This week’s storm that barreled out of the Great Basin and smacked into southwest Colorado dumped abundant snow on the upper reaches of Silverton Mountain, giving the area’s ski patrollers a chance to get in some sweet turns Monday for the first lift-served skiing of the season.
It helps that Silverton boasts the highest lift-served terrain in North America, topping out at 13,487 feet. The season’s first skiers took the lift to 12,300 feet and hiked up about another 600 feet, said Jen Brill, who co-owns the small but burly Silverton operation with her husband, Aaron. Up high it looked like winter.
“The light was flat, the snow was cold and the stoke was high,” said Silverton patroller Skylar Holgate.
Silverton is a unique mountain with one chairlift, no grooming or snowmaking, nearly 3,100 of vertical drop and terrain suited exclusively for advanced and expert skiers. It’s located 324 miles from Denver, 48 miles north of Durango in Colorado’s Four Corners region.
Silverton typically opens in December, and for now, its projected opening date remains Dec. 27, but that could change depending on snowfall. Helicopter skiing there is slated to begin in late November.