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Stories from Element 52

Stories from Element 52

Go Taking the Plunge on Telluride’s Ski Trails

If you’re not put off the names of these ominous-sounding runs—which should tell you everything you need to know about their difficulty level—you’ll love ripping down these unspoiled slopes. Although The Plunge and Bushwacker are among Telluride’s most iconic black ski trails, if you go early enough, you’ll feel as if you have the mountain all to yourself. “I like getting there bright and early at 9:00am,” Morgan Cho says. “The runs are typically groomed so you get a nice, smooth base for snow to stack up on, making for easy pow turns.”

Both slopes offer near-vertical drops—thousands of feet of skiing nirvana—for an exhilarating run that whisks you past endless snow-dappled pines straight out of a holiday postcard. The best part? “They’re both black runs on Chair 9, so visitors can say they skied 9 without skiing the real steeps,” Morgan reveals. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for truly harrowing runs: Half of the Plunge is groomed for a lightning-fast downhill dash, while the other half crawls with dauntingly twisty turns. Meanwhile, since it’s groomed almost nightly, Bushwacker is as smooth as butter with a long, steep incline and sweeping views of the village below.

But even the most enthusiastic skiers aren’t always early risers. “When I have a late start to my morning, I head straight to Holy Cow under Chair 10,” Morgan reveals. “There’s usually some fresh snow left on the run if you’re warmed up and want a nice, steep bump run with an audience.” You’ll find that time passes quickly when you carve up these slopes, leaving you with bruised knees, burning quads, and sore muscles. But there’s one more thrill that awaits you: Our funicular offers one final ride down the mountain on a rollercoaster track.Stories from Element 52