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Steamboat vs Telluride vs ??

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

After some recommendations from this site, i have decided to take my girlfriend to Steamboat. We are coming from australia and can only get there in the first week of jan and apparently the snow is most reliable their so early in the season.

Im just cant stop thinking about telluride though. It sound like the villages there are more quaint than the big city of steamboat and the skiing appears more challenging (i am mindful that she is still an improving intermediate though).

Can anyone give me some advice re tellurides snow early in the season, its suitability for an intermediate and its proximity from denver in comparison to steamboat.

I think i just really want to hit telluride, it sounds amazing.

Thanks in advance
post #2 of 24
My personal feeling is Telluride is way overrated. It's a long way from Denver (7 hours or so?) - get on Google Maps and map it out. An intermediate would be fine there. Anyway, I don't think it's worth it. Steamboat is a better choice. However, I would be very flexible in your vacation plans and be prepared to follow the best snow. It's not worth being in Steamboat if Aspen is getting the dumps.
post #3 of 24
Only one way to find out....

It's been eons since I've been to Steamboat to compare terrain or town scene, but the views do not come close to T-ride. IMO, the destination aspect is a plus and why I'm in the SW and usually have zero lift lines. With thin coverage, there's plenty of snowmaking on intermediate terrain, but could be a bummer on steep stuff....but if it snows.... If you are considering a drive, I bet it'll be 6 to 7 or so hours from Steamboat (). Weather permitting, it's possible to get from Denver in 6 1/2 or so hours or an hour flight.
post #4 of 24
My experience echoes what's already been posted. Tony Crocker's research also confirms my hunch that Steamboat has a much better chance than almost any other area in Colorado for good early season snowfall.

The scenery in Telluride is spectacular, and the town is very cool, but the area is in the snow shadow of the Wilson 14ers; and although, like any place, it can get dumped on, and dumped on righteously, it's just not the powder haven that gets raved about in the hype-o-sphere.

But, really, "the big city of Steamboat"?? You're joking, right?
post #5 of 24
Steamboat is definately NOT a big city. There is a nice feel to the old town proper. The strip going into the town of Steamboat from the south?east (where you need to go to the lifts) is more-nearly new commercial developement, but not a major detraction. You can fly into Hayden (~25 miles west of Sb) and catch the taxi / shuttle, which last I checked was reasonably priced.
post #6 of 24
Telluride is very scenic and has a nice feel to it. You can fly into Montrose and take a shuttle or rent a car. Telluride airport apparently shuts down frequently in bad weather.
post #7 of 24
Cortez is another flight option, but doesn't have the Telluride shuttle, AFAIK.

I forgot to mention previously that for week long trips, the pre-season (through Aug 22) 6 day lift, limitless lesson passes, etc are worth considering versus online or on mountain tickets. For kids up to 12, it's $125 for a season pass.
post #8 of 24
It is a long drive from Steamboat to Telluride. If you want more variety, why don't you plan on a day trip or two from Steamboat to Beaver Creek, Vail, Copper, or Breckenridge? It is about 2 hours from the 'Boat to Beaver Creek, and perhaps 2.5-3 hours to Summit County. You can find something to please everyone at any of the mentioned resorts.

post #9 of 24
Telluride is the coolest town in CO. The views in town or on top of the mountain are better than any place. The skiing is awesome and blows Steamboat away, IMHO.
post #10 of 24
You'll enjoy SB. Town has less than 10,000 outdoor-minded inhabitants and doesn't feel like a big city.
You're right about lack of steeps, but the chutes will be decent if enough snowfall. Plenty of blues and blacks, but the double-blacks do not compare with other western resorts. If you hit the powder right, however, the pitch of SB's runs is perfect. The trees are a nice diversion if the light is flat.
post #11 of 24

Two good choices, but very different towns and skiing.

Top: 10568 ft.
Bottom: 6900 ft.
Vertical Drop: 3668 ft.
Longest Run: 3.0 miles
Skiable Terrain: 2939 acres
Snow Making: 375 acres

Average Snowfall: 334"

Pluses: Wide variety of good terrain and consistent snow. Powder stashes long after a dump if you do some hunting. Great tree skiing in thinned aspen and natural evergreen glades. On the northern storm track (like Salt Lake City) with more regular storms. Better chance of early season good snow, and snow quality if it hasn’t snowed for awhile tends to be better than T-ride because of lower elevation exposure and less sun.

Minuses: Not much of the heart pounding steeps that T-ride has. The town and ski area village are quite far apart and require a vehicle or long shuttle ride between them. The he mt. village is fairly large and spread out, and the mountain views are on the boring end of what you can get in the Colorado Rockies. Neither the town nor the Mt. Village gives you anything near the mountain feel or old town charm of T-ride.

