Telluride Ski Resort helicopter operations to begin Aug. 19

Words by Kathrine Warren / Recreation

Telluride Ski Resort will begin helicopter flight operations starting Monday, Aug. 19 and continuing through mid-September. Operational hours will be Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Preliminary helicopter work begins Friday, August 16 with no trail closures.

Due to the flight path and project scope, certain trails will be closed to keep all trail users, like hikers and bikers, safe and out of harm’s way during operational hours. These trails include See Forever, Basin, Prospect Trail and Prospect Loop.

The helicopter operation is part of a Forest Health Mitigation project to improve forest health, reduce wildfire risk, and improve recreation. The focus of the project is within the Lift 9 area and trees will be flown via helicopter from the forest health mitigation units to a decking/processing location in the Chair 10 area. Logging equipment and trucks will be moving through the resort in conjunction with the project.

As the majority of these trees are dead and dying, the potential for limbs/debris falling from the load is high.

“Guests can expect to see ‘CLOSED’ signage on trails and access points, so we ask everyone to please respect these signs and stay safe,” said Scott Pittenger, Director of Mountain Operations at Telluride Ski Resort.

The last time the resort performed this type of operation was during the expansion into Prospect Basin in 1999-2000.