The Telluride Ski Resort closed this weekend reporting a 68-inch base and 215 inches for the season. But closing weekend isn’t about the snow—it’s about letting your freak flag fly – and this year was no exception.
Sunny skies, and temps in the high 50’s Friday and Saturday, brought perfect spring skiing conditions to the mountain and hoards of people to Main Street for KOTOs pink flamingo street party. Strong, spring winds can bring a layer of red sand through Main Street this time of year. But, Mother Nature spared us, and instead graced the town with calm skies and breath-taking light for the annual street dance.
Those who took to the street Friday to enjoy the opening local band, The Great Funktier, and headliner, cross-dressing, Ralph Dinosaur and The Fabulous Volcanos added their own color to the evening. Pink tutus, plastic pink flamingo yard ornaments, pink bodysuits, pink hair—anything pink—adorned revelers. Dancing on Main Street, below the northern face of the ski area, was an obvious reminder of the celebration’s focus.
Knowing smiles and boogying bodies, spoke most loudly, but Phoenix resident Bridgette Schneider added, “Telluride is the best mountain coming from Phoenix. We love everything about here.” And, Friday and Saturday, there was nothing not to love.
Sunday brought Closing Day, the time to break out the hot pink, one-piece, ski suit from the 70’s; the tight, Descente, slalom pants from the ‘80’s; or heck, even the gorilla suit from… whenever you got that gorilla suit. And, despite the big, wet flakes that came in force mid- morning, that is exactly what handfuls of hard-core revelers did. They skied in costume then waited at the top of Chair 9 to hoot and holler as the last lift unloaded its riders and the chairlift came to a steady stop. Ski tribes, groups who regularly shared many a good day on the mountain this season, descended to town, or the village, to enjoy their last après ski and reminisce.
“It was great season, I always found good snow,” local, John Haggerty said nodding his head. Brian Conlin, grinning and donning a purple one-piece ski suit, seemingly agreed with those sentiments and spoke about some of his best backcountry days. And, local father, Rick Fusting, smiled wide when the liftee scanned his pass and reported, “63 days”.
For some, Sunday’s storm was a day late and a dollar short. Their ski season is over and they are dusting off their bikes, gathering their kayak gear and headed to the desert or beach. For others, those who don’t mind skinning, it is just the beginning of another week of powder in Telluride.