Sharp End Magazine, No.05, 2009, page 34 

Sharp End Magazine, No.05, 2009, page 34

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vail is obsessed with switzerland and austria they don’t call a ski lift a ski lift’ they call it a bahn’ the hotels boast names like vorlaufer’ tyrolia’ aspen looks tip top maybe such luxury doesn’t belong in the mountains where even the police drive around in saabs but colorado has dozens of other ski resorts and some of them even come with a soul telluride law butch cassidy and the san miguel valley bank still boasts that it was his first target he relieved them of 24580 greenbacks in 1889 a small fortune at the time ski fever hit the region in the 1970s when joe zoline discovered gold in the form of the featherweight featherweight powdery snow even though skis have long since replaced the pick and hammer and the resort was bought by the japanese ski aficionado hideo jo morita telluride still maintains its cowboy soul rowdy the cowboy” is a welcome guest despite his problematic personality he appears on his black steed on main street at every winter’s end as in the old days he gallops through the swinging doors of the new sheridan hotel on his best friend which then proceeds to shit in the middle of the bar before the pair is ceremoniously thrown out telluride is also a festival town its most honoured serious events are film jazz and bluegrass festivals festivals you should’ve come for surf the rockies as we call the week at the end of the season” says mountain rescuer matt the unclothed contestants of the bikini slalom drive american puritans crazy and even more unusual is the summer’s nothing festival but the festival’s name does by no means denote that nothing’s going on during the weekend just the opposite that’s when we jog and cycle with nothing on completely nude” matt is standing by the so called free box a wardrobe where people can leave skiing stuff they no longer need but somebody else might this is why the most popular of the many souvenirs is the t shirt saying vail sucks’ carving powder a couple of years ago a u s acquaintance who by chance shared a car with me asked me what the hell gears were for this anecdote resurfaced as i watched american skiers from my ski lift during during my ten day stay there while everyone used modern short skis the number of those that were at least half way familiar with the pure arc could be counted on the fingers of a single hand there’s not a whisper of cutting the turns on u s ski slopes despite despite its numerous ski highways while occasionally somebody steps on the edge and leaves a thin trail >> as you push some 350 miles 565 km) southeast from denver to the part of the rockies called the san juan mountains you sometimes feel you are going to hell or at least the ends of the earth the snowy expanses are endless and the few places look more like ghost towns than anything urban you need to travel 45 miles towards the sky from the traffic lights in montrose the end of the road used to be called columbia but as this name caused numerous problems to postmen as they could never tell whether the letter should be delivered to colorado colorado or california the cowboy town was renamed telluride an unusual name which is a shortened version of the popular swear phrase to hell you ride’ this phrase was used by the gold diggers of yore for the bandits that robbed them of their goods at the height of the gold rush telluride was home to five thousand souls the tomboy mine was one of the world’s biggest gold producers and there were more millionaires per capita living there than in new york it therefore comes as no surprise that it was often visited by the legendary wild west out fun fun fun by joel smith photography brett schreckengost t younstrom 32 to hell you ride 32 / 35 fun fun fun




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