Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Silverton Mountain - Free at Last

If Silverton Mountain, rated tops for steeps and powder among North American Resorts, is not on your radar screen it should be. After six long years of legal battles, environmental impact studies, BLM paperwork and applications and too many sleepless nights for owners Aaron and Jenny Brill the time has finally arrived that Silverton is open for skiing and riding just like any other hill in North America. That is you buy a lift ticket and you ride the hill.

After the announcement ski message boards lit up with excitement and enthusiasm for this next step for Silverton. Photos and trip reports have been the talk.

As one that has skied Silverton on two separate occasions when it was guided skiing only this news makes me so stoked for those that have had a chance to ride Silverton on their own.

From the press release:
Silverton Mountain is unique as it is the only all-expert ski area in the nation with no beginner or intermediate routes down the mountain.

Skiers are now allowed to brave this intense mountain on their own as long as they carry appropriate avalanche safety gear including avalanche transceivers and sign liability releases.

Because the mountain is extremely challenging, skiers should expect to encounter cliffs larger than 20 feet high (with some cliffs as large as 150 feet high) or slopes steeper than 50 degrees on portions of every ski run on the mountain. Professional ski guides will still be available for those who want guided skiing.

When was the last time your local hill used the words "all-expert ski area" and "brave this intense mountain" and required that you use an avalanche beacon? Yes indeed, Silverton is the real deal.

April is a notoriously epic month for them. What are you waiting for?

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