The Mountains Are Here to Stay


Finn Bailis

Cedar Palmer, a former THS student, checks out a line off the kicker built at the top of Lizard Head Pass.

Johnny Wilcox, Staff Writer

TELLURIDE — In the wake of the Telluride Ski Resort shutting down, many avid skiers have been left with a less than ideal circumstance for getting turns in on the mountain. However, for those more dedicated, this closure has opened up new opportunities for skiers to take their fun into their own hands.

Beyond the countless tracks that have been painting the now motionless ski mountain, some skiers have decided to expand their terrain. One group, in particular, found themselves about a five-minute walk from the Lizard Head parking lot, where one man started the process of building a backcountry jump.

Although one man began the undertaking, many more would follow, as multiple Telluride High School students helped in the building and completion of a hefty powder jump.

Former THS student, Finn Bailis, does a 360 degree turn off the jump built on Lizard Head

The preceding day offered less than ideal conditions for the momentous occasion of actually flying off of the jump, so the group waited until the clouds parted on Saturday, Mar. 21 to begin their adrenaline-induced festivities.

The day would include tons of gnarly wipeouts, as well as some incredible feats of freestyle skiing skills. Telluride High School senior Toe Carmola was one of many to throw himself off of the jump.  

“The gap was huge and I didn’t think it would work, but it was perfect,” Carmola said. 

Besides the incredible jump, many of those in attendance were most pleased with finally getting back out on their skis following the closure of the mountain. 

“We hadn’t skied in a little while and everybody was super psyched to get back out there,” Carmola said. 

Another THS attendee, sophomore Shane Reeder, was also very excited about the day as a whole. 

“There were a lot of dogs running around having a blast. Cars from the highway could see us and they were honking. Couldn’t have asked for a better day,” Reeder said.

For those residents of Telluride less inclined to risk their bodies, the possibilities for getting out on skis or snowboards are still plentiful. The ski mountain’s lifts may not be running, but with the use of some skins and serious motivation, you can hike yourself to any of your beloved terrains. 

Even beyond the mountain, there is endless terrain on the surrounding peaks.

As we watch the world come to a halt due to this pandemic, it is reassuring to know that our primary entertainment (the mountains) are here to stay.