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Wolf Creek/Pugatory/Telluride

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
The first week of March I will be at Pagosa Springs with my College aged son who is a good snowboarder and my wife who is an advanced intermediate. I am more advanced - expert skier. What do you have to say about the resorts nearby Pagosa Springs. I plan to spend most of our time at Wolf Creek but wanted to know if it would be a mistake to miss Telluride (just how long a hike would that be?)

thanks in advance for the info
post #2 of 19
Depends on the weather. About 3-3.5 hours if the roads are clear...130 miles. Hwy 550 is a pretty cool road although a white knuckler the first time you drive it when it's slick. The view when you get near to Ouray is not to be missed.

Telluride is one of my faves. I think it probably has something for everyone, but especially steep bumps and varied off piste terrain.

If you don't think you'll get back that way any time soon, I'd say make the effort to get there.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. I have a nephew who just love Telluride, which is why I asked. "no fun getting there; lots of fun once you're there."
post #4 of 19
Wolf Creek is a very small area that requires hiking to access most of the steep terrain, and every run (yes every run) ends with a lot of flats. It averages more snow than any other area in Colorado, but IMO it is not a destination resort worth more than a day or two of skiing at most.

Telluride is the real deal and should not be missed. It is "the most beautiful place you'll ever ski" and has terrain to match the views and atmosphere. It is expensive but well worth the drive and the lift ticket prices. If you stay in Ouray, Ridgeway or Rico I think you can get 1/2 price tickets from the motels, but other than that there are no deals on T-ride tickets that I am aware of.

Purgatory (DMR) is a very intermediate mountain, well actually a benched ridge. It has lots of flats and requires lots of traversing to get around. It might be fun for a day but IMO not worth going out of your way to ski unless you are all novices. The flats at Wolf Creek and Purg can be a real problem for snowboarders if they are not familiar with the mountains.

Be sure and hit the hot springs in Pagosa. The drive to Telluride is much easier if you go the Mancos-Dolores-Rico route over Lizard Head Pass instead of the Silverton-Ouray-Ridgeway route that includes 3 passes.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbartski View Post
Thanks for the input. I have a nephew who just love Telluride, which is why I asked. "no fun getting there; lots of fun once you're there."
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
The drive to Telluride is much easier if you go the Mancos-Dolores-Rico route over Lizard Head Pass instead of the Silverton-Ouray-Ridgeway route that includes 3 passes.
Depends on your idea of fun I guess. Personally I rather enjoy the drive on 550
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post
Depends on your idea of fun I guess. Personally I rather enjoy the drive on 550

Three 11,000 foot passes on winter roads instead of one 10,000 foot one with no switchbacks, it seems like an easy choice to me. I'll get my "fun" at Telluride instead of on the drive over. The 3 pass route is certainly more beautifu, but it can be an extremely dicey proposition in the winter. Red Mountain Pass was just closed for 4 days after our last storm cycle.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Three 11,000 foot passes on winter roads instead of one 10,000 foot one with no switchbacks, it seems like an easy choice to me
Me too
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Excellent information. Sounds like my son may be frustrated with the flats. I can hear him now, "This is stupid!" As east coasters, if we have some powder to ski in, we will be happy. This information definitely makes the ride to Telluride a greater possibility.

We are staying at a time share in Pagosa Springs. For Wolf Creek, what are people's favorite runs, and why. :

At 51, I probably won't be hiking very far for any runs.

Perry
post #9 of 19
There are plenty of boarders and skiers who thoroughly enjoy Wolf Creek & Purgatory, but Telluride is definitely at a different level. The flats and benches at Purg are much more of an issue on a powder day but are a reality. Great views though and a good glide is a must.

If you are considering driving the 3 or more hours to Telluride, Monarch and Crested Butte & Silverion are also options. Summit County is 4 hours away from Pagosa Springs on good roads.

And then there are cat skiing options.......
post #10 of 19

TELURIDE vs. CRESTED BUTTE

For the good ( but not great) upper intermediate how do these mountains compare?
Could I get 3 to 5 days out of each mountain without getting board?

EXTREME STEEPS AND BUMPS ARE NOT A PART OF MY DIET!!!
post #11 of 19
CB is a pretty small mountain without skiing the steeps. Telluride is having a phenomenal year so far (haven't skied it yet this year), just guessing, but with the amount of snow they've had recently, bumps should be less of an issue. In a normal year, I would rate tride for bumps as second only to the Jane.
post #12 of 19
Having spent 300 plus days skiing bumps at the Jane in three years while living in Frasier in the late 70's, comparing to T-ride's bumps now is a mind twister. Not sure about open terrain since then and the 190cm minimum ski on Outhouse was always sweet. I'd flip a coin and it'd depend on the snow. MJ/WP probably had/has colder snow for longer, but spring skiing the bumps at Telluride is hard to beat....

Mammoth can have very nice continuous lines and cheating over to Lower Plunge is a great circuit. Same with Spiral Stairs....and steep....especially on teles. (Then there are the low use lines. )

It's been a while to CB, but I think that Telluride would offer a bit more for Upper Intermediate and the scenery and town scene offers options if you do in fact get bored. If you get dumped at either T-ride or CB, you won't be bored. CB's town has been seeing a bit of improvements recently.
post #13 of 19
Just got back from Telluride. It's got some of the best coverage I've seen in 20 years there. Skied lines today that are not even under consideration most years. If you get a chance to hit it this year, by all means go.
post #14 of 19
...and with no lift lines. Still a little boney off Gold Hill, but excellent snow. :
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
It's been a while to CB, but I think that Telluride would offer a bit more for Upper Intermediate and the scenery and town scene offers options if you do in fact get bored. If you get dumped at either T-ride or CB, you won't be bored. CB's town has been seeing a bit of improvements recently.
I actually think Telluride is a bit lean on good terrain for upper intermediate/lower advanced skiers. It has a lot of nice stuff for beginners and lower intermediates, a great deal of expert terrain, but not a lot in between.

Not that that is a bad thing...
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
And then there are cat skiing options.......
And Colorado's only heli operation...
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbartski View Post
At 51, I probably won't be hiking very far for any runs.

Perry
Oh come on, I'll be hiking Bald Mtn with a bunch of 50+ year olds!
post #18 of 19
FWIW, here's Baldy with the Wilsons & Lizard Head beyond, yesterday from Dynamo.




You might not want to hike up it as you may have to deal with this stuff:




I'd say there is plenty of upper intermediate terrain which may turn you into advanced very quickly.: I've been taking my 11 year old over for the last three or four seasons as the season passes are a great bargain for kids. I'd rank him as an upper intermediate advanced skier now and he skis everything there. Additionally, many of the steep runs are groomed which makes for any excellent range of cruiser options....

Regarding drive times. It takes at least 45 minutes longer to go 550 (Million Dollar Highway) to Telluride versus the Dolores/Lizard Head route from Durango. If driving from Purg, it's close to a wash.....YMMV, however. :
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Awesome pictures and information all. :

Will definitely try to make a trip to Telluride.
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