TELLURIDE – Early season mountain operations are in full swing at Telluride Ski Resort with snowmaking, snow cat work and avalanche mitigation. With all this activity on the mountain to prepare for opening day, uphill access will be prohibited beginning Thursday, Nov. 7.
According to a Telski press release, weather conditions have been ideal for snowmaking and crews are working 24-7 getting snow made and terrain covered for opening day and beyond. Snowmakers are on the hill checking and maintaining snow guns all around the mountain via snowmobile and runs on the front side are being groomed with winch cats belayed from cables stretched across ski trails. Both situations create serious hazards for skiers on the mountain.
“We’ve looked at our situation closely and determined that allowing uphill traffic and skiing on the mountain at this time has too much risk for our employees and the public,” said Jeff Proteau, vice president of mountain operations and planning. “Our ski patrol are conducting avalanche mitigation in various locations on the mountain so we can’t have the public out there in harm’s way.”
Ski Patrol has begun training and avalanche mitigation work on the mountain. As well, Howitzer training commences Thursday and Friday, Nov. 7 and 8 with live fire. This live fire training will be in the direction of Gold Hill and Prospect Ridge. What is referred to as the “kill zone”, howitzer shrapnel has a 1,500’ radius from detonation. These areas must be cleared of all public and personnel during these training operations.
“Having people access the mountain during these times is way too risky and hinders progress with pre-season operations,” said Proteau. “Taking all the risks into account, we have made a clear decision to prohibit access during this time for safety reasons.”
Telluride Ski Resort will continue to update the public about uphill access and requirements as the season gets closer. Donation Day for the Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club with $25 lift tickets is scheduled for Nov. 27, with all passes and tickets valid from Nov. 28 for the 2013-14 winter season.