|Our Silverton Cabin|
Before I share my opinions about this resort, I must mention that we were there in the spring and the days we skiied were far from ideal. We arrived March 13th and stayed for 3 days. It was quite warm and snowed only once on the afternoon of our 3rd day. Our group had mixed opinions.
We picked March because that is when we had time available, and in my experience, tends to be a pretty good time to visit Colorado resorts. However, my experience, prior to this trip, was mostly in Summit and Eagle Counties. From what we heard, at Silverton, the snow tends to be better in January and February. The last time it had snowed, by the time we arrived, was Saturday the 9th of March. However, the resort is closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, so when we arrived on Thursday there was still plenty of un-skied mountain available (actually there was still a fair amount available 3 days later when we left).
Our group was made up of five guys of somewhat similar fitness (Arturo puts most of us to shame) and skiing/boarding ability. I drove out to Colorado with my wife and daughter about 2 weeks earlier to visit friends and family. Arturo and Marc joined us in Denver a week later to do some skiing at Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek. Bill and Regis flew into Durango one day ahead of time (not recommended as the elevation at the top of the ski lift is at 12,300 ft.) Bill, Regis and Marc were taking Diamox. None of us are back country skiers and this kind of skiing was a first for many of us.
Sites along the way to Silverton from Denver (left to right): View from the Road, Monarch Pass, Blue Mesa Reservoir, & The Ice Climbing Park in Ouray.
The morning we arrived it was quite cold and I was slightly under-dressed as I knew it was going to warm up. Our first hike took about 45 minutes and I was plenty warm by the time we reached the drop in point. I found the hike to be relatively easy at the pace we were going, which surprised me. What also surprised me was how hard I was breathing after the first few turns of my first run. This tended be the theme of the weekend for me. Hiking was ok, but I was working way too hard for my turns (due to a loose base and heavy, wet snow). But for all my huffing and puffing, I was really enjoying the fresh tracks, beautiful views, and interesting lines.
First Morning in Silverton: Silverton Mountain Correctional Facility Bus & Checking Oxygen Levels.
|The Lodge (photo by Marc)|
Silverton Colorado - Photos from Day 1
The first two days we were there it was cold in the morning and way, way too warm in the afternoon. This meant the snow was less than ideal. Out guide however, did a great job of getting us to the right place at the right time to find the best snow possible, and I have to admit I was quite surprised by how good it could be. Day 3, the skies clouded over and things didn't warm up as much. We expected the worse. However with a bit more hiking we still found some lovely stashes. Crusty at the top, then wonderful, then heavy, then down right slushy. I was working hard all three days, but thoroughly enjoyed every run (of course some were better than others). Again, the views, the terrain, and the uniqueness of the experience more than made up for the lack of freshies for me.
Photos from Day Two
|Photo by Marc|
Regis, on the other hand, is not one known to complain much. He however, was having a pretty rough time with the altitude. He had flown in to Durango directly from the San Francisco bay area the day before and was having a hard time finding the energy to either hike or turn. Bill had done the same, but was much less affected. After a day and a half of feeling as if he was working on less than a full lung, Regis decided to forfeit his 3rd day and ski somewhere lower. I don't think he considered his weekend totally blown, but I do think he wishes he could have taken more advantage of such a lovely mountain.
I hope I'm not off base here by sharing the opinions of others. They are more than welcome to correct me in the comments. I'd love to here Bill and Arturo's thoughts as well. Also, you can also check out Marc's report of the trip (http://marc.merlins.org/perso/snow/post_2013-03-14_3-More-Days-in-Silverton.html) from his blog.
Photos from Day 3
Including out hike to the Billboard.
Last Run on our Last Day.
So would I recommend Silverton? I guess I'd have to say... it depends. It would have a lot to do with who was asking the question.
Speaking of questions, if anyone has one, feel free to leave a comment below.
Here is link to a slideshow with more photos:
|Silverton Ski Trip|