By Dan Foldes
The three of us love skiing… hard. Silverton satisfied our collective appetite for steep slopes, open powder fields and “earning our turns.” With only one lift (not counting the bumblebee-like helicopter that pilots experts to otherwise un-gettable peaks) the Mountain has a huge variety of terrain which can be accessed only by strapping one’s skis to backpacks and trudging up in ski boots.
First-time Silverton goers like us are recommended to use guides for the day, and we obliged. Our group of 8 eight skiers – all advanced but opting to ski at a “medium” pace since we’d just arrived at the high altitude from sea level – were guided by 2 very knowledgeable and positive individuals. Dave was helpful to us from the moment we met him – which happened to be the day before we arrived at Silverton when he volunteered to swap seats on a plane to Durango in order not to interrupt a heated Travel Scrabble match. He was a just as nice of a person, and great to ski with when we reunited with him at the Mountain. Our other guide Sheldon was a familiar face as one of our classmates at The Colorado College.
We were proud of the 4 total runs we accomplished in our day at Silverton, which included slick river crossings, pickup truck shuttle rides, and a rare short-tailed weasel sighting. Incredible views of the San Juan Range, really deep snow, and many unique backcountry moments separated our day at Silverton from any other ski day any of us had ever had. If you are feeling adventurous and you have been properly fueled for the day by one of Michael Constantine’s deliberately nutritious quiche breakfasts at the Inn of the Rockies, Silverton Mountain is a must-ski backcountry experience like no other.