Silverton Mountain ~



One of the newest facilities in Colorado for skiers and snowboarders, Silverton has its own special niche among the countless ski resorts in the state of Colorado. Silverton has made a name for itself, due to the fact that it only accepts skiers with an expert or advanced certification. This is due to the inherent risk and excitement of handling the extreme terrain of this rugged mountain. Positioned in the San Juan Mountain Range, the southwestern part of the Rocky Mountains, Silverton Mountain possesses heart stopping vertical drops and massive quantities of deep snow.

Due to the limited number of skiers who can access the slopes on a daily basis, it is easy to find virgin snow on almost every pitch. The elevation  of the base area is over 10,000 feet, with the elevation the peak over 12,000 feet. Truly, this is an expert only park, and individual skiing is not allowed. Only back country tour guides can take skiers through the countryside in high season (Jan 15 – Mar 15) which is at times prone to potentially dangerous slides and other natural snow movement.

There is plenty of snow here, with Silverton getting over 400 inches of annual snowfall. These are some of the earliest slopes in Colorado to get new snow in the winters, so check these locations out before winter officially begins.

Get ready for some exciting skiing and snowboarding here, because slopes can angle more than 55 degrees. For expert skiers, there are few places in Colorado better than Silverton.

Silverton Stats

Base Elevation: 10,400 ft
Summit Elevation: 12,300 ft
Vertical Drop: 1,900 ft
Skiable Area: 1,819 acres
Annual Snowfall: 400 in
Number of Lifts: 1
Types of Lifts: 

  • 1 Double Chair


Silverton Reviews:

Will from Boulder, Co                                                                                                          Apr 9, 2008

Don’t be fooled by the title of “ski area,” Silverton mountain is a simulated ski-mountaineering area. In other words, be ready for endless unnecessary hiking and rather little skiing, especially if you are in a high-speed group, which often climb the mountain located behind the normal skiing area (ie. 3 hours of hiking on a mountain without any lift). The guided skiing is really expensive ($130), and gets you a guide that almost always has his own plan for the day, and is rarely open to suggestions (don’t even think about asking to ski near the lift). Additionally, with the exception of one guide I met in town, all the guides have a rather condescending attitude, and are rarely very personable. They all have the most self-righteous, “I’m better than everyone else” attitude, and will tell you lame stories of their self perceived greatness all day long. Also, if you are an experienced back-country skier, paying over $100 for somebody to tell you things you already know is rather annoying. Plus, sometimes I felt that the avalanche danger was rather overplayed, in order to make everything seem more extreme, and to justify the need for a guide. Don’t get me wrong, sure there are parts of the mountain that are extremely dangerous, but there are also sections that I would let a gaper ski on his own. Also, $130 allows you to ride the lift, but when you spend you’re entire day hiking on non-lift serviced terrain, you feel like you’re getting ripped off. And if the snow sucks, and your guides are jerks, and you nicely ask for a refund for your next two days of reservations, you simply are told absolutely not. I mean come on… what happened to costumer satisfaction? Silverton is not the soul of skiing, its a facade of the soul of skiing put on to impress flatlanders and middle-aged men looking for “adventure.” Finally, while the terrain is steep, it’s not actually any more extreme than the stuff you can find on your own out bc gates, and even inbounds at a regular area like the Butte and Jackson. On the other hand, there are some sweet looking lines, but when we asked if we could ski there, we were told all the nice line were reserved for photo shoots, and pro teams. My suggestion for bc skiers with avalanche experience, is to save your money, and do your own touring on the amazing mountains surrounding the area. On the other hand, if you’re nervous about the dangers of the bc, think that a beacon should be strapped to the outside of your jacket, and are blown away by a ski with a 100mm waist, but still want that mountaineering experience, Silverton might just be your type of place. (courtesy –

My Take: Silverton is a wicked mountain; steep, dangerous, and full of promise. I’ve only been there once so far and it was a marginal experience. The terrain is awesome and has huge potential but my day was after a week long dry spell that had our guide shopping for untracked snow and thinking ahead the following days of where he was going to be able to others. We made 4 runs; all were after 10 – 20 minutes of hiking after the lift ride and 3 were pretty lame. Not much vertical and not much skiing. The 4th and last run was excellent; good snow, good vertical, steep pitch. But for the $160 we each paid for lift, guide, avi-tools, it was not a good value. With all that said . . . I’ll be back to Silverton again!

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