Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 9, 2008 - 04:49pm PT
Took a winter road trip with Ed this weekend, to Silverton in southwest Colorado. Itís a unique ski area. There is only one lift, and it gets you access to a ridge at 12,000 feet. You then hike the ridge to get to the runs, so itís more like lift-assisted backcountry skiing than a regular ski resort. Avalanche danger is ever-present in the San Juans, so you go in small groups with a guide, and you ski with backcountry protocol: one at a time, from one safe spot to another.
We stopped on the way at McClure Pass for a short run in a nice aspen grove.
Then we motored south. Here is the Silverton base area in its entirety.
The ridge you hike rises from 12,000 feet to 13,000 feet. Note the hikers on the skyline.
The old lift used was retired from Mammoth and then shipped here.
Here is our group at the bottom of a run.
Ed at the end of our first run.
There is a tent heated by a wood stove, instead of a base lodge.
Hadnít snowed for a while, so it wasnít the full-blown powder experience one hopes for, but a fine time, nonetheless.
A good friend of mine skies Silverton frequently. She and a bunch of other people went up to Montana and took a lift to some airy ridge. Scared the living sh#t out of everyone. The hike to the chutes was sketchy and one boarder nearly endoed off a cliff trying to mount his ride. Montana sounds pretty far out.
Todd-Ed had a kitchen pass for the weekend.
-Ran into Mal doing an ice climbing clinic in Ouray.
-Speaking of ice climbing, on the drive, Ed regaled me with the tale of the first ascent of the complete Sentinel Falls with Dick Leversee. Great story. I urged him to write it up and post it here sometime.