Peter Shelton

A Bear Creek Chess Game

Posted in How the West was Lost, Ski history, Watch columns by pshelton on December 24, 2010

OK, let us review.

A year ago, the setup seemed, to a casual observer, pretty simple. The Telluride Ski and Golf Company introduced the idea of expanding the ski area into upper Bear Creek. The resort operator needed to update its master plan with the U.S. Forest Service anyway and began a process which included surveying local skiers on how they imagined their ski area of the future. Telski had already gained USFS permission to do snow and avalanche studies off the back side of Gold Hill and had secured a Forest Service permit to guide skiers into the terrain in question.

Telski CEO Dave Riley assumed an ostensibly neutral position on expansion; he was just asking for input. Though it was also perhaps clear from Riley’s enthusiastic spearheading of a new, Euro-style off-piste persona for Telluride – including the opening of steep terrain within the existing boundaries and new exit gates into public lands beyond – that his heart’s desire, most likely, was an expansion into the alpine cirques of upper Bear Creek. (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…)