Peter Shelton

Holding On and Letting Go in 2013

Posted in Confessions of a Grandpa, Ski racing, Watch columns by pshelton on December 28, 2012

I resolve to age gracefully. Ha! Show me a 64-year-old man who feels, inside, like a 64-year-old man and I’ll show you a corpse. “Yours sincerely, Wasting Away.”

Speaking of 64, since when did Paul McCartney’s sweet, it’ll-never-happen-to-me vision of old age come true? “Will you still need me, will you still feed me . . . ?” (more…)

Brand Loyalty: Alta at 75

Posted in Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on December 13, 2012

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…)

The White Ribbon of Death

Posted in Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on December 1, 2011

I liked Brian Scranton from the moment I heard him say the words “white ribbon of death.”

This was a couple of years ago, very early in the ski season. He was talking about making the long drive across the divide to Loveland Basin for their opening day. It might have been the first day of lift-served skiing in Colorado that autumn, sometime around Halloween.

Scranton knew it was ridiculous to make the 275-mile one-way drive from Ridgway just to ski a lonely strip of man-made snow. But he couldn’t help himself; it was without question going to be worth it. Giving the ersatz ski experience a mock-terrifying sobriquet only made me like him more. (more…)