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Telluride or Sun Valley

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Taking a straw poll from the crew...I have an opportunity to go to either Telluride or Sun Valley in mid-January...I can not do both. From those of you who have been to both...which is a better ski vacation for an advanced/expert skiier who likes to take in some night life? Let's assume that snow quality and totals are constant (or is that a false assumption? Does one tend to have much better snow?) where would you rather go and why? Will be in both places for a week and will ski 6 full days....is one more challenging and interesting....how about crowds and attitude? Any intel you guys have would be most appreciated.

post #2 of 26
Telluride over Sun Valley anyday. I have spent a fair amount of time in Telluride, but haven't skied there yet. I have skied at SunValley a few times. Sun Valley has nice long groomed runs, but nothing very steep. Its fun and nice, but not very exciting, kinda reminds me of a golf course. I really have a hard time understanding why Mt Baldy was even chosen as the location to build the resort. The mountains (real mountains) start just a few miles up the road. Telluride is steeper and way more beautiful in every way. Just my opinion have fun wherever you go.
post #3 of 26
One more thing... Come to JH in January and have the mountain virtually to yourself.
post #4 of 26
It will depend on snowfall. Idaho looks like it will have an above average winter if current patterns persist.

Jackson Hole would be the best of both, IMO.

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys....my worry was that Sun Valley is not going to be that interesting...plus I hear great things about Telluride...I'm learning toward picking that over Sun Valley.

post #6 of 26

I can't draw a valid comparison since I've never been to Sun Valley; however, I can say that you will have a great time in Telluride.

It's snowing as I write and the mountain is scheduled to open next Friday. If you have any questions do no hesitate to PM me. (I'm pretty quiet and can't advise on night life; but, it's a pretty small place. You'll get your bearings in no time.)

All the Best,
post #7 of 26
Telluride, but I've only been there of the two. As far as expert mountains go though, Telluride really isn't the most difficult, the most varied terrain, or the steepest. But it has everything that just literally blows your mind. The downside is that getting there from the east coast isn't exactly cheap.
post #8 of 26
To Hell U Ride will struggle more than Sun Valley for snow this year. As far as terrain, no comparison, To Hell U Ride.
post #9 of 26
Having been to both, I would pick Telluride, especially if you ski mainly off the groomed. The only advantage of SV is if this turns out to be a bad snow year. SV has a great snow making system and it covers a lot of the mountain. Wait and see, Tell needs a deeper base to get good.
post #10 of 26
You will have plenty of terrain at Telluride...

I just read that you dont have to have a guide for some back country back into the town...you should def. look into that..

I also plan on doing so...this spring.. But I plan to hire someone to show me the ropes unless I find a local willing to do so for lunch and some beers...any takers?
post #11 of 26
If you ski out of bounds at Telluride please be sure that you know something about snow science. Colorado in general and the San Juans in particular have a real depth hoar problem. I would do my own assessment or go with a guide. Not all locals know what's going on. Choose carefully.
post #12 of 26
I've never been to sun valley but I can assure you that you will love telluride. the skiings great and the nightlife is even better!
post #13 of 26
I,ve skied both place a number of times. I like each mountain & town. SV does have some steep bump runs & if your lucky with snow some great powder runs through the trees.
Nightlife I would rate higher in SV than Telluride however its not bad in T-Ride.

T-Ride on Powder day is awesome & I was lucky enough to be there in March 1992 when they received the mother of all storms.

I'll allways go back to both places.
post #14 of 26
post #15 of 26
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Telluride is always at the top of my list.
post #16 of 26
Can't speak for Sun Valley, but Telluride has great terrain, views and apres ski options, but could fail expectations if there isn't over 4-5' of snow. By mid-January, it typical starts to get good coverage, but you never know. There are some challenging groomers if there isn't enough snow to cover the rocks on the steeper, ungroomed runs. I've found theat Telluride's Snow Report (not operational yet) has been reasonably accurate, whereas the joke among Snotel hydrologists is that Purgatory uses the 150% rule. :

Here's the link for Snotel sites. You can download KML points and view western snow conditions with Goggle Earth. Telluride is between Red Mountain & Lizard Head sensors. El Diente is another check as are Molas Pass and Mineral Creek. (Note if you see a whacked out number. like 182.2" all of a sudden, it usually means it's snowing!)
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks all...good opinions...partially based on your input...I have settled on Telluride...my ol man is going with me which will be fun. He first taught me to ski when I was very young and its really fun that we can still enjoy the sport together as a father and son activity.

