As a half-dozen skiers, planks slung over their shoulders, hiked past us up the ridge toward Telluride’s famed 13,320-foot Palmyra peak, my new friend Seth thrust his ski pole forward for emphasis and shouted, “Confidence!”
It was less an exhortation than an exclamation of discovery. Seth, a fortysomething attorney from Chicago I’d met on the gondola in town, had found the black-diamond run bearing that name was somehow still unskied, despite the fact it was approaching midday. Falling away between granite walls and pines that poked out of deep billowy drifts, its untouched powder reflected the strong bluebird day sun. Before us, the expansive vista of Colorado's San Juans’ spiny ridges and sharp peaks were blanketed in 19 inches of fresh snowfall. Just up the mountain lay some of the most extreme in-bounds terrain in America; on our other flank, Galloping Goose, a beginner run that wends more than four and a half miles to the base of the mountain.
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