All images: Jeff Cricco
When Brooks Curran and girlfriend Charlotte Hoeft were packing their bags for a two-day ski trip to Telluride, they were unsure of the type of conditions they’d sink their edges into—other than skiing inbounds the first day and backcountry the second. Luckily, Nordica’s Unlimited series has removed the giant question mark when it comes to deciding which skis to bring, being the brand’s true do-it-all freeride ski.
The first day, Curran and Hoeft were greeted with freshly groomed, steep corduroy. Skiing fast and firm fall-line groomers, the Unlimited’s ability to both lock into a turn and release with total ease gave Curran and Hoeft total confidence to slice and dice to their hearts’ content while also being able to relax enough and enjoy the incredible views of the historic mining town below. Come lunchtime, the two couldn’t resist making a stop at the on-mountain favorite, Giuseppe’s, for some grub. The second half of the day was chock-full of hot laps on the resort but instead of skiing back down to town at the end of the day, the couple grabbed their stashed packs and headed down the backside of Prospector Bowl into Alta Lakes Observatory.
A luxurious backcountry cabin, the Observatory at Alta Lakes is one of only a few private homes above 11,000 feet. Tucked underneath the 13,000-foot Palmyra and Silver Peaks of the San Juans, the Observatory provides a uniquely comfortable, quiet and accessible backcountry experience. But don’t let all of these adjectives fool you, just outside the front door are a massive array of couloirs and other steep lines for you to test your backcountry skills. Once you’ve hit your vertical max, ski back down to the Observatory for a home-made meal and recovery soak in the hot tub.
On day two, Curran and Hoeft woke up to a fresh layer of snowfall outside their cabin window. Keeping safety top-of-mind, the two decided with the rest of the crew to keep it relatively mellow, forgoing the steepest lines due to the avalanche forecast, but reaping the storm’s benefits nonetheless. Once again, the Unlimited series, available in both Enforcer and Santa Ana models, provide exactly the ski experience the two pros were looking for. Light enough to conserve energy on the skin track yet capable enough to charge through varied conditions, “I don’t think we could have picked a better ski,” says Hoeft. At the end of the day, the team headed back over to the boundaries of the ski area and capped off the weekend with celebratory drinks at The Peaks Resort at the base of the mountain.