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Telluride for beginners?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi, Im trying to decide between Telluride and Breckenridge for a ski vacation. Is Telluride a good place to go for beginners? 

We just skied Deer valley, no problem, loved the lack of crowds and ease of getting on the slopes, which makes me think we should go to Telluride. But, Im worried that it isnt suited for beginners. Can anyone weigh in on this?

post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briezyski View Post
 

Hi, Im trying to decide between Telluride and Breckenridge for a ski vacation. Is Telluride a good place to go for beginners? 

We just skied Deer valley, no problem, loved the lack of crowds and ease of getting on the slopes, which makes me think we should go to Telluride. But, Im worried that it isnt suited for beginners. Can anyone weigh in on this?


Welcome to EpicSki!  Paging @Lofcaudio , I think he learned to ski there as an adult and loves the place.

 

How many days did you ski at Deer Valley?  Did you take any lessons?

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi, yes, took one 3 hour lesson and then one 1 hour lesson; skied a total of 3 days. Totally comfortable on the green slopes, did one blue and was fine but it was narrow. Wider slopes are preferred.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briezyski View Post
 

Is Telluride a good place to go for beginners?

 

In my opinion, Telluride is perhaps the BEST place to go for beginners.  Here are my reasons:

 

1) Crowds (lack thereof)...Telluride makes Deer Valley look like Times Square in NYC by comparison.  Lots of room to make your turns...very important for beginners.

2) Amount of Beginner Terrain...very few places out west have as much beginner terrain as you will find at Telluride as Lifts 1, 10, 11, and 12 all offer great ski runs for beginners.  Breckenridge actually has quite a bit of beginner terrain as well, but it is almost always crazy-crowded.

3) Quality of Beginner Terrain...here is where Telluride really stands out.  Where else can you ski almost 3,000 vertical feet all on a wide green run (that is not a traversing cat-track)?!?  Runs such as Galloping Goose, Double Cabin, Sundance and See Forever offer some of the most fantastic beginner terrain anywhere out West.  (Sundance and See Forever are blue runs, but are not that difficult.  See Forever does access some more challenging terrain, so there will be some faster skiers on that particular run.)

4) Room to Move...Telluride and Breckenridge are on two ends of this spectrum where Breckenridge is a very crowded mountain ESPECIALLY FOR BEGINNERS and Telluride has a vast amount of terrain with hardly anyone on it.  The Lift 10 (Sunshine) area is the perfect training ground for beginner skiers needing to work on their turns without having to worry about other skiers.  Here is a YouTube video which shows someone going down Sundance/Double Cabin.  Notice the terrain and "crowds" you might expect at Telluride:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqHc_BDDlGM

 

 

5) Scenery...simply amazing!

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briezyski View Post
 

Hi, Im trying to decide between Telluride and Breckenridge for a ski vacation. Is Telluride a good place to go for beginners? 

We just skied Deer valley, no problem, loved the lack of crowds and ease of getting on the slopes, which makes me think we should go to Telluride. But, Im worried that it isnt suited for beginners. Can anyone weigh in on this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briezyski View Post
 

Hi, yes, took one 3 hour lesson and then one 1 hour lesson; skied a total of 3 days. Totally comfortable on the green slopes, did one blue and was fine but it was narrow. Wider slopes are preferred.

Sounds to me like Telluride is a much better choice than Breck.  

 

For future reference, consider Snowmass.  Not only does Snowmass have good green/blue terrain, there is separate mountain called Buttermilk that is great for novices who would rather not be skiing with any advanced skiers around.  The advanced folks who go to Aspen are mostly at Ajax (right in the town of Aspen), or Aspen Highlands, or Snowmass.

 

When you read about famous mountains, very often it can seem like a place is only good for advanced/expert skiers.  But that is not usually the case.  For instance, Alta is a good place to learn to ski for someone who wants to progress quickly to ungroomed terrain.  Telluride has 2000 acres, with 16% green trails (by OnTheSnow), so it doesn't really make that much difference that 50% of the terrain is for advanced skiers.

post #6 of 12

Embedded the video from above post.

 

 

Usage tip:

To embed a YouTube video, look for the "film strip" icon when editing a post.  Then copy & paste the "share" shortcut from YouTube.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi, Thank you Lofcaudio and Marznc - this is very useful info! I think we will head to Telluride. I was worried about ti being too steep but that youtube video put my mind at ease. 

A few more lessons there and should be fine.

post #8 of 12

While I am not a beginner, I'd like to think that I have a pretty good perspective on beginner terrain as I usually am organizing ski trips out West for beginner skiers.  When factoring in what I consider to be the most important criteria for beginners (good terrain to learn and improve skiing technique combined with uncrowded conditions), the resorts I feel the most comfortable recommending are (1) Telluride, (2) Copper Mountain, (3) Winter Park, and (4) Beaver Creek.  I know a lot of people who recommend Snowmass, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Vail, but all four of those places I do not consider in the same league mainly due to congestion which does exist in the beginner areas.  I love the beginner terrain at Alta and Grand Targhee, but there just isn't much there compared to Telluride and Copper Mountain.  (Please note, I have never skied at Buttermilk or Park City, but have been to just about all of the other big spots in Utah and Colorado.)

