Silverton Travel Guide, Colorado
Silverton Mountain is a relatively new resort opened for business in 2002, but it is not a typical ski area. It is the highest Ski Area in North America with a peak of 13,487' which is not very difficult to reach by hiking. Being at such high elevation ensures an early and long season with plenty of snow. The base lies at 10,400' with a peak lift served elevation of 12,300'.
The resort is located in Silverton with Durango being the closest town. You need about 1 hour from Durango to get to Silverton Mountain and the drive can be dangerous if you don’t have a 4-wheel drive especially when it’s snowing as you will have to drive over a mountain pass. You have to arrange your own way to get there as there are no shuttles.
Skiing on Silverton Mountain is quite an experience as you’ll get to ski on the steepest way down and you won’t even have to hike to get to it you can skiing right off the lift. It is a mountain exclusively for the advanced and expert skier and those who enjoy adventure. The mountain is unspoilt by tourism and it is left in its natural state, except the avalanche reduction work done by the ski patrollers. The wonderful views and extreme natural terrain on this largely undeveloped mountain are available only for the experienced skiers and getting here is possible only with reservations.
The average number of people you’ll see around in the resort most days is 80. This is definitely not a crowded place and you will always find new terrain and new powder opportunities on a daily basis. Skiing is mostly guided with small number of skiers but there is unguided skiing, too depending on the time of year.
Arriving here you will feel like you are among those few special people who can get here for extreme experience on the highest peaks of the San Juan Mountains. Being an area aimed at expert skiers, you won’t really see kids around and it is not advisable to bring little ones as they will get quite bored. Even if you know your way around the ski resorts, here you will find something different as Silverton Mountain is like no other. Be sure you get informed about the guided and unguided skiing days and you arrive in the period that suits you. Most important is to arrive around 8:15-8:30 am if you plan on going in a guided group as you’ll need time to get your gear by the time the lift starts.
As for equipment, you will need avalanche gear if you want to ride the lift; you need to have a beacon, shovel, some type of pack that carries skis/snowboard, water, food, and extra clothes. You can get DaKine packs for rent.
There’s a single chair lift takes lucky skiers up at the top of a beautiful cirque and from 12,300 feet they can hike along ridgelines and descend 2,000 feet back to the base.
Skiing and snowboarding are not the only activities around, there‘s mind blowing and backcountry terrain which is perfect and quite different from what the other skiing areas have. It does not get tracked down easily as ticket sales are limited.
Here you will find winter activities as they should be and as they once were, they are on the priority list and not the fabulous income. So there’s little development around and there’s no need for luxurious lodging and high speed lifts what they provide is more challenging lift accessed skiing.
Is close to be the Mecca for expert lift served adventure skiing. Summer activities are also appreciated as the resort is opened in the warmer season too. You can find here Colorado’s best downhill trail network for advanced riders and the highest summer scenic chairlift in North America.
Being at Silverton Mountain gives you the feeling of being on top of the world in a majestic natural setting where the spirit is set free from the everyday.
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