Happy skiing this year and be safe everyone.


post #18 of 26
Been to both. Quit your job and go to both in January.
There's a little more terrain at Sun Valley, both have long bump runs (you can be on the bumps either place for 3100 vertical feet). ToHelluride is steeper but... it's all intermediate on the other side of the ridge, so the steeps are confined to a smaller area. It has some kinky trees (heh, you can really get stuck in 'em if you want, or don't want) and Corkscrew is a pleasant little run :-). Sun Valley has some nice bowls to go off into.
The lodges at Sun Valley are awesome. Maybe you'll run into Demi. I skied with The Arnold the last time I was there. The Sun Valley Lodge has a lot of cool pictures of Gary Cooper, etc. Harriman definitely marketed that place right from the beginning, but it has a kind of warmth rather than hype. The folks are very friendly in the Lodge, but of course Telluride has a great crowd that is a little more interested in mountain life.
Telluride has a great setup with the lodge on the ridge overlooking the town. It is very difficult to get experiences better than that. Staying in that box canyon can't be beat. Don't know how you are on altitude, but you'll be sleeping at 9000 feet. You don't need a car in either area. But Ketchum is a great town too, bigger with more stores if that is important. It has the ski museum which is well worth going to.
Both areas have good nightlife. You'll have a great time at either place. You know the problem. Work interferes with skiing.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Been to both. Quit your job and go to both in January.
Peerless advice Crabb...I mean sublime. I love it. Can you please write a note from my boss telling him i have "condition" in January that will prevent me from being in the office....maybe then I can hang out at both just live the life of a ski bum.

Seriously....good feedback...I'm feeling good about Telluride and have never been and am always up for skiing new places. I like altitude so I'm fine with the elevation and hopefully Telluride has an authentic feel.

post #20 of 26
post #21 of 26
post #22 of 26
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
If you ski out of bounds at Telluride please be sure that you know something about snow science. Colorado in general and the San Juans in particular have a real depth hoar problem. I would do my own assessment or go with a guide. Not all locals know what's going on. Choose carefully.
I FULLY agree! Stay in bounds if you don't want to get smoked.:
post #23 of 26
post #24 of 26
I have actually been to both.

I have actually been to both in bad snowfall years.

Both have great nightlife in terms of cool downtowns with a variety of bars and restaurants.

In terms of terrain, I would say that Telluride is much more tailored to off-piste, although they have a large groomer area for intermediates.

Sun Valley was a lot more hoity-toity (the season I was there I ran into Bette Midler) and tended to skew a lot older (I was sharing a lot of my turns with folks who could easily have been my grandparents...but they all ripped).

While my SV trip is somewhat tainted in that I had a local to stay with and show me around to the hip bars and younger oriented hot spots, I'd have to say that Telluride is the better ski town.

It has a more organic vibe (this is if you hang out in Old Downtown Telluride, not the chichy Village).

I guess it really depends on what type of skier you are.

Are you into amenities, getting up late and only skiing for a few hours and then supping on fine china and silver?

Or are you down-n-dirty, getting up at the crack of dawn and riding bell-to-bell, forgetting to shower and hitting the bars right after you drop the gear off?

If you're the former, then go to Sun Valley.

If you're the latter, then go to Telluride.

Of course you can switch hit (be chichy at Telluride or be down-n-dirty ski bum at SV) at either. It all depends on where you stay and what your tastes are.

Me, i like to roll cheap, focus on skiing, and then find the cheap bar and moderately priced eatery that will leave me enough money to ski an extra day or two.
post #25 of 26
Have also been to both and agree w/ dookey 67 on the differences in culture / attitude btn SV and Tride. Tride is hands-down my fav of all ski resorts. unparalleled beauty. a great 'western' town, excellent restaurants -some a bit pricey, a few places with good deals. Oh and the skiing - fabulous!! No lift lines. Stay in town - not in Mtn Village.

One caution on SV - if you are skiing w/ anyone who is a beginner (although it sounds like you know your way around the mountain) - Baldy is tough. No real beginner runs here. Dollar mtn would be the call.
post #26 of 26
Yesterday, the fresh packed powder and powder made for great hero skiing on the groomers (with an occasionally rock, though). The steeper and ungroomed stuff is bony yet. They're making snow & more snow is happening now and another foot or two and conditions should be primo everywhere. Gold Hill was rolled as was from Joint Point to the Plunge and Spiral Stairs (though closed). Lift 9 was rumored to be open, bit won't until the 12th (+/-). Lifts 1, 4, 5 & 6 were running.....and as usual the views at T-ride are always worth a pause.
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