Peter Shelton

X (Rated)

Posted in Personal History, Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on February 1, 2013

I had three reasons for going over to Aspen last Friday during the XGames. One was to meet up with skiing friends who have known each other since childhood and tell the most amazing tales on chairlift rides. Like the time one of them had a tarantula the size of a grapefruit in his swim trunks. (more…)

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Aspen Is Telluride on Steroids

Posted in Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on November 16, 2012

Well, the KOTO Ski Swap worked its weather magic again. (more…)

Grip This

Posted in Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on February 4, 2011

The X in X Games stands for Extreme, not X-rated. But you might think otherwise the way everyone in Aspen (and the greater blogosphere) was talking about Shaun White’s pants. (more…)

Debunking a Pie-in-the-sky Eurovision

Posted in Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on August 6, 2010

Josh Geetter’s Alps-inspired vision for the future of skiing in the western San Juans (Watch Commentary July 29) was a seductive read. Seductive because anyone who has skied the big, interconnected resorts in Europe can’t help but have fond memories. (more…)

As usual, ski area closes too soon

Posted in Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on April 8, 2010

Closing day at Telluride was such a beauty. Easter Sunday, and after a cold, windy week, the sun worked its magic on the hard surfaces, turning them slightly wet and slippery, smooth as lemon sorbet.

There were girls skiing in skirts. And at least one pirate in full-bearded regalia. And neon wigs, and a few vintage one-piece suits. And stretch pants. Oh, boy, if that doesn’t define an era. If you’ve still got a pair of in-the-boot stretch pants in your closet, and you can still fit into them, good on ya. Closing day is the day to strut it.

But, as often happens, closing day came too soon. (more…)

Finding the Love Spot

Posted in Ski evolution, Watch columns by pshelton on December 23, 2009

I must be suggestible. I mean the type of person who is easily hypnotized.

My first day skiing this winter at Telluride, I skied very much the way John Clendenin would want me to ski. Clendenin was one of the first wave of pro freestylers in the 1970s—wild-haired and hugely-talented “hot-doggers” (Clendenin favored headbands and harlequin-striped stretch pants) who careened through moguls as if they were red-hot coals.

Calmer now, he lives in Aspen, (more…)

The Man on the Medal

Posted in Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on November 12, 2009

In Aspen last week for a pre-season blowout sale, we got the goodies we’d come for (two pairs of lightly-used carving skis—cheap), and we got a serendipitous shot of living ski history.

Cecily’s assignment was to score some p-tex candles. Her husband Mike has been up high already making thin turns on Trico Peak. His board has paid a price, and thus the need for base repair.

Cecily looked around at downtown Aspen with almost new eyes. “Where did the Chamberlains live?” she asked. It had been at least two decades since we’d visited friends on W. Francis Street with our little girls. The Chamberlain house had, Cecily remembered, a steep, carpeted stairway, down which both girls plunged head-first on their bellies again and again. It was more memorable than the skiing we must also have done.

Now we wandered quiet streets and pedestrian malls crunchy with leaves, but none of the ski shops we visited had any p-tex. Or they hadn’t yet brought out the ski-tuning stuff. Or in one instance, we’re pretty sure, the twenty-something salesperson didn’t actually know what we were talking about.

Then we spied Durrance Sports, (more…)