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The Edge

Westword's guide to the 1997-98 ski and snowboard season

But his top choice for dining is at the Italian Underground (715 Grand Ave.), a red-sauce, casual Italian spot with "great food and wine, in a really neat place located in a basement," he says. "But expect a wait." To go all out, he recommends Sopris (7215 Hwy. 82). "High-end, wonderful food, saucy-type stuff," he explains. "But you pay. That's where we always have our work Christmas parties." Not too expensive is the "incredible prime rib" at the Riviera Supper Club (702 Grand Ave.).

For drinks before or after dinner, Amichaux suggests one of the brewpubs--such as Defiance Station (308 Seventh)--or Los Desperados (55 Mel Ray Rd.). "They make the best margaritas in the world," he says.

General Information: 1-970-945-7491 or 1-800-445-7951.
Snow Report: 1-970-945-7491.
Location: 167 miles west of Denver via I-70 to Colo. Hwy. 82 south and County Rd. 117 to Glenwood Springs.

Opening and Closing Dates: November 26 to April 12.
Hours: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Terrain: 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 25% advanced. 440 developed acres with a 2,010' vertical drop. Base: 7,885'; top: 9,895'; longest run: 2.5 miles.

Lifts: 1 triple chair, 2 double chairs, 1 surface lift.
Lift Rates: Adult full-day $28; child full-day $19; senior $19; child under 5 and senior over 70 free.

Rentals: Skiing and snowboarding equipment available. Call 1-970-7491 for information.

Snowboarding/Cross-Country: Snowboarding welcome. Cross-country call Sunlight Mountain Resort's Cross-Country and Nordic Center at 1-970-945-7491 for information.

Special Events: Warren Miller/Sunlight Mountain Resort Ski and 'Board Fest, Nov. 8-9; Winter Festival and Torchlight Parade, Dec. 20; Slopstyle Snowboard Competition, Jan. 18; Telemark Weekend, Jan. 24-25; Trench Warfare Ski and Snowboard Competition, Feb. 1 and Feb. 28; Snowboard Weekend, Feb. 21-22.

Telluride
A boyfriend talked Lisa Molloy into moving to Telluride, but she decided to make it her home all on her own.

Her family had moved to Parker in the Seventies from L.A., and in 1989 Molloy made the move to Telluride. "Oh, we broke up, but I say, hey, it was worth it to wind up in this incredible place," Molloy, 34, says. At first, though, there was some question as to whether she could find work. "I stopped there to study my boards and so fell in love with the place," she remembers. "But once I was ready to practice veterinary medicine, I found that the vet in Telluride didn't need any help. But the vet in Norwood, about thirty miles away, did. So here I am."

She's still with that vet and is now a partner in the Telluride Veterinary Clinic, an arrangement that suits her well, because she gets Thursday mornings to ski while her partner covers for her, and then she stays late that night at the clinic to help people who can't get their animals in during the day. "I go skiing on the weekends, too," she adds. "But every single weekend, I get pulled off the mountain to take care of an animal."

Not that she's complaining, because being on the mountain for a short time is still always a thrill. "There is just such challenging terrain here," she says. "Very few lift lines except at Christmas, and everybody knows everybody, even if you're from out of town, so it's just a party up there on the mountain. And the conditions change so much here that even on your favorite runs, you might be challenged to do it better next time, when it's a different setup."

That run for her would have to be what Molloy calls "Happy Glades," the trail between Happy Thought and Silver Glade. "At first it's in the trees, and then it opens up," she says. "And especially when there's fresh snow, no one ever goes there, so there are usually pockets."

Molloy also likes her bumps, so even her chosen cruiser, the Plunge, is only half-groomed; they leave it bumped up on the other side. But it's all bumps on Kant-Mak-M and Silver Glade, the latter of which she says is a good one to learn bumps on. "You have to be feeling real good to go on Kant-Mak-M, though," she adds. "It's right under the lift, so everyone knows you're there, and they'll yell at you." Kant-Mak-M is also part of what Molloy says residents call the "locals' loop." From the top of the run, she explains, "you have to go to Joint Point, and then you go all the way down, ski through the trees and get to Spiral Stairs, then lower Plunge. It's kind of three bumps in a row. You'll be so glad that Chair 9 is slow so you can rest after all that."

A good workout can also come from Gold Hill. "It's worth the walk," Molloy says. "A good twenty-minute hike up, and then you're above the tree line and jumping down into delicious snow, usually over your knee and crystallized enough that you can just float, steep enough that you really feel like you're flying. If you can do it three or four times, you're in really good shape."

A little less taxing is Logpile, the locals' name for a tree run above the West Drain. "It's pretty easy, not really steep," Molloy says. "You can also try the trees between Kant-Mak-M and Mammoth, one of my favorite black runs." And she reveals that the area in Apex glade, above Sully's, is "so forgiving, slush bumps in the spring that are easy on tired knees," and she says intermediates who are feeling a little brave should try Palmyra. Sully's is also the place she and her friends head to for a bottle of wine and a picnic in the spring, under Chair 6 on Sundays.

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