Prospect Express With and Without Storm

Telluride's Prospect Express was installed in 2001, adding a quick 5-minute, thousand-vertical-foot ride that somehow manages to be both sublime and transformative.

The lift not only whisks you up gentle rolling slopes surrounded by incomparable vistas—it also offers ready hike-to access to the otherworldly terrain of Black Iron Bowl and Palmyra Peak.

Expansiveness notwithstanding, I early on began noticing there was something special about riding the Prospect lift in a storm.

I came to enjoy riding the lift almost as much as skiing it, which I (with my backcountry alter-ego) found delightfully ironic. In fact, when I was away from Telluride, I began toying with the idea of creating a video featuring only the lift ride—no actual skiing.

Would anybody else be interested in that, I wondered?

I was interested in it. Maybe it would help tide me over until the next time I was back in Telluride. Getting the video itself, however, proved challenging. I never felt I got anything that did the ride justice. This year, however, using my Hero10, I finally got what I feel is a good result.

I shot the entire length of the ride, bottom to top, on a cold stormy Telluride morning. And then, the following day, when the storm broke, I went back and shot the whole thing again, creating a sunny version.

If you're a chairlift aficionado, I hope you'll enjoy this matched pair of chairlift videos. Perhaps I'll go on to create a video series of me riding the world's best chairlifts—no skiing included, of course. Or perhaps not. A man can dream.

— March 6, 2022

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

Dan Conger March 10, 2022 at 9:04 am

My favorite chair ride is still 23 at Mammoth.

Andy March 10, 2022 at 6:44 pm

I was thinking a riding-Chair 23 video is in order

Brad Brown March 14, 2022 at 2:54 pm

I’m volunteering later this month!!

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