationship between Frank Cicero and Mary Balma was not readily accepted by their families. Besides the religious divide, the northern Italian Balmas were dismayed by Frank’s Sicilian background. So, when the couple got married, the wedding was kept largely a secret. By including the sweep of Italian history and culture—both in Europe and America—Frank Cicero has written a compelling biographical narrative with a wide appeal. (Academy Chicago Publishers, $32.50)


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Listening and Helping By D. dion


n Ann Brady’s desk was a backpack confiscated from a troubled fifth-grader, and in that backpack was a loaded gun he’d stolen from a neighbor’s truck. It was only her second day at her first job in school administration as the principal of an elementary school in Colorado’s Front Range. “This was 1975, before any of those school shootings, or anything like that,” says Brady. She couldn’t reach his parents and the boy knew he was in trouble. He bolted for the door, but Brady swept him up in her long, strong arms. She held him in a bear hug. “He was so scared, and I was scared for him. I thought: ‘We need to care for this boy.’” That’s just what she did, turning him over to juvenile services so he could receive counseling and help. Ultimately, everything turned out okay. And for Brady, it was just the first example of what would be a lifetime of swooping in and resolving situations. Brady would use this same combination of strength and a soft touch as she embraced several institutions, turning around a financially strapped Telluride school district and an acrimonious Telluride Town Council, among other entities. Her helping hands are everywhere— she also serves on boards for Wilkinson Public Library, Chamber Music Festival and Palm Arts, and on several committees. She even gets sent out by the Committee on Ministry for the Presbytery to work with other congregations in the region that have challenges or issues. But she is modest about her efforts. “I don’t solve the problem, I help others see the solutions. I am a facilitator. Helping people recognize their skills in solving the issues, that’s what I do,” she says. “I guess it’s in my genes.” Athletics are also in her genes, and the outdoor sports in Colorado 50

ann brady

photo by ryan bonneau

probably helped lure her here to study, even though she had already been accepted at Cornell University. She AT WORK flourished in such an active, fit environment and stayed Telluride Town Council/ at University of Colorado in Boulder to earn her masRetired School Superintendent ter’s degree and her doctorate in education. Brady also AT PLAY stayed outdoors—when she is not on skis or her road Skiing, cross-country skiing, bike, she is walking all over town. She is statuesque, snowshoeing, road biking, hiking, beautiful and has a healthy tan, which offsets her twindiving and sailing kling blue eyes, and she is in incredible shape for a womDEFINING MOMENT an of any age. “A PhD is just persistence,” she shrugs. “I Accepted at Cornell University, finally caught on in college. I wasn’t a good student…I she enrolled instead at University was a good athlete. I realize now that I probably had a of Colorado deficiency of some kind, with processing. I trained mySECRET SKILL self to be good at that.” Empathetic, a good listener and As a teacher, she could empathize with children who problem-solver had obvious abilities yet struggled in school; she surmises that might have ignited her interest in education. PERFECT DAY As a superintendent, she was able to overhaul the school Soaking in the tub with a good system in Telluride, and the award-winning district we book and hot chocolate, soft snow on Mammoth, and dinner have today is her legacy. When she started, the students at the Cosmopolitan here were not performing well and the schools were struggling economically. She hired budget whiz Dawn Ibis to get the finances in order and she tackled the education issues herself. “We always had great kids and great teachers, but the system wasn’t well-established. The curriculum didn’t flow from grade to grade and the big picture wasn’t as clear as it could have been.” Brady retired after the death of her first husband but went on to a second distinguished career as a civil servant. Almost all of her work, though, is behind the scenes, which suits her humble, genteel nature. Running for town council was different; suddenly she was not backstage, but in the public eye. So, even though she knew she could help, she was uncomfortable with the attention of being a candidate. “I returned all my donations before election day and quietly gave up the contest. Much to my surprise, I narrowly slipped in a victory. I have since discovered how much I enjoy the work on the council—how’s that for irony?”