Top: 12570 ft.
Bottom: 8725 ft.
Vertical Drop: 3845 ft.
Longest Run: 4.6 miles
Skiable Terrain: 2000 acres
Snow Making: 204 acres

Average Snowfall: 309"

Pluses: Most beautiful town and area in the US. Spectacular views wherever you look, plus some 100 year old Victorian charm. If you fly directly to Telluride, or to Montrose and take a shuttle you do not need or want a car while you are in Telluride. Free gondola between Mt. Village and Town, although you can walk to lifts and ski from Town with no problem. Virtually no lift lines. Lots of good, but expensive bars and restaurants.

Minuses: High elevation causes problems for some people. The expert skiing is almost all steep and bumped. Tree skiing is mostly steep, tight and bumped. Very little advanced intermediate terrain, so you are either doing easy packed cruisers or skiing steep bumps. The average snow stats are similar, but T-ride has much more erratic snow fall, and requires more base for good skiing on the expert terrain than Steamboat. On a powder day the untracked on the runs disappears within a couple hours.
post #12 of 24
The snowfall difference is more substantial than quoted above: Steamboat 374 vs. Telluride 277.

Steamboat is much better early season due to more snow/better coverage.

Telluride is much better late season due to higher altitude/more north exposure.

Your trip is in January, not March: go to Steamboat.

If it were February, it would be more of a tossup for conditions, so then make the choice based upon terrain, ambience, etc.
post #13 of 24
Never been to Tulluride, but to Steamboat a few times. Great mountain! Great ski town! You will have a great experience there, don't think twice about making a wrong decision visit Steamboat.
post #14 of 24

Steamboat is definitely the spot for great powder ski and tree skiing.


However if you want a mountain that encompasses everything that you can ask for in a mountain you want Aspen highlands or Telluride. Bar none they're the best ski in colorado- Steamboat may get tons more snow- but its on a ridgeline with low altitude and often times gets wind blown and has warm days where the snow melts off and turns into ice. 


Telluride and Aspen both have amazing ski all year long because we get no tourists and have such a large wide open mountain. Most of Telluride and Aspen's inbounds terrain isn't even listed on their site because there so much hike too terrain. Definitely make your first choice Telluride- second Aspen. 



Even if its in January. 

post #15 of 24
Originally Posted by dmahr View Post

Telluride is the coolest town in CO. The views in town or on top of the mountain are better than any place. The skiing is awesome and blows Steamboat away, IMHO.

Steamboat almost always has better snow but compared to Telluride it's flat as a pancake. Telluride has some fine intermediate terrain. But it is an experts mountain through and through. Steep and unrelentinglyly steep.......long steep bumps, long steep chutes, big exposure in the hike to terrain. There is no comparing terrain between the two.
post #16 of 24

Unfortunately in the six years since the OP asked about this, not having today's posted information on where to ski, he went to the wrong resort and while wearing a red jacket, collided with another skier, was arrested, and has since been incarcerated.  If only he had known where to ski before it was too late...

post #17 of 24
We have seriously got to do something about the search function and/or get a warning to people as they post that a thread, while valuable, has some serious whiskers on it.
post #18 of 24
Kind of like most of us.
post #19 of 24

Yeah...what a downer...I love a good This Resort vs. That Resort.  I came into the thread hoping to throw my weight around only to find out that I was six years late.

post #20 of 24
I had a similar reaction. Honestly, in the months before the snow begins to fly this site is like The Argument Clinic.
post #21 of 24
Originally Posted by Lorenzzo View Post

I had a similar reaction. Honestly, in the months before the snow begins to fly this site is like The Argument Clinic.

No it isn't.

post #22 of 24

recently removed my whiskers, been told to put ém back....


was at sb only once, 3 days, january 1996, don´t recall much except for dem ugly rabbit ears.  returning for 6 days (rmsp+) this dec 28-1/3, hope it keeps me happy for that many days (longish for my habits).


went to telluride dec 2012, half the mountain was not open, what was open did not challenge at all.  best part was the town, beautiful, quaint, walked beginning to end and width various times at 5 am and 5 pm.  but frankly don´t expect to return unless more acreage is added.....


just my 2c.

post #23 of 24
Telluride has plenty of challenge, just don't pick December to go there.
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post


In fall 2012 gpaulski wanted to go to Colorado and the Southwest for Christmas/early January.   He was advised that Southwest areas were speculative in early season but booked Telluride and Crested Butte anyway.  Landing in Denver with a car for 2+ weeks he knew of the disastrous start last season, once again was advised to go elsewhere but persisted with Telluride 14% open and Crested Butte 30% open during peak holiday season.

post #24 of 24

I have skied both for 5-7 days each. I love how the 3 mountains at Steamboat flow into each other.

Great layout, Great powder. It dumped a couple feet. People are very friendly. Cool Town. Great Hot Springs. 


Telluride on the hand is the prettiest place I have skied. I have a poster of downtown Telluride on the side my refrigerator. It's picture perfect.

You should consider it

I doubt many of the good blacks at Telluride

will be open. Go with your gut. Everyone is different in what they want.

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