Australian, Georgie Bishop, has been living in Telluride for 8 years. She came for one season, never left and met her boyfriend and father of her two children in the mountain town. Now she works for Lodging in Telluride introducing the mountain to others.
This is her local guide to the box canyon ski resort.
I did a ski season in Chamonix in 2005/2006 then skied Aspen for the first time in 2007. I fell in love with American skiing – I love the people, the weather, the relatively uncrowded slopes. I wanted more! I spoke with my Coloradan friend Kelley, who I became friends with in Chamonix. She told me Telluride was the place.
Just like 90% of people who live in Telluride, I came here to be a ski bum, “just for one winter” and I never left. A certain Austrian by the name of Wilfried keep me here a little bit longer than expected (I know, who meets an Austrian in Telluride?).
My vow to stay clear of ski instructors was dashed within a month of arriving. We’ve spent the past 8 years amusing ourselves with how many people think Austria & Australia are the same country. It seems there are quite a few people who don’t know there’s a difference.
What do you love about Telluride?
I love the European feel of the town, with the mountains rising up all around. It’s very dramatic scenery & you feel like you are right amongst nature. There really is no ski town in North America as beautiful as Telluride. The lifestyle, although not very glamorous a lot of the time, is hard to beat. I love that I get to raise my kids here.
Hmmm, I could get in trouble here. It’s a dead tie. High Alpine Coffee in the back of the book store & Coffee Cowboy on Main St. Both great spots to grab a latte & meet some colorful, friendly locals.
There’s nothing like a post powder day session at Oak. It’s not the fanciest place in town (so if you like swanky cocktails then this might not be the place for you), but it’s the friendliest, and you can pretty much ski in the door. Best local vibe, you are sure to make many a friend.
Hard to pass up the Butcher & the Baker. Really anything on their menu of locally sourced, house made goodies. Washed down with a mimosa of course. It would be rude not to.
Special occasion dinner spot
I’m loving 221 South Oak these days. They use excellent local produce, and they have an extensive vegetarian menu if you have any vegos amongst you. They also have great bar specials, like the martini & mussels nights. On a Wednesday, I think.
I do love me some MountainFilm Festival, although I feel like I’ve missed it the last few years traveling home to Australia. It’s a smaller festival & it falls in late May, right before the summer madness begins. Really incredible films & documentaries – mountain sports, politics, environment etc. It attracts some really interesting people & it has a laid back vibe.
Where do you take out of town visitors to WOW them?
Gosh, so many spots to WOW the guests. In summer, the quickest & easiest is the Jud Weibe trail right above town. It’s always a winner. Otherwise it’s nice to go for a drive to Trout Lake, especially when the fall colors are popping.
Secret powder stash
Favorite groomers are Lookout & Milk Run on a sunny winter’s morning. Favorite powder stash – anywhere in the Prospect woods on a powder day!
Favourite Telluride local character
So many! Himay is pretty hard to beat. Drives the bus, skis in woolen pants. Sweet dreads. Happiest man alive! You will hear him whooping & hollering down the mountain most days.
What can you get at Telluride you can’t get anywhere else in the world?
The FREE gondola that connects Telluride town & Mountain Village. I don’t think anywhere else has a free gondola. Pretty sweet. Oh, and lots of weed. Perfectly legal, edible, smokeable weed. You can’t get that most other places!
Best Telluride memory
My first winter here was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. But I would have to say, meeting Willi about 4 weeks after arriving here was one of the very best moments. It wasn’t the most memorable night (for reasons I shall not delve into here) but 8 years later we are still here and we have 2 beautiful kids, Tilly & Ralf. Life is good.
Read more: 10 reasons to pay Telluride forward
Read more: Clare Afman’s guide to Telluride