winter/spring 2011-2012


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Playing It Safe By stephen barrett


itting in the window of the coffee shop, Deputy Todd Rector of the San Miguel Sheriff ’s Office discusses the challenges of a Search and Rescue mission along the jagged ridge between Mount Wilson and El Diente and the variables involved in getting a team of responders onto the crumbling rock, high above treeline, in the unpredictable late-afternoon weather. Calm and precise in his description of the risks, Rector leans forward and explains that the first responsibility of rescuers is their own safety, and that they are never asked to take unacceptable chances. These are not, however, your average rescuers— many of them are skilled mountaineers and outdoorsmen/women. “The neat thing about our volunteer group is these are pretty high-end folks in a number of different genres,” he says. Rector joined Search and Rescue in the 1990s as a volunteer who wanted to get more involved in the community. Now, the rugged athlete is responsible for assembling the teams according to their skills and strengths, whether it’s rock climbing, swift-water paddling or skiing, and he often plays a key role in managing the risks involved in an operation— no easy task, given the stakes when someone is trapped in the backcountry with potentially life-threatening injuries. “That’s one of the more difficult parts of the job, to say ‘Go or no go,’” Rector says. “I’m a nose-to-thegrindstone type of person, and I like to see a job through and get it done.” Originally from upstate New York, Rector was a member of his college ski team in New Hampshire and coached at a small ski area in the Finger Lakes region before heading to Colorado. As a rock climber and kayaker, joining Search and Rescue was a natural fit. That experience led him 52

todd rector

photo by ryan bonneau

to train as an Emergency Medical Technician and then to join the sheriff ’s office in 2000 as a full-time deputy, a transition that he says took some getting used to. As a former volunteer, Rector says he initially felt a AT PLAY little guilty about thinning the ranks of unpaid emerRock climbing, skiing, paddling gency responders. Then there was the adjustment to DEFINING MOMENT a law enforcement officer’s schedule. During his first Attending law enforcement years on the job, Rector says he tried to maintain his academy usual routines, finishing patrol on the night shift, downSECRET SKILL ing a cup of coffee and then joining friends on an early Slacklining, superhuman morning ski tour in Waterfall Canyon before they went caffeine tolerance off to their construction jobs. Now 42 years old, Rector is more appreciative of his down time. “I sort of feel like PERFECT DAY I’ve turned into an armchair mountaineer,” he says. “It’s Enjoying a sunny morning in a fun to get up, drink a lot of coffee and hang out on the t-shirt and flip-flops with good bench with your friends all morning.” friends and a few cups of coffee, That’s more a sign of maturity than of mellowing then getting into the mountains out. After all, Rector spent his share of time slacklining in Elks Park before he ever got behind the wheel of a sheriff ’s vehicle, where the rules are a little different than on Search and Rescue. Patrol officers are obligated to put themselves in harm’s way if the need arises. Rector says his training as a law enforcement officer opened his eyes to the responsibilities of the job. “It’s easy to get roped into the idea that the world is a peaceful, happy place,” says the deputy. “We’re kind of at the center of that notion here in Telluride, but there’s a lot that goes on that the public doesn’t see as much.” Rector says the best thing about working for the sheriff ’s office is the variety that comes with any given day. Whether it’s responding to a wildfire, performing court security or conducting Search and Rescue training, he says the job has broadened his experience in ways he never thought possible. “If you asked me during my upbringing if I ever thought about going into law enforcement, I’d say not a chance,” Rector says. “In hindsight, it’s a pretty good fit. If nothing else, I’m surprised how much I appreciate the public service part of the job. I enjoy being involved at the ground level.” AT WORK San Miguel Sheriff’s Deputy/ Search and Rescue

