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Silverton Mountain, Silverton, CO - 3/2/13

ski stef

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Mar 25, 2011
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Location
Breckenridge, Colo.
Date(s) Skied: March 2, 2013

Resort or Ski Area: Silverton Mountain

Conditions: Blue sky, temps in high 30s, soft snow, POW

Trip Report: Ah, the day finally came! About 4 weeks ago we started talking about this gem Colorado had to offer. The more we talked about it the more we decided we should make this become a reality. VDK03's birthday was coming up so I figured what the hey, let's book it. We got 6 other friends to join us and the rest was easy from there.

We used Silverton Property Management and were able to reserve a quaint 3 bed/3 bath house for the 8 of us for 2 nights.

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We left Breckenridge around 11 on Friday, March 1st for the roughly 5.5 hour trek to Silverton. Stopped in Gunnison to pick up Jim's friend Adam and continued on. We got in right around 5 and before meeting up with the other car we drove up to check out the mountain (about 6 miles away). You can't see much from the base but the single chair lift that takes you up over the first ridge and a half buried camper.

Took it easy Friday night, had some lasagna and baked ziti and some birthday cake for Jimmo's 27th!
:lol: We were all in bed by 10 to get up early the next morning.

Woke up the next morning around 6:45 to bright blue sunny skies and warm temperatures. Couldn't have been happier with the way the weather turned out for us. We drove the 6 miles to the mountain and parked our car. There were probably about 20 other cars there (there were sold out for the day, which means only 80 people on the mountain). I had brought my Atomic skis with me but after talking with some of the guys around the area, I decided to rent a pair of K2 Obsethed skis from the guys.

The set up is a little different than most resorts...where as their is no real building, no running water of such at the base. You walk up and people are milling about right by the lift. You have to walk up a set of snow stairs to a wall tent (about 30'x30') where you need to fill out your waivers and get your tickets for the day. Since I was renting skis I actually had to walk out the back door of the tent and up another set of snow stairs to an old bus where the emergency exit was the door. You walk into this bus and there are a couple of guys setting people up with skis and another guy handing out the rented avy gear.

After getting all squared away we headed back down to the lift area where people where still splitting up into their groups for the day. We had our own solid group of seven, 3 snowboarders and 4 skiers, but because they were sold out we got a single thrown into our group. He was a snowboarder from New Jersey and had been to Silverton several times before. We finally met our guide for the day and the next half hour was all about avalanche safety. Roof (our guide) checked everyones gear and then went over several different senarios and how to handle them.

After what seemed like an eternity we got onto the lift and were off and running. The lift dropped you off in a saddle with the summit up to your right that has all types of chutes dropping off both the front and backsides; there was a wide open bowl right below you; and a ridge up to the left that you could drop off the front or left of into trees and a bowl on the right side.

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We waited to hear what the plan was from Roof as they have a pretty good system of keeping the groups in different areas of the resort so everyone feels like they have the place to themselves. A few groups had already headed up to the summit so we were going to go up the left ridge and drop into the bowl. I think that the guides like to do a bit of a 'feeler' run to see just exactly what their working with for the day.

Our guide took us to our first run called Riff and he dropped into the bowl first and we all watched as he rode down through untouched powder and started drooling. He gave the wave signaling for the next rider to drop in and vdk03 hit it, after about ten turns we all heard him let out a cheer of joy. One after another we dropped in and charged through the knee deep snow hooting and hollering the whole way down. We just realized what kind of a day we had signed up for.

After our second run through some trees on the front side of the same ridge the single that had been thrown into our group 'decided to sit the next one out' since we were taking the boot pack up to nearly the summit. The hike up top took us about 45 minutes and brought us up to about 12,900 feet. The true summit there is 13,487' but is mainly used just for heli drops. The hike up was pretty hairy even with a well established bootpack, however we lucked out that there was no wind at this elevation. There was a fixed rope for the sketchyest section and the last 30" was so steep that it sort of turned into a scramble. After we all made it up we strapped the gear on and listened to the carefully laid out plan by Roof.

The hike up:
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We dropped into a wide chute known as Pope Face and carefully worked our way down and then traversed hard right once out of the chute. The powder field right out in front of us (known as Hanging & Hidden Valley) looked amazing but unfortunately was off limits because it hadn't been patroled yet. Roof was crystal clear in his instuctions and how we had to hop some rocks and scoot down about 25' on the edge of the powder field. This was the probably most worked up we saw Roof all day, the pitch was super steep and the snow probably would have given way had somebody swept to far right. Once we got through this section we had short traverse back left and then it opened up into this beautiful steep powder field. This run was probably the best of the day, just because the pitch was so steep with deep snow and it seemed never ending. We all made it down in one piece, but thats not saying there weren't some amazing cartwheel type wipeouts. We took the cat-track back down to the road and just as we arrived so did the old school bus to take us back to the lift.

Our fourth run was a tree run off the front of the mountain that I'll throw in the footage for the video. It was a good run off the front that was called Concussion which took us to Concussion Woods and Super Snapper which eventually funneled us out into a half pipe roller the rest of the way down.

Our final run (5th run) was the right way to end our day. Instead of boot packing it to the top, our guide took us to a run called The Three Stooges. There are three runs in their obviously called Larry, Curly and Moe. These runs hadn't been touched in over a week or so our guide said and it was some of the steepest & deepest tree skiing I've ever done. At some points you just looked forward and wondered, "where the hell does it go?"

After we took our final bus ride back to the lift we all got our boots off and were able to grab some beers and souvenirs with our guide and the other skiers/boarders/tele skiers of the day. I could have sat there all night drinking the beers being served but our good buddy Dave had purchased a keg and it was time for damage control on that. We went back to the house, had some chili, drank 'some' beer and watched our footage from the day. A day that I will never forget!

Some pics below, video to follow soon!

ME! right at the base of the summit for the bootpack

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the somewhat sketchy boot pack climb to the top

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I am working now on the video footage we rolled all day, but just wanted to throw in a few shots to give you all a taste.

Our group at the end of the day

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Cornhead

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Dec 4, 2010
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Nice TR Stef, looks like quite the adventure! Looking forward to the video also, kudos.
 

octopus

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May 4, 2008
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mass
wicked cool:beer:. did u get a chance to go to san juan? i like that house, too
 

ScottySkis

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Jan 16, 2011
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Location
Middletown NY
Nice nice nice report, have fun times out in the West. Thanks for great trip reports, keep me happy to see beautiful mountains.:thumbup::):):):)
 
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