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The Edge

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

If you want to meet someone who lives in Telluride, Molloy says to head to the post office. "No one has deliveries, so sooner or later everyone will end up there," she says. "That's where we catch up on gossip." But the local hangout for drinks is the bar at The Sheridan (231 W. Colorado Ave.). "That's the classic older-time Telluride, where you'll just meet all sorts of people." She also says that on Friday nights, locals go to the Swede-Finn Hall (472 W. Pacific Ave.) for great margaritas. "Oh, and Leimgruber's Bierstub [573 W. Pacific Ave.] serves these huge mugs--you'll get lightheaded on one--and they have a boot they pass around that's full of that dangerous German beer."

Sofia's (110 E. Colorado Ave.) meets Molloy's criteria for quality Mexican food, and it's also her pick for a good breakfast. She likes the "fancy breakfast" at Bistro Nouveau (115 W. Colorado Ave.), and for "things covered with hollandaise sauce," she recommends The Excelsior (200 W. Colorado Ave.). "And then there's the Pacific Street Market [627 W. Pacific Ave.] for a fast breakfast sandwich you can eat on the way," she adds.

Another on-the-fly possibility is the burger from Rose's Victorian Market (700 W. Colorado Ave.). "It's the cheapest, and you can get it to go and eat it on the lift," she says. "They're a little juicy, though." She adds that the aforementioned Bistro Nouveau has excellent burgers and fries as well. "And The Roma Bar & Cafe [133 E. Colorado Ave.] is the place to go for pizza," she says. "But for slices to go, go to Baked in Telluride [127 S. Fir]." The ultimate skier's lunch is the barbecue at Fat Alley Barbecue (122 S. Oak)--"The vegetarian potato is real good, and so are the pork and beef barbecue sandwiches," Molloy says--and she thinks "amazing, middle-price-range, incredible vegetarian dishes" can be had at Honga's (138 E. Colorado Ave.), where she says they also do a sushi bar. "The other good sushi and Japanese food place is Suehiro [126 E. Colorado Ave.]," she adds.

But Telluride is, of course, best known for its upscale dining. "Okay, La Mamot [150 W. San Juan Ave.] is really good French food, consistently amazing, the best creme brulee I've ever had," Molloy enthuses. "It beats the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, but there's still a debate about whether La Mamot or 221 South Oak [221 S. Oak] here is better. 221 always has such interesting food, and there's always something on the menu you've never even thought about putting together."

For Italian, Molloy digs Campagna (435 W. Pacific Ave.) and for steak, she likes The Powder House (226 W. Colorado Ave.). "And down in town at the Sheridan, they serve ostrich and kangaroo," she says. "And the Cosmopolitan Restaurant [300 W. San Juan Ave.], the 'Cosmo' to us, is often good. It's right at the base of the gondola, a good place for a nice ski lunch with a glass of wine."

But when Molloy really wants to kick back and relax, she hits the books--as in coffeehouse/bookstores. "Maggie's [217 E. Colorado Ave.] is great for coffee and pastries," she says. "And then there's Between the Covers [224 W. Colorado Ave.], where the back of the bookstore is a coffeeshop. I can really get lost in there."

General Information: 1-800-525-3455.
Snow Report: 1-970-728-7425.
Location: 335 miles southwest of Denver via I-70 to Grand Junction, Colo. Hwy. 50 south, Colo. Hwy. 550 to Ridgway, Colo. Hwy. 62 and Colo. Hwy. 145 into Telluride.

Opening and Closing Dates: November 26 to April 12.
Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Terrain: 21% beginner, 47% intermediate, 32% advanced. 1,050 skiable acres with a 3,165' vertical drop. Base: 8,725'; top: 11,890'; longest run: 2.85 miles.

Lifts: 2 high-speed quads, 5 double chairs, 2 triple chairs, 1 Poma lift, 1 Magic Carpet, 1 gondola transportation system.

Lift Rates: Adult full-day $32; child full-day $17; senior full-day $25; child under 5 and senior over 70 free.

Rentals: Call 1-970-728-7533 for information.
Snowboarding/Cross-Country: Snowboarding welcome. Cross-country call Telluride's Nordic Center at 1-970-728-4424.

Special Events: USSA Classification Races, Dec. 11-14; Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade, Dec. 24; New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade, Dec. 31; Telluride World Pro/Am Mogul Classic; VH1's Lift Ticket to Ride, Feb. 27-March 1; Olympic Ski Challenge, March 26-29; Uvex/Bula USSA Championships, April 3-5; US National Snowboard Championships and 1998 Telluride Boarderfest, April 8-12; 2nd Annual Big Air Contest, April 11.

Vail
His knees are shot, but that doesn't keep Steve Trombetta from spending his lunch hour sailing down Vail Mountain. The 41-year-old has been skiing since he was fifteen, and he wound up in Vail in 1984, after he brought some friends who had never seen snow to the area from Southern California.

He was the concierge at the Westin there, and now he's the concierge at the Vail Cascade Hotel and Club, which used to be a Westin. "I just came here and stayed," Trombetta says. "And I'm glad I did, because this is some of the best skiing in the country."

Because of his knees, he tends to stick to the cruisers, although on a good day, he likes the delicate bumps on Highline and Ricky's Ridge. What does he avoid? "Oh, Blue Ox has some pretty mean bumps," he says. "I stay away from that one."

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