winter/spring 2011-2012

A store for dogs, cats, and their people! 307 E. Colorado Ave. Located at the east end of town across from Jagged Edge 970.369.4240 Telluride’s only pet boutique, featuring unique gifts, dog and cat necessities, and several lines of premium food. Mountain Tails has everything for the discriminating dog and cat: Healthy treats, designer collars and apparel, plush beds, fun toys, breed items, and more! We carry Ruffwear, Bison, Bella Bean, Walk-e-woo, Bowser Beds, Earthdog, Bauer Pottery, West Paw, Muttlucks, Zukes, Cloudstar, and much more. We sell only the best in food and treats. Some of our featured lines of food include Innova, Evo, California Natural, Great Life, Taste of the Wild, Fromms, and Primal Raw.

Come Experience the


of a Guided Alpine Tour!

Providing lifetime memories of your best friend in the beauty of Telluride

Telluride’s closest cat skiing with 15 years experience Warm, enclosed cabs for a comfortable ride Terrain to suit everyone from advanced riders to up-and-coming powder hounds • 970-385-7288

A custom photography session with Mountain Tails is not your typical studio shoot. It includes up to two hours of outdoor photography with your dog, letting them do whatever they love to do most. We feel allowing natural behavior captures the essence of the dog more than posed photos in a studio. Check out our website for our most current sessions, or even better, stop by the store to see canvases and prints of our previous clients. For more information, most questions can be answered on our website, or feel free to email us at

winter/spring 2011-2012


telluride faces

Never Stop Moving By d. dion


n the moments before her dance troupe took the stage at a competition, Amanda Sturdevant realized with a jolt that she’d forgotten the hair band that was a part of her costume. She sprinted upstairs to her hotel room and grabbed it, but when she returned, her group was motionless on stage, about to start. She had just a split-second to decide to sit it out or accept a point deduction for jumping in late. “I tossed off my sweater and ran out there. I just really wanted to dance.” She was just 14 years old at the time, but ever since then, she has continued to leap in with the same enthusiasm, whether it is a dance performance, teaching a gymnastics class for children or choreographing a routine for the Telluride AIDS Benefit (TAB) Fashion Show. And she sees that same unabashed spirit in the children she teaches to dance. “Kids have a way of finding the movement on their own without being self-conscious about it. And each kid is different so it takes a lot of different techniques to teach them…I like finding what works.” Sturdevant has a vibrant energy and the natural, ubiquitous smile that is a stage performer’s best friend. Even when she sits still, she is like a racecar idling—buzzing with the desire to move. She says she’s inspired by dancer Eugene Louis Facciuto, who became paralyzed in a vehicle accident but went on to develop a new style of jazz dance (Luigi Jazz) that accommodated his paralysis. Sturdevant has adopted the Luigi motto as her own philosophy and shares it with her students: “Never stop moving.” Coming to Telluride was a big step for the professional dancer— would she find opportunities to perform and teach in such a small


amanda sturdevant

photo by ryan bonneau

town? At first she was traveling to Denver for auditions, but eventually she fell into place with the loAT WORK cal dance community and started teaching and perDance and Gymnastics forming. Alone in the dance academy studio, on the Instructor/Choreographer darkened stage at the Palm or at home, using a chair AT PLAY instead of a ballet bar, Sturdevant found her place: Dancing, snowboarding, crossfit, choreography. She came to realize that she loves fourwheeling/dirtbiking, hiking, the creative process of developing a routine. “With shopping for shoes choreography, there are endless possibilities. It’s a DEFINING MOMENT fun space to work with, to be in a studio by yourself Realizing she could make a living and let your body move to a song and figure out how as a choreographer to run with it. It’s peaceful and exciting at the same time.” SECRET SKILL Closet chef, specializing in paleo There’s more to it than just coming up with the diet cooking steps, she says. For Sturdevant, it’s equally enjoyable to teach the routines and watch how other dancers PERFECT DAY interpret the moves. And it’s not just dancers she CrossFit workout in the morning, teaches—she is also tasked with getting models at scuba diving in Panama and the Green Runway and Telluride AIDS Benefit Fashfresh seafood for lunch, two ion Shows to step outside of their comfort zones and dance classes in the afternoon dance in front of an audience. Before they rehearse, (contemporary jazz and hip hop) she has all the models circle up, run in place and hop and dinner at home, on the porch, with my husband and dogs to the right and left, just to loosen up. Then she has them dance to a tango piece, hoping to get their hips moving. “Overall, most people can find the beat; Telluride people move pretty well. Most are very athletic, and it’s easy to teach dance to athletic people.” The third component, after creating the steps and teaching the dance, is the performance. Showtime is special and on-stage is where Sturdevant belongs. “Dance is a way of expressing yourself. It’s also a way of telling stories, and the connection between a performer and the audience is something really unique and exciting, especially when you’re on the stage. It’s almost like a high being up there…I have always loved performing.”

