Silverton Mountain

Silverton Mountain in Colorado is unlike any other place you can ski/ride in the U.S. Think of it as the exact opposite of Vail. First of all, just getting there is a commitment, as it's about a 6.5 hour drive from Denver. The last part of the drive titled "The Million Dollar Highway" is about as much fun as you can have on a mountain pass. Switchback after switchback, with very few if any guardrails, and long steep drops off the side. The town itself is the kind of place you can see having gun fights in the street back in the day. That kind of town. Drive about 15 minutes out the back of town, and there is a parking lot. Next to the parking lot is a trailer with skis/snowboards piled on it. Next to that is a 2 person chairlift and a yurt for a lodge. That's it. No bougie villages with people wearing fur boots while sipping on a Hot Toddy. Just friendly people that want to ride. And all those people are earning there turns, because that 2 seater lift only goes 3/4 of the way up. From there, your guide leads you on a hike up ardigeline to the place he chooses for you to drop in. And did I mention that they are only open Friday-Sunday? Which means the snow piles up all week, so you're always getting fresh turns. On top of that, the guides section off the mountain, to keep things fresh for the next two days. The terrain is steep and technical. And fun. If you're a serious skier, you should get to Silverton. I loved it so much and wasn't even in great skiing shape when we were there. It was only my second day riding for the year, and I was just finishing up a month long cross-country road trip. Hell of a cap, but definitely wish I was in better shape. Either way, it was a great time, and I can't wait to go back in March. Did a little bit of shooting while I was there too. Hard not to. On day two, the light was so good, I didn't have a choose. It was partly cloudy, so the sun was peaking in and out of clouds. Creating some surreal conditions. Silverton rocks.