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T-12 is the name of the highest peak at the top of the Bear Creek, a stunning basin adjacent to the Telluride Ski Resort.
From the top of Chairs 9, 6, 14, and 15, Bear Creek plunges over 4,000 feet from summit to valley floor, and has earned Telluride the nickname, “The Most Beautiful Place You’ll Ever Ski.” Early surveyors of the Rocky Mountains didn’t bother to give eloquent names to the peaks they found, but rather assigned them letters and numbers, letting future generations and mapmakers do the naming.
“T” stands for Telluride, and the peak is the 12th mountain they came across without a name.
Somehow, the peak remained unnamed after the initial survey parties, and any miner names for the peak have been lost to history.
T-12 is accessed from the Gold Hill backcountry access gates at Telluride Ski Resort, found at the top of Revelation Bowl.
From the highest gate, a short descent down Delta Bowl brings you into the heart of Bear Creek.
Here, many skiers continue down and out Bear Creek to the Town of Telluride, but to ski T-12, you’ll put skins on and wind your way up rolling alpine terrain towards the head of the valley for an hour or two.
There are endless ski runs, all above treeline, to be found in the basin, but the most classic tour is to summit T-12 itself by skinning to its western saddle, then skinning or booting up the broad ridge to the summit.
From there, take your pick of wide-open powder slopes or steep and narrow chutes, all of which are north-facing and hold cold snow all winter long.
Be sure to look around on the skin track, as Bear Creek is one of the most beautiful basins in Colorado.
Ski laps in the basin, or take a long descent of almost 5,000 vertical feet down to the town of Telluride.
This tour involves mandatory exposure to numerous large avalanche paths and should only be attempted in periods of good snowpack stability.