winter/spring 2011-2012

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winter/spring 2011-2012


inside art Fishing is about catching fish: Even though anglers enjoy the hypnotic rhythm of casting and the soothing sounds of the river, at the end of the day, it’s still nice to hook a trout. For Judy Haas, the trout came first, appearing in her work before she knew anything about flyfishing. At her first art show in 1985, Haas sold every one of her inaugural series of trout paintings and—without even knowing how to cast—landed herself a career as a professional artist. She did eventually learn to fish, a sport that was a natural fit for the active Aspen native. While she was catching trout, her fish were catching attention. Featured in an exhibition at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Vermont and at the Art in the Embassies program, they began to surface all over the world. The pastel paintings spawned into images on cards, posters, puzzles, fabrics and even the Patagonia Pataloha shirt. Bursting with vivid colors and patterns, there is a pulsating energy in the curvaceous fish forms. Haas makes her own pastels to maximize the vibrancy of her colors. “If you asked me to paint a brook trout, I have it in my head,” she grins. “I once read that to get really good at something, you have to put in 10,000 hours. I can say I’ve put in thousands of hours painting trout.” The beautiful trout are not the only facet of her artwork: Haas paints elegant designs on ceramic platters, uses photography to document her travels, and even dabbles in architecture. She designs houses with an eye for light and open space—Haas built her own home in 1990—and this has led to several more projects. It started as a practical proBy Elizabeth Guest cess but turned into an artistic endeavor. “I was living in a tipi and winter was approaching, [so] I constructed my first log home on the Gold Medal Waters of the Frying Pan River. I like the process of designing and building a home…it’s another canvas for me.” Her newest work is in the computerized world of fractal art. Fractals are the mathematical, recursive patterns you see in nature. Using a limitless color palette, the pieces are bright, complex and inspired by the shifting patterns created by kaleidoscopes. Her creations are displayed in a lenticular format, which gives the effect of the image moving. “I’m interested in new art techniques incorporating the computerized influences of our generation. I am enjoying a really creative space right now,” she says, “and spending a lot of time in my studio.” The mountains have been home to Haas for more than fifty years, and her art expresses the warmth and intimacy she feels in these surroundings. Growing up, there were drawing sessions with her cousin, Jan Brett (who went on to become a respected illustrator of children’s books), a job as a studio assistant to Tom Benton, and the opening of her frame shop, “Periphery,” in Aspen in the 1970s. As an adult, Haas continued to feed her aesthetic appetite with workshops at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, historical studies, travel and museum and gallery visits. Once she launched her art career, living in Aspen helped her connect with collectors and galleries. She exhibited her work in one-woman shows in New York, London and Houston, and was commissioned to create pieces for major corporations such as Morgan Stanley. She was the assistant curator of a prestigious show at the United Nations in New York City, “Masters of the Arctic,” which earned the distinguished Global 500 Award. Haas moved to Telluride in March 2008, and she is helping her colleagues here to recognize similar opportunities. Following her own success showing her work in restaurants in the Roaring Fork Valley, she started (and curates) the community art space on the walls at La Cocina De Luz with the help of its owner, Lucas Price. “For artists who live in ski areas, there are extraordinary moments to meet people from around the world,” she says. “It opens doors to new opportunities.” Even now, more than 25 years after the trout first reeled in Haas, the mountains are still her muse. Sometimes the influence is subtle—a shocking shade of green akin to the first buds of an aspen tree; other times it’s more literal—a delicate lily unfolding on the water’s surface. But the natural world infuses all of her work. “Over time, I have developed a unique style,” she says. “When I am inspired, I feel as though I am an instrument, demonstrating the perceivable magnificence of creation.”