 

Worst mountains for beginners would be Jackson Hole, Snowbird, and Aspen Mountain.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post
 

While I am not a beginner, I'd like to think that I have a pretty good perspective on beginner terrain as I usually am organizing ski trips out West for beginner skiers.  When factoring in what I consider to be the most important criteria for beginners (good terrain to learn and improve skiing technique combined with uncrowded conditions), the resorts I feel the most comfortable recommending are (1) Telluride, (2) Copper Mountain, (3) Winter Park, and (4) Beaver Creek.  I know a lot of people who recommend Snowmass, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Vail, but all three of those places I do not consider in the same league mainly due to congestion which does exist in the beginner areas.  I love the beginner terrain at Alta and Grand Targhee, but there just isn't much there compared to Telluride and Copper Mountain.  (Please note, I have never skied at Buttermilk or Park City, but have been to just about all of the other big spots in Utah and Colorado.)

 

Worst mountains for beginners would be Jackson Hole, Snowbird, and Aspen Mountain.


For beginners with a decent budget interested in heading out to a destination resort for a full week, I think I would add Big Sky to the list of the places based on where I've been so far out west.  Perhaps Sun Valley for a second trip since beginners can start over on Dollar Mountain, which is completely separate like Buttermilk.  But haven't been there yet.

 

Agree that JH and Snowbird and not worth it for beginners not traveling with better skiers.  Aspen Mountain (Ajax) doesn't even have any green trails, so pretty obvious that beginners who go to Aspen/Snowmass wouldn't be going there.  Except perhaps to ride the gondola up for the view, and then down to spend some time in town.

 

Snowbasin is good for beginner/intermediate terrain and lessons, but no resort lodging.

 

For flatlanders who haven't spent time at high altitude (over 9000 ft), might be a factor to consider.

post #10 of 12

@Briezyski : in case you hadn't noticed it yet, here is a recent thread with assorted travel info about lodging and food for Telluride.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/128527/telluride

 

In general, if you go to the EpicSki Resort Page for some place of interest, can scroll down to the bottom to find a list of relevant threads.  Everyone's situation is different and things change, so it's fine to start a new thread with specific questions as well.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio
 

 

In my opinion, Telluride is perhaps the BEST place to go for beginners. 

I absolutely agree, and Lofcaudio's points are spot-on accurate. About the only caveat I'd add is that Telluride is not cheap, and beginning skiers might have about as good a time for considerably less money at a smaller ski area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc
 

For instance, Alta is a good place to learn to ski for someone who wants to progress quickly to ungroomed terrain.

I've got to respectfully disagree, at least when it comes to weekends or powder days. Between the long lift lines on Albion and the experienced skiers racing through the Cecret pod on there way back and forth from Supreme, I wouldn't recommend Alta for first-timers. Although on weekdays without fresh snow or in the spring, it could very well be a good choice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briezyski View Post
 

Hi, Thank you Lofcaudio and Marznc - this is very useful info! I think we will head to Telluride. I was worried about ti being too steep but that youtube video put my mind at ease. 

A few more lessons there and should be fine.

I think you'll have a blast there, and my experience with their ski school has been very positive. Enjoy!

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Utah View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc
 

For instance, Alta is a good place to learn to ski for someone who wants to progress quickly to ungroomed terrain.

I've got to respectfully disagree, at least when it comes to weekends or powder days. Between the long lift lines on Albion and the experienced skiers racing through the Cecret pod on there way back and forth from Supreme, I wouldn't recommend Alta for first-timers. Although on weekdays without fresh snow or in the spring, it could very well be a good choice.

Agree that if a beginner is very cautious and only skiing weekends, sticking to Sunnyside and Cecret would not be much fun for long and there are better choices.  However, I was thinking about people who are planning a 1-week ski vacation who plan to take lessons because they want to progress to blues relatively soon.  In that case, I think Alta is worth considering.  The ski school is stellar.  Agree that going late season (late March, April) is better for beginners.  By then local advanced/experts are less likely to show up even on a powder day.  Best to go before the Supreme lift closes.

 

I have a few friends who learned or are learning to ski at Alta as adults.  They love it.  Bonus for late season trips is that group lessons often end up as a solo lesson with very experienced full-time instructors.

 

I was an intermediate with no little experience skiing ungroomed terrain when I first skied Alta.  Being able to test the waters next to a groomer when Alta had a few inches of fresh snow was a lot of fun.  Can you do that elsewhere?  Sure.  But flying into SLC on Southwest is appealing to me as a traveler from the east.

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