Colorado’s recent acceptance of civil unions reminded me of a social experiment in little Alpine County, California, shortly before Ellen and I moved there in 1973. (more…)
A late-season storm rolls through, a big one, the day after the Telluride ski area closes. A cruel irony? A classic bit of ski-bum lore? (more…)
Every mountaineering stage race needs its villain, and ours became the team from Piau Engaly. (more…)
As our team, representing the Smugglers’ Notch resort, lined up on the Italian side of the Matterhorn for the first stage of Le Raid Blanc, a pretty blonde woman stepped up and handed us RECCO strips. They looked like Band-Aids. “Pour le . . . uh, for ze shoes,” she said. We stuffed them in our pockets; we didn’t have time to stick them on our ski boots. (more…)
People bitch about old, slow chairlifts, but they have their up-sides.
Alta’s Alf Engen used to say he preferred the crowd hanging up in the air, rather than descending the slopes en masse. (more…)
The Telluride ski area turns 40 this winter. I’m sure there will be celebrations. And how lucky to have a few of the founders still around to celebrate. Resort progenitor Joe Zoline is no longer with us, and Emile Allais, who consulted on the initial layout, died at age 100 this October. But Senior Mahoney is still kicking, along with relative youngster Johnny Stevens and a small but significant cadre of original ski patrollers from 1972-73, some of whom have not yet reached their sell-by date.
As a ski resort, Telluride is, of course, a relative youngster. (more…)
Drama queen Lindsey Vonn took all the drama out of the races in Lake Louise last weekend, winning three in a row (two downhills and a super G), despite a stomach bug that had hospitalized her for two days and nights. (more…)
Hard to believe these days – and maybe even harder to believe in the free-love years of the early 1970s – but our secret affair, mine and E.’s at Keystone, was platonic, right up until the day she drove east near the end of that winter. (more…)
There were other gurus at Keystone that winter besides the comely E.
A ski shop employee, a lifer prone to heartfelt clichés, told me, “Skiing is a dance, and the mountain always leads.” At the time, the metaphor was new (to me anyway), and I thought it was brilliant.
A ski-school friend, another apprentice, liked to punctuate conversation with a staccato laugh and the phrase, “Are you skidding me?” (more…)