From Fish to Fractals


winter/spring 2011-2012



Artanytime kids adults family individuals

a customized art experience for every age, any medium, every level, any time.

barbara gilhooly

art & soul women’s retreat

with Barbara Gilhooly february 23 – 25 | $475 take time for yourself and reconnect to your creative side. everyone has it, it just gets buried and forgotten under the lists of to-dos, jobs, careers, kids and busy lifestyles. this 3-day workshop will help participants reconnect to their true selves with mornings of yoga and meditation followed by creative projects geared to unleash your talents and true selves.

robert lemler | march

no matter the weather outside, the ah Haa school for the arts offers 365 days of creative fun. year-round classes, workshops, art trips and retreats, open studios, lectures, exhibitions and


special events. all geared


to nurturing creativity.


for a full 2012 workshop schedule please visit

Ah Haa School for the Arts is a community center of learning and culture that offers a wide variety of programs and seeks to inspire individuals of all ages to explore, develop and celebrate their creativity.

ah haa school for the arts | 300 south townsend | telluride | 970.728.3886 winter/spring 2011-2012

204 W. Colorado Avenue 970-728-5566


local flavor

Full Moon Fiesta

by Erika Gordon

It’s not too difficult to throw a dinner party, but imagine cooking a meal for 150 people, and not just any crowd—hungry people on skis. This is precisely the labor of love undertaken by Telluride local Cindy Farny-Mallett each year during her annual full moon fiesta. For the past four years (this will be her fifth), she has combined her culinary expertise with her passion for the outdoors to host this whimsical nighttime party on the network of Nordic ski trails on the Valley Floor. On one magical evening each January, under the light of the full moon, Farny-Mallett conjures up a belly-warming feast. 
“I couldn’t do this without the help of a great crew.  I’m lucky I have lots of friends,” says the chef. “I put a plastic sheet on my rug with chairs and a trash can and peel 100 pounds of potatoes  in about 40 minutes with a group of some really nice people.” She makes 25 gallons of soup on an inherited six-burner stove. In order to feed so many skiers, the recipe for her famous Full Moon Soup calls for two cases of leeks, the aforementioned 100 pounds of potatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper I have to be careful not to and lots of cream. “The kids love it,” says slice the baguettes too fast Farny-Mallett. “It’s the color of the moon.” Participants cross-country or skate ski because they will freeze.” around the Nordic loop, stopping at three — cindy farny-mallett stations along the way. At station one, folks warm their hands on a steaming mug of hot apple cider. The second station serves Full Moon Soup and baguettes. (The baguettes are Farny-Mallett’s other claim to fame, besides choreographing this event—she is the “Cindy” who first concocted the artisan bread made at Cindy Bread Bakery.) “I have to be careful not to slice the baguettes too fast because they will freeze,” she says. “But you can always dip the bread into the soup.” At station three, there are brownies and cookies.


