hiking is not the issue, skiing many feet of vert is. expect moderately strenuous hikes at the most and less than 20 minute durations. most hikes simply traversed with slight inclines, while one or two offered steep boot pack for minimal vert. our group was the fastest on the mountain last time and we got in 6 (or was it 7) runs by skipping lunch and skiing 'til the bitter end. the coverage was quite good with 24 - 30" of fresh. what the hell, it was epic. our group is again scheduled for 2/11/06 and we're hoping for a change in the storm track!
it helps to have 8 skiers or riders with equal talent, as that's the magic number for getting your own group and minimizing waiting times due to differing abilities.
as far as i gathered the amount of hiking depends on the recent snows. if it hasnt snowed in a while you may have to hike farther because they want to give you good skiing. It is deffinately sick terrain, but i don't think ill go back. it is very expensive for what you get. I got 5 runs. They were all great, but I can get two runs in a day of equal caliber hiking for free, or 20 runs of lesser quality at an area for much cheaper. cool idea but not for me.
aside from boot packing, the hiking was manageable. Not sure of the status this year, but you have to skirt some mining claims and work some ridge lines. It appears to me that the further out you hike the sicker the terrain, but I've never had the opportunity to get that far out. If you did end up hiking alot, I'd expect it to be well worth it.
i'd have to agree with briank in that its marginally worth it as far as runs per dollar goes. the first time is cool because you can say you've done it and can share the experience with others. had we not had fantastic snow, my opinion would likely not be so positive as to the skiing. but the guides are cool (mostly) and you can tell your kids that you skied silverton before the developers got to it. its only a matter of time.
bottom line is if you're backcountry savy, the value decreases. but really, any excuse to get down to the san juans is good enough for me...
its true also that the long hikes accessing the "way the f*&k back there" terrain don't open until conditions stabilize in the spring.
Silverton Blows! Biggest rip off in the ski industry. We paid $125 for skiing from 11am to 2:30pm and a shit load of attitude. Our group was stout with life time pass holders, patrolers, and a rowdy Durango crew. I left feeling like I had my car stereo stolen. The guides I know that work there say they hear more complaints than anything. The terrain is sic the operation is a joke!
F silverton!! I dont care how gnarly they say they are, what good is it if they dont let you touch it. And 5 runs!!! I'll never pay for anything that only allows 5 runs- cat's, heli's, chairlifts, whatever! I've got friends who have worked there and they have to constantly remind of the blow factor down there. Homeboy said they farm everything, I just aint down with that. $125!?!! I'll just earn those 5 runs. nigga please!
1. Don't bring your dogs; the Owner has an Akita who can be mean, so therefore customers dogs are not welcome. That's their customer service in a nutshell.
2. Fill your group of 8 or risk a day with a rookie who can ruin your day. As soon as I saw the resort Queen rush into the Yurt late I had a really bad feeling, and it came true, her and her boy were put in our group and they sucked! In all fairness this is true with any Heli or cat trip, always fill your group or pay the difference for a private guide, it will be worth it.
3. Spend the next day with El Diablo snow cat on Molas pass. We got 17 runs with those guys, 4 with Silverton.
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