Peter Shelton

April Showers Bring . . . Déjà vu

Posted in Personal History, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on April 12, 2013

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…)

Hot Buttered Corn Snow

Posted in Ski evolution, Ski racing, Watch columns by pshelton on April 5, 2013

Powderhorn’s closing day on Easter Sunday delivered perfect corn. Corn snow, that is. (more…)

All That Jazz

Posted in Watch columns by pshelton on March 28, 2013

“The saddest blues song of all,” Mike Gwinn told his audience last Saturday evening, strumming an improvised few notes on the guitar, “is the one that starts out, ‘I didn’t wake up this morning . . .’” (more…)

Le Raid Blanc, Troisième Stage

Posted in Personal History, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on March 23, 2013

Every mountaineering stage race needs its villain, and ours became the team from Piau Engaly. (more…)

Le Raid Blanc, Part Deux

Posted in Personal History, Ski racing, Watch columns by pshelton on March 14, 2013

From the sound of it, the randonée course Janelle Smiley faced at the World Championships in Pelvoux, France last month was fiendishly difficult. But it was just one day, or part of one day.

Rando races in this country are similarly staged as one-day events. The Grand Traverse leaves Crested Butte at midnight, with the fast teams arriving in Aspen for breakfast. The Sneffels Half Loop departs at sunrise from Last Dollar trailhead and finishes at beer-thirty in Ridgway.

But when we, Team Smugglers’ Notch, did Le Raid Blanc in 1987, we raced for six days straight, with a couple of “specials,” or stages, each day, the times accumulating like they do on the Tour de France. (more…)

Le Raid Blanc: Old School Rando

Posted in Personal History, Ski history, Ski racing, Watch columns by pshelton on March 8, 2013

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…)

New Kids on the Block, Part 2

Posted in How the West was Lost, Personal History, Watch columns by pshelton on March 1, 2013

The town won its case against Don Nordlander and his mining equipment across the street from us on South Cora. We didn’t have to testify. (more…)

New Kids on the Block

Posted in Personal History, Watch columns by pshelton on February 25, 2013

An obituary in the Montrose Daily Press did more than catch my eye; it brought on a flood of unpleasant memories from our early years in Ridgway. (more…)

Slow Lift Movement

Posted in Ski evolution, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on February 16, 2013

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…)

A Fork in the Road

Posted in Personal History, Watch columns by pshelton on February 7, 2013

As the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade came and went last week, I thought, inevitably, about the abortion I caused, struggled with, decided on and went through with, in 1967, six years before the Supreme Court made the procedure legal. (more…)