winter/spring 2011-2012

photos by brett schreckengost

It would be much easier and warmer, concedes the chef, to stay on your couch and watch TV. But the people who do venture out that night and put their skis on in the middle of one of Colorado’s coldest months are rewarded: FarnyMallett says that the January moon is the best of the season. “Once you’re out there, you’re glad you made the effort. A winter full moon is amazing—you cannot believe how bright it is outside.”  Farny-Mallett is uniquely qualified to host the event. Not only is she a reputed chef, she’s also an outdoor outfitter. She owns and operates the High Camp Hut, a cabin she rents out to backcountry skiing enthusiasts who are looking to venture deep into the San Juan Mountains. She said she was first introduced to the full moon party concept in Aspen, where progressive dinners were held under the moonlight on the local golf course. “I loved it.  So when I had a chance to  do them on the Valley Floor, I jumped at it.” The date of the celebration depends on the moon cycle as well as the weather, but she finds that the evening a couple of days before the full moon peak is the best prospect for a clear sky. To find out when this January’s event will take place, watch that moon as it plumps up and then be on the lookout for event fliers.

Full Moon Soup INGreDIeNTS

the little bar

Mountain Village’s hippest aprés ski spot featuring freshly prepared sushi and signature cocktails.

at lumière

6 potatoes 4 leeks 2 quarts chicken stock

Located in the lumière hotel

2 cups cream salt and pepper

118 Lost Creek Lane 970.369.0400

olive oil Wash and slice the leeks, then sauté in a little olive oil until they start getting soft. Add peeled, chopped potatoes and chicken stock. Cook until the potatoes are very soft so that they are easy to puree. Put the hot soup in a blender (or a Foley Food Mill, if you are cooking outdoors without electricity) to make it smoother—just be careful not to get burned. Add the cream, then salt and pepper to taste. Says Farny-Mallett: “This is an approximate recipe, because when you usually make 25 gallons at a time, trying to make 10 cups is a little different!”

Brownies INGreDIeNTS 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 ⁄ cups unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon salt 8 large eggs 4 cups baker’s sugar 1 pound of butter, softened 1 tablespoon vanilla 2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 17”x12”x1” baking pan (this is half of a sheet tray). Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir to mix the ingredients. Cream together the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla in a separate bowl until well blended. Add the flour/cocoa mixture until all the dry ingredients are moist and blended, but do not over-mix. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared (greased and floured) pan. Bake 50 minutes to an hour, until the brownies are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool 30 to 40 minutes before cutting. winter/spring 2011-2012


for reservations: 970.728.7474

a dining experience

unlike any other

Mountain Village’s most popular restaurant and bar has been fully remodeled and renamed, featuring a wraparound bar, and big screen televisions for game day. Offering craft beers from around the world, 20 taps and live music — it’s the place to be for après ski.

Located at the base of the Village Express (4) Look for the giant yellow umbrella!

970.728.7467 Ride our Snow Coach to an exclusive dinner at the highest wine bar in ski country. Also available for groups and family buy outs any night during the ski season. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

To book, call Allred’s 970.728.7474 60

winter/spring 2011-2012


inspired steak, fish and poultry menu award-winning wine list ■ signature cocktails unmatched views ■ open nightly for dinner located at the top of the gondola

d i nDining i n G Out ouT

9545 RESTAURANT & BAR Inn at Lost Creek, Mountain Village 970.728.6293 The Inn at Lost Creek’s southwest-style bistro offers an “elevated” dining experience from its perch at 9545 feet in altitude. Enjoy their unexpected and delicious creations served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. ALLRED’S St. Sophia Gondola Station 970.728.7474 Telluride’s flagship restaurant at the top of the gondola offers one of the most unique dining experience in North America. Enjoy their eclectic menu, award-winning wine list and spectacular bar. Grab a quick bite and cocktail during après ski and take in the atmosphere and service with the best restaurant views in Telluride. ALPINO VINO Near the top of Gold Hill 970.728.7474 This European style chalet offers fantastic views, a spectacular deck, and a menu boasting renowned wines, fine cheeses and antipasto plates. Ride our Snow Coach to an exclusive dinner at the highest wine bar in ski country. Reservations required for dinner.

