Telluride Ski Resort’s 2025 Survey

Includes an item titled “9. Bear Creek & New Lift“, with subtext and question as follows:

Delta Chair Lift
This would expand the ski area, offering new intermediate, advanced, and expert terrain above tree line.

1. Should we add a lift in upper Bear Creek?

The survey question provide the following selection options:

Choose the level of importance to you:

– Not Important
– Somewhat Important
– Indifferent
– Important
– Very Important

Comments (with an input box)

First off, I need to say that this survey’s questions are probably not setup to solicit the most accurate responses. For those survey takers who are simply checking off selections and DO NOT enter comments, the questions are not posed in such a way as to ask whether or not the survey taker actually “approves” of the particular item, but rather asks about the “importance” of this lift. A beginner level skier who might be taking the survey might feel an expansion with a lift into Bear Creek is simply not relevant to him or her, since the respective terrain might be beyond their ability level. In which case, they might check off “Not Important” or “Indifferent”.

However, if the question were posed to be something along the lines of “Do you support an expansion of the existing ski area boundary to include a lift in to upper Bear Creek?”, it would be an entirely different question and might invoke an entirely different set of results … since there might be a significant population who opposes such an expansion, yet considers the actual terrain as not having ANY significant relevance to their particular world in so far as suitable accessible terrain.

The question also asks “Should we add a lift in upper Bear Creek?” … which essentially jumps ahead of itself in so far as not first inquiring: “Should we seek an expansion to our existing boundary to add more terrain?” … which of course is the sticky wicket question.

Other items in the survey I found somewhat disturbing:

Plans to add a tram to Palmyra Peak from the top of Gold Hill Chute 3. WTF? Talk about a MAJOR EYESOR OF THE MILLIONTH DEGREE!!! Apparently, there is a surface lift currently being constructed atop the Gold Hill ridgeline which will provide access to the tram. Hellooooooo …. not sure if they realize how darn windy it gets on the Gold Hill ridge and the top of Palmyra Peak?!?!!!!!! … let alone the cost to bring this system on line?!!!!!!? I can only imagine the engineering & construction costs of what would almost certainly require a line which is completely suspended in the air (minus the two grounded terminals). Yet, this tram might not be used very much … especially during sparse snow years … given the nature of the exposure of the terrain underneath. Let’s keep the cost of lift access down to what is actually necessary so as the greatest number of U.S. citizens can have a reasonable opportunity to afford access to the lift system which serves the ski resort; the vast majority of resides on National Forest Service (i.e. public) lands.

I almost wonder if this tram idea is a “foil” or “decoy” to divert attention away from a lift in Bear Creek? It’s just THAT hair brained … in my opinion.

There’s also an item for a Palmyra Basin lift which is apparently already approved byt he USFS. By the map on the Telski survey, it appears to start near the base of Gold Hill Chute 2 & traverses high up into the Palmyra Basin just below the cliffs. In additional to selecting the “level of importance”, there’s a secondary question which asks:

2. This lift could be considered an alternate to the Delta Lift in Bear Creek. What option do you prefer (choose one only):

-Build both Delta Lift and Palmyra Basin Lift
-Build neither lift
-Build only the Delta Lift
-Build only the Palmyra Basin Lift

Gee … where do I begin?!? (I selected (build niether lift”)

Wow, it keeps getting better, here’s the next question:

In lieu of a chairlift in upper Bear Creek, a tunnel would be built from the bottom of the proposed Delta Lift to the bottom of Gold Hill Express (14).

… again, it’s a “choose the level of importance to you” question.

and “better”:

1. Should we add a lift from Gorrono Ranch to the top of Gold Hill?

… looks like they’re raising the possibility of summer use for this lift too

Again, they’ve just totally missed the mark on how they’re asking questions. Here’s another:

“Should we upgrade Plunge (9) to a high-speed quad in the same alignment?”

… yet were’re supposed select the level of importance without any indication of whether we’re FOR or AGAINST such a measure.

This survey just gets more and more off the charts … beyond the scope of “Save Bear Creek” … it should be “Save the San Juans” … lifts to Ophir & Silverton are apparently on the table.

and it goes on:

“Chairlift connection to Red Mountain Pass
Three chairlifts would connect Telluride to HWY 550 at Red Mountain Pass. A shuttle bus would connect the existing ski area to the first lift at the end of the valley.”

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