John Davies, Editor at Powder Magazine, recently visited Telluride to take in the sights, navigate the mountain and enjoy the life unexpected… which in his case included helicopter assisted backcountry skiing. It was mid-March when Davies made the trip to Telluride, towards the end of a dry week in the region. With Davies strong skiing background, he decided it was the perfect day for few heli-drops in the San Juan Mountains. According to the excerpt below, we’re pretty sure he enjoyed it! Read the full article here.
“I had plans to leave in the morning, but I received an invite to get into a helicopter with my skis from Helitrax, the heli-skiing outfit that operates out of the base of the Mountain Village. I knew I would be forever disenfranchised from the skiing community if I said no, so I changed my plans.
The office graciously said they’d look after Topaz, who made a sprint for freedom just as the helicopter was about to land on the 18th hole of the Telluride Mountain Village golf course. Hargreaves, Schreckengost, and our guide, the affable Matt Steen, waited patiently while I corralled the dog. We soon forgot that episode as we flew above the San Juans, marveling at their incredible expanse.
We landed atop a peak with a north-facing couloir called Junior’s. It was too early for the refrozen snow to be soft, so we hung around the peak for an hour getting to know one another a little better. Steen recently proposed to his girlfriend as their helicopter took off from a peak near Silverton, then they skied their way back to Telluride. (She said yes.)
I skied last. The couloir held pockets of chalk but the snow seems pretty irrelevant. A helicopter dropped us on top of a mountain and then we skied through a 1,000-foot, beautiful couloir with walls taller than any building in the town I grew up in. It was fucking awesome.
We skied another 1,500 feet down through some shady trees and along a sunny road until we reached an opening. We sat on our jackets in the snow eating turkey sandwiches until we heard the helicopter. We huddled up and held on to our hats as the machine landed in front of our faces.
The weightlessness as we flew up and over a ridgeline was breathtaking—far better than the best rollercoaster in the world. We flew over a large basin and to another flank. The nose of the helicopter and its skids rested precipitously on the edges of a massive slope, and its tail hung off an endless cliff. The pilot floated away as gracefully as a raven.
We skied 2,000 feet of punchy corn down to the basin, arcing slow, controlled turns. Then we traversed over to a knoll overlooking the town of Telluride and clicked out of our skis. We sat in the snow and opened cans of beer.
When they were empty, we skied through steep trees and sticky snow, past snow cascading off massive cliffs, ice falls, through the old mining facilities, and back into town.” – John Davies, Powder Magazine