AN ELEVATED DINING E XPERIENCE Located at Inn at Lost Creek 119 Lost Creek Lane, Mountain Village, CO 970.728.6293

BAR M 568 Mtn. Village Blvd., Mountain Village 970.369.8949 Ideal for aprés-ski cocktails and casual dining, Bar M is open for lunch and dinner. Offering an exceptional array of drinks—including local microbrews from Colorado craft brewers and new world wines—as well as delectable gourmet appetizers and imaginative entrées. COSMOPOLITAN RESTAURANT & THE COSMO WINE CELLAR 300 West San Juan Ave., Telluride 970.728.1292 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. Enjoy your meal in the newly remodeled dining room or have a private dinner, paired with wines from Cosmo’s collection, in The Wine Cellar. CRAZY ELK PIZZA Mountain Village Core 970.728.7499 Located slopeside, this classic pizzeria also features sandwiches, soups and salads. Crazy Elk is a perfect spot to grab a family-style lunch or dinner.


LOC ATED IN THE HOTEL MADELINE TELLURIDE 568 Mountain Village Blvd., Mountain Village 970.369.8949 winter/spring 2011-2012


Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner

CAPTIVATInG COnTEnT. EnDURInG IMAGES. idE in villagE visitor’s gu i a l t E l l u r i d E & M o u n ta E x c l u s i v E i n s E rt: o f f i c

2 012 w i n t E r / s p r i n g 2 0 11 -

ne gazi MaMAG AZIN E

Eclectic cuisine of finely composed entrees, vegetarian dishes, signature sandwiches, fresh soups and salads. Apr`es ski with a distinctive selection of beers, wines and signature cocktails. Restaurant Hours: 7 a.m. to close

$4.95 Priceless in Telluride

| sofa sojourn buried alive | full moon fiesta farewell to shasta town locals make u.s. ski teams | tive alta lakes observatory: a retrospec


122 S. Oak St. In the heart of Telluride steps from the gondola and clock tower.



For subscriptions and advertising: call John 970.728.4245 ext. 1

Savor Colorado cuisine at its freshest and finest. Colorado prime beef, dry-aged on premises. Exceptional seafood. Local in-season produce and a connoisseur’s wine list. In the beautiful new Hotel Madeline Telluride. 568 Mountain Village Blvd. 970-369-0880.

Dining din i n GOut ouT

FLAVOR TELLURIDE 122 South Oak St., Telluride 970.239.6047 Flavor Telluride offers an imaginative and robust menu of fresh soups and salads, signature sandwiches, lovely vegetarian dishes and finely composed entrees. The après-ski scene is well paired with a smart selection of beer, signature cocktails and wine offerings. Located on Oak St. between the clock tower and the gondola in the newly modernized historic Dahl Haus. LITTLE BAR AT lumière lumière, Mountain Village 970.369.0400 Mountain Village’s hippest gathering spot! Featuring freshly prepared sushi and signature cocktails served fireside or poolside. Located on the fourth floor of the lumière hotel. M’S 568 Mtn. Village Blvd., Mountain Village 970.369.0880 Savor Colorado cuisine at its freshest and finest in the beautiful new Hotel Madeline. M’s focus is fresh local and seasonal products, from Colorado beef dry-aged on site to exceptional seafood, produce, cheeses and a connoisseur’s wine list.

contemporary Food and ambiance

make your online reservation at

In the Hotel Columbia • 970.728.1292

NEW SHERIDAN CHOP HOUSE & WINE BAR 223 West Colorado Ave., Telluride 970.728.9100 This steakhouse and wine bar features chef Erich Owen’s new American cuisine. The Chop House is known for its dry-aged, USDA prime steaks, fresh seafood, free-range organic fowl, an array of fine cheeses and Telluride’s only nitrogen wine bar. THE LLAMA AND PESCADO 100 West Colorado Ave., Telluride 970.728.5114 The Llama and Pescado have it all: gourmet burgers, fresh sushi, craft beers from Telluride Brewing Company and live music. Try the Llama’s tacos or be adventurous and order Pescado’s Omakase, a multi-course chef’s menu that changes nightly. TOMBOY TAVERN Mountain Village Core 970.728.7467 Named for one of the region’s most famous mines, the Tomboy Tavern now takes its place among Telluride’s favorite restaurants and bars. With a fully remodeled wraparound bar, full patio and beer garden, the Tomboy Tavern offers 20 taps and a menu to suit the whole group for lunch and dinner. Look for the big yellow umbrella—it’s the place to be for après ski!

