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telluride "hike to" terrain

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am headed to Telluride this weekend and was wondering if anyone had some advice as far as the "hike to" terrain is concerned. I am looking for some information other than what they have availale on their website. Specific runs/lines, advice on certain hikes and how long they would likely take. I am an advanced skier but don't want to have to drop a 25ft cliff to get down:. I wouldn't mind smaller cliffs but my main goal is powder stashes. Some chutes would be fun too. Is it the type of terrain I would want a beacon for? Any tips would be great, thanks. I am headed with a somewhat large group of which I think only one person might be willing to hike with me so if there is anyone in the area that wants to join me on the hike either sat through tuesday, let me know. Thanks again, Drew.
post #2 of 9
In the beginning of February I participated in an all mountain experience clinic at Telluride. We hiked to a lot of great terrain but, by far, the most spectacular was at the base of the Needles. Unbelievable views and a great tree run.
post #3 of 9
There are 3 basic areas you can hike to at Telluride. From the top of the Gold Hill lift you can climb the ridge to around 12,500 feet and ski into Bear Creek through an access gate all the way down to town. This is fairly extreme backcountry terrain and should not be attempted without avalanche gear and a guide that knows where they are going. You will also see tracks off the back of Gold Hill beyond the rope. These are illegal poached lines that can lead to arrest, cliff bands, and possibly death, so do not be tempted unless you are with a local that really knows what they are doing and you are feeling lucky.

From the top of the Prospect lift you can ski right (facing uphill) over to Bald Knob. It is about a 15 min. hike for 20 steep turns, and then a very long complete flat back to the lift. It is debatable whether it is worth the trouble. From the top of the Prospect lift you can hike/skate the other way (left) to a couple of steep short runs. After that you can hike the Black Iron Basin Ridge. A 10 min. hike will get you a good size chute, after that you have to go another 20 min. to the next open chute at the corner of the ridge. You can ski inbetween these two points, but some of the small chutes cliff out and it is extremely serious skiing. Occasionally they open the the Palmyra Ridge to the top, which can be another hour of hiking for some very steep narrow chutes. All of the skiing is visible from the lifts, so look around and see what you think you can handle, then stop at the patrol shack at the See Forever/Apex Glade trail intersection and ask them what's open and how it will ski. I don't believe you need a beacon or avi gear unless you are going off area into Bear Creek.
post #4 of 9
Maybe see you up there Sunday. The weather is saying chance for snow over the next few days??? There's some good shots in this thread.

Here's a shot of Baldy:

And a shot of the ridge between Prospect lift & Palmyra and Black Iron Bowl from Andy's Gold:

post #5 of 9
Great shots Alpinord! The big chute in the middle of the pic is Mountain Quail, the one I call the corner chute. They don't open it past there (left) too often, but it is a very steep long hike up Palmyra Peak from there. The other big chute to the right of the people(?) on the ridge is about a 15 min. hike from the top of the Prospect Chair and probably gives you the best skiing bang for your hiking buck.

To put things in perspective for drewski180, even if you do the hike you are unlikely to get much in the way of "powder stashes" unless you are willing to race the locals at 12,000 ft. when they drop the rope on Black Iron. If you want untracked powder at Telluride you either need to be there when it is snowing or head for the trees. There is lots of tree skiing, but it tends towards the tight and steep variety. This year the coverage is epic, so pretty much the entire mountain is skiable.
post #6 of 9
Thanks. Hard mess up that scenery. Good description what to expect Mudfoot. Last Monday we skied freshies in the trees all day long and were amazed it lasted that long, let alone a week....

Here's a closer shot of the chute during the Subaru Freestyle Competition. Just for yuks I could post a couple clips.....there were some good shots from the USFreeSkiing web site (I think??, which isn't loading at the moment).

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 


thank you very much for the advice, that was just the type of info I was looking for. That chute on the right of what I too think are people looks like where I will most likely try. I was down there for a week at New Years and had great snow and they seem to be just getting more and more as the season goes on. Looking forward to it and thanks again for the pics and tips.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

had a blast

Well my first real hike to terrain experience went real well. I ended up doing the small chute skiers left of the largest one in that first posted picture. The snow was pretty good and when I get a hold of the video from my friend I'll be sure and try to post it. Thanks again for the advice. It prob. wont be until next winter that I get back there but I'll be sure and give it another go and may look for a bit of a steeper pitch .
post #9 of 9
Good to hear. I opted out of heading over with the kid as it seemed the snow was likely going to be bullet proof if the sun didn't come out or it dumped. It's that time of year with the freeze/thaw cycles and can be brutal if you don't time it right or know where to go.
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