Silverton Mountain Ski Area

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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Silverton Mountain is one of the newest ski and snowboard areas in Colorado and is for advanced and experts only.

Incredible views and steep terrain at Silverton Mountain.

The ski area opened in 2002 and has one double chairlift to take you to the steepest, most powder-filled skiing in the area. To come you need to bring an avalanche beacon, probe pole and a shovel!

From the top of the lift, ski trails descend in every direction. It’s a unique ski resort, in that it only allows unguided skiing only during part of the year.

The mountain also offers single heli-skiing drops for about $160 plus a lift ticket. Their Zone 7 is open for heli-access. The area is ungroomed and for experts only. You may want to take a guide.

On the mountain you’ll find lots of chutes, cliffs, bowls and other natural terrain. The mountain is left in it’s natural state of beauty, with one exception- for avalanche reduction work.

Although it only has one chair lift, it makes up for it by being the highest ski area in North America at 13,487 feet. It is also the steepest, with no greens or blues in sight. The chair lift leads to a cirque with an easy hiking along a ridge, which accesses 1,819 acres of snowfields. The mountain is continually expanding and exploring new terrain high above the tree line.

The base area is at 10,400 feet and the lift-served area is 12,300. Hiking gets you up to the maximum elevation and over 3,000 feet of vertical rise. Thanks to the elevation, Silverton gets over 400 inches of snow per year and has an early and long season. In fact, sometimes the mountain is open through May.

The skiable acres are listed on their website as 1,819 with 0% beginner and intermediate terrain and 100% expert terrain. The easiest terrain has a 35 degree slope, five degrees more than a steep run at an average ski area.

They cap the amount of unguided skiers at 475 daily, although most days have less than 80 skiers on the mountain. Guided tours are either private or in groups of eight people.

The closest airports are Durango (52 miles away), Montrose (50 miles), Telluride (110 miles) and Grand Junction (100 miles). Car rentals are available from all four and are the most common way for guests to arrive at Silverton Mountain.

Contact the resort by calling (970) 387-5706.

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