Telluride's Hottest Live Music Venue featuring national touring acts every weekend in a small club environment. A corner brew pub featuring Telluride Brewing Company beers, our popular taco bar and gourmet burgers.


Serving Full Menu Daily 11:30am–9:30pm Happy Hour 3:00pm–5:00pm

100 West Colorado Ave • 970-728-5114 Open Daily


Chef Brady’s famous Sushi Bar featuring the first Omakase. winter/spring 2011-2012


– a f u l l - s e r v i c e c o n v e n t i o n a l a n d n at u r a l f o o d s m a r k e t –


Natural & Organic Foods available for delivery and stocked before your arrival. Phone or fax your order and we will shop for you.

Liquor S Now O tore pen!

Spirits at Mountain Village

– a fu l lfoods -ser i c e c o n v e n t i o n a l a n d n at fine &v catering 64 2011-2012 Aemono’s Market Deliwinter/spring featuring fresh items daily.

Open Monday - Saturday 11am-9pm

The Sheridan Arts Foundation Presents...


Sheridan Opera House

2, 3, 4 SAFYPT presents Robin Hood, the musical; Performed by grades 6 - 8 9, 11, 12 SquidShow Theatre & SAF coproduction Barry: A Show for Children of All Ages 18 - 22 SAF Second Stage Comedic Play: The Complete U.S. History (abridged) 27 - 31 SAF Annual Holiday Concert Series: 27 - Joe Pug, Solo (Indie Folk, Singer/Songwriter) 28 - Marrakesh Express, a CSNY Experience (Tribute Band) 29 - Justin Townes Earle, Solo (Americana Rock & Blues) 30 - Head for the Hills (Bluegrass Hoedown!) 31 - NYE Gala featuring two legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll bands:

Canned Heat & The Fabulous Thunderbirds

JANUARY 7 13 14 15

A Historic Season at the

Telluride, CO

FEBRUARY 3, 4, 6 SAFYPT presents “13”, the musical; Performed by grades 9 - 12 9 A Celebration of Telluride in Ski Movies 16 - 19 13th Annual Telluride Comedy Festival 22 David Wilcox (Singer-Songwriter Folk) 24 Judy Collins (Pop Folk)

MARCH 11 Leftover Salmon (Southern Rock, Jam, Bluegrass) 15 Concert TBA 16 SAF Fall Fundraiser: A Taste of Latin Flavor Latin Food, Drink & Dance! 23 Concert TBA 25 Donavon Frankenreiter (Soft Rock, Surf Rock)

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (Southern Rock & Blues) Elephant Revival with The Infamous Stringdusters (Bluegrass) The Infamous Stringdusters with Elephant Revival (Bluegrass) Satisfaction, The International Rolling Stones Tribute Band

The SAF is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization sponsored in part by grants from the Telluride Foundation, CCAASE and CCI.

For a complete schedule of events, tickets, or information, visit or call 970.728.6363

winter/spring 2011-2012


The lasT looK



winter/spring 2011-2012

• newly renovated facility • private lounge with guest privileges • luxury lockers/boot heaters • personalized concierge services • food and beverage services

ay entary 2-d m li p m o C

!* s s a P t s e Gu

M B S ind.



Live in a state of perfect bliss. Live in Telluride.


237 South Oak Street @ the Telluride Gondola I winter/spring 970.728.0808 2011-2012

Winter 2011-12 Telluride Magazine