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Winter Fun in Telluride: Colorado Mountain Meets Mouthwatering at this Popular Ski Resort


Nov 30, 2009, Sara Churchville

With its own National Historic Landmark District, once roamed by the Utes, Telluride still calls out to the nomadic set with its variety of winter activities. Popular attractions include the 18-foot Pipe Monster on the Butterfly run; Firstrax, a backcountry guided ski excursion from Telluride Helitrax that promises, as the name indicates, an untracked run down the mountain; and, not for the weak-kneed, a guided hike to the advanced Mountain Quail run in Prospect Park against Palmyra Peak.

Don’t miss the bathing-suit optional Orvis Hot Springs (970-626-5324), or have a true American experience at the San Miguel river, one of only two free-flowing rivers in Colorado, where you can fly-fish even in the winter for rainbow and brown trout as well as brookies and cutthroats. Go ice-climbing up Bridal Veil Falls or the Ames Ice Hose with 30-year veteran Antoine Savelli of Chamonix Alpine Adventures (970-728-3705). Savelli spends six months of the year in Europe, where he regularly guides climbers up Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, among others.

Golden Door Spa at The Peaks, Telluride

Once you’ve tired of the outdoors, there’s simply no reason to leave Telluride without having experienced the ministrations at 9,500 feet of the healers at the Golden Door Spa at The Peaks (970-728-2590). With its 44 treatment rooms and 12 types of massages, along with endless saunas, steam rooms, wraps and facials, this is the mother of all mountain spas.

Stop at KidSpa, the spa’s childcare center and playschool where you can drop the kids off for a full day or half day while you indulge in such luxuries as the Golden Door Getaway. This four-hour package begins with a Native-American-inspired Turquoise Wrap – a Hopi blue cornmeal exfoliation followed by a wrap in turquoise clay, a warm shower and a full-body honey mask. Next comes the signature Golden Door Facial, followed by a spa lunch and then a massage geared to your special requirements. The sportily sore will go for the Skiers and Hikers Renewal treatment, which begins with time at the oxygen bar, moves on to a cornmeal and clary sage scrub and follows up with a high-altitude massage. After your spa lunch, you’ll segue into a high-altitude facial.

Tasting Cellar, a Gourmet Treat

For a gourmet post-spa treat, the Tasting Cellar of the Cosmopolitan in the Hotel Columbia (970-728-1292) is not to be missed. You’ll be seated below the main restaurant in a room lined with 2,000 bottles of wine in 200 vintages, all at your disposal for the evening. The chef prepares a selection of tastings that might include, for example, his Himalayan yak rib eye with golden chanterelles, corn and potato hash, bacon braised Swiss chard and green peppercorn. Each course is paired with wine.