Tasting the Topography @ Telluride – 02/15/14

Casey Cane | | Conditions ReportConditions Report

Yes, another Tahoe exodus for five days to find winter…of course, by the time of departure, the higher elevations of Tahoe received 8 feet of snow (Kirkwood) but ski trips get booked and you deal with it. So, off we went from SFO to Denver to Montrose with my 2 year old and buddy Dan to shred.

Telluride is known for its funky town, box canyon vistas, Chair 9 bumps, steep piste, and a superb Ski School for the youngsters. But over the years, they’ve added some gnarly hike-to (in-bounds) terrain into the mix. Of course, hiking to Palmyra Peak is the pinnacle of this in-bounds adventure but there’s also shorter hikes, to the left and right of the Peak, that a sea-level mortal can perform multiple times in a day.

Dan begins his exercise for the day

Dihedral Face is one of my favorite zones that provides some classic San Juan extreme skiing. After skiing Dihedral you can tap into the hidden gems of Black Iron Bowl. Gold Hill Chutes are the second major in-bounds hikes that send you over to the opposite side of Palmyra. From open bowls to narrow couloirs, you can definitely find a chute that matches your current mood. From Gold Hill 7-10, you can traverse either to the Fans area on the right or all the way to the left in to the Nice Chute zone.

The end of the line for the Gold Hill Chutes

When all of that is over, one can always run over to Bon Vivant for some French Onion soup or to Tomboy Tavern for a happy hour PBR….or like this father, run down and ski with your 2 year old until the lifts close. 🙂

Let’s do this!

Day one:

Palmyra had a delayed opening, so we skied around Gold Hill and Revelation Bowl to get warmed up before going for an uphill walk.

Dan Warming up on Gold Hill 1

With warmer than average temps and no wind, the hike to the summit cannot get any easier.

Dan summits

Coming from sea level, its definitely a quick way to acclimatize…or get you sick. To get to the top of Palmyra and everything in between, just take up the Prospect Express and head up the ridge. The entire hike is shown in photo below:

Elevation gain
Dan drops in
Roy Boy skied well

After the upper section, we traversed over into the Nice Chute area to find some powder and stuff to jump off…

Dan finds powder
Airs were found
Piste laps were pretty much ideal

Day two:

With it being Dan’s last day, we wanted to session the Dihedral zone as much as humanly possible. With the flat light and clouds moving in, we did our best to capture the moment.

Dihedral face with many options
Getting steep
When in doubt air it out
Dan finds some untracked

There’s so many rad options in this zone but you’ve got to be quick as the 15 min hike closes at 2pm

Does this go?
High speed pow turns
Dark sky leaping…

Day three:

The flat light continued but Gold Hill and the trees of Black Iron Bowl delivered….

Spooky on Revelation chair
Gold Hill sessions
Better contrast in Gold Hill 8
Pow landing
Ski training

Day four:

Still dark skies, but the snow quality remained the same…spent the day hiking Gold Hill and Dihedral Face area

Hiking up to Gold Hill 8
San Joaquin Couloir
Classic chute skiing on Gold Hill

Even with the lighting conditions, the skiing was phenomenal and we had a great time. Until next time Telluride!

Home here we come!

Full report with more pictures can be found on my site:


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One thought on “Tasting the Topography @ Telluride – 02/15/14

  1. Some killer shots in there, Casey, awesome shredding the steep and deep goods with you around T-Ride for the first time. On a personal note, I highly discourage anyone from drinking any alcohol whatsoever the first night they are in town if they are coming form sea level unless you want one of the first memories of your trip to be hanging your head in a toilet bowl at 2:00 a.m. after having a modest 3 drinks that night and going to bed by 10:00 p.m.

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