Telluride, Spring 2009

A few days ago, I got my most recent skiing fix in Telluride, Colorado. In four days of skiing, I got to practice on all conditions: ice, slush, and powder.

I tried to take some videos of skiing this year with my Canon point-and-shoot. Recording was awkward with small camera and while holding poles, so I’ll need to find footage I took a couple of years ago when first got an HD camera. I think what I really need is a helmet cam. It’ll be fun to use on my bike rides, and it will also give me an extra incentive to finally get a ski helmet. Yes, I know, skiing without a helmet these days is like biking without a helmet or smoking. It feels stupid. But when I started skiing it just wasn’t the norm and I’m lazy. It’s on my Christmas list this year.

First up is an attempt to capture what it’s like to go from the top of Revelation Bowl (elevation 12,570 feet) to the base of Lift 7, which is located in the town of Telluride at an elevation of 8,750 feet. While I did make it all the way from the top to the bottom without stopping, my camera did not and split the journey into four different videos, with the middle two each only about a second or so in duration:

I almost fell at 4:06 in the first segment.

Let’s take a break from skiing and head into Mountain Village for some crêpes with chocolate chips:

Courtyard with steam rising from the surface. It's snowing.

Yep, that’s steam rising from the ground in the middle of a snowstorm. I think they got tired of shoveling in Mountain Village. The solution? Heat the entire walkway.

You probably noticed a lack of snow in some areas in that first video series. Fortunately, the second part of the trip was full of fresh powder. Here are a couple of videos of some relaxing glides through the good stuff:

And here are some stills:

snow covered tree

snow-covered trees

Snow-covered trees.


Above the clouds.

empty mountain

It’s lonely at the top.

ski run with a lot of trees

Through the trees.

On Wednesday, I woke up to find this sight outside of our window:


See those trees? There’s a mountain behind them, but you can’t see it through the fog. If I couldn’t see a mountain that’s right in front of me, I didn’t think the chances of a pilot seeing the runway would be very good either. The weather does change quickly in the mountains, so I opened up the WeatherBug app on my iPhone to see what we were dealing with. I was relieved to see that while there was a patch of snow on the radar, the pushpin representing my location was right on the edge of it. By the time I got to the airport a few hours later, the worst of the clouds had blown past, and my flight took off without any major delay or cancellation.

Again, I’m going to talk a bit about the airport. There are plenty of airports where the runway ends shortly before a large body of water, but there’s just something a little more exciting about it ending right before a cliff. I attempted to take a video of what it’s like to take off from America’s highest commercial airport, but since I was busy trying to conceal what I was doing, I was unable to properly angle the camera to catch the ground disappearing beneath. You can find better videos on YouTube (search for things like [telluride takeoff]), but here’s what I ended up with just in case you wanted to take a look:

This is a better video (not shot by me):

And in case you missed it last time, here’s a pretty good shot of our landing back in December:

This time around, my family (not I) had the rare privilege of landing in the uphill direction (Telluride’s runway isn’t level), something I don’t think I’ve ever experienced. It sounds like fun. A couple of fun anecdotes from small airports (which I love):

At TEX, the TSA officer asked, “You do realize that we confiscate all laptops since this is a vacation destination?” Yeah, I heard him use the same joke on the people ahead of me, but hey, it’s the TSA.

At HHI, if nobody is staffing the parking gate, they open it up and have a box where you pay via the honor system.

I’ll end with the last picture on my memory card, of something I wrote about back in November. Ladies and gentlemen, Chicago’s favorite Las Vegas Italian Restaurant:

Chicago's favorite Las Vegas Italian Restaurant

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