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Silverton $199 pass?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

What's the catch here? I don't see blackout dates mentioned anywhere.  This seems like an epic good deal for people like me that do casual visits to CO.  Any other comparable deals out there?

 

Unguided skiing at Silverton Mountain; 5 free ski days at Arapahoe Basin; 5 free ski days at Monarch; 5 free ski days at Loveland; $79 standby guided skiing; 1/2 price standby heli drops; and $2.00 Premium draft beers all season

 

https://www.silvertonmountain.com/page/store/passes

post #2 of 29

I'm not 100% clear what this means:

 

December 21st – January 5th

Unguided skiing. Guides available for those who want guided skiing at that time, guides can take you beyond the unguided boundaries. Dates for skiing early season are December 21st and 22nd, December 28th and 29th, January 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

 

January 10th – March 30th

Guided Only Skiing. January 10th, 11th and 12th, Jan 17th, 18th, and 19th. Then open Thursday through Sunday (plus Presidents Day Monday) through March 23rd. March 28th, 29th, and 30th. Guided Only Skiing with approx 80 skiers a day. Reservations for guided skiing/boarding available now.

 

April 4th – April 13th

Unguided skiing returns. Guides still available for those who want guided skiing at that time, guides can take you beyond the unguided boundaries. Dates of operation for April are April 4th, 5th, and 6th
April 11th, 12th, and 13th.

 

http://www.silvertonmountain.com/page/mountain/operation

 

Edit: 5 days each at Loveland, A-Basin and Monarch for $199 is worth it, if there isn't a catch there.

post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

I'm not 100% clear what this means:

 

December 21st – January 5th

Unguided skiing. Guides available for those who want guided skiing at that time, guides can take you beyond the unguided boundaries. Dates for skiing early season are December 21st and 22nd, December 28th and 29th, January 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

 

January 10th – March 30th

Guided Only Skiing. January 10th, 11th and 12th, Jan 17th, 18th, and 19th. Then open Thursday through Sunday (plus Presidents Day Monday) through March 23rd. March 28th, 29th, and 30th. Guided Only Skiing with approx 80 skiers a day. Reservations for guided skiing/boarding available now.

 

April 4th – April 13th

Unguided skiing returns. Guides still available for those who want guided skiing at that time, guides can take you beyond the unguided boundaries. Dates of operation for April are April 4th, 5th, and 6th
April 11th, 12th, and 13th.

 

http://www.silvertonmountain.com/page/mountain/operation

 

Edit: 5 days each at Loveland, A-Basin and Monarch for $199 is worth it, if there isn't a catch there.

 

Yes ... this is really the key, almost, and the cut-rate guided days and heli drops. THe unguided season looks to be very short this year. If you already have a VR pass or Loveland pass, it's a little less worth it, but this is perfect for the Copper/WP skier who wants a few days at Loveland and ABasin and might make it to Silverton once. 

 

Edit ... not only is unguided only 13 days, but if they are selling a lot of these passes (which I guess they would!), it will be crowded on those 13 days, I'm guessing. 

 

It is still a great deal, though, I think. For all the other stuff.

post #4 of 29

So... do you give $199 to the guys who operate out of a tent just to get 15 days of skiing at other areas?  It seems like it might be too good to be true.  Anybody done it?

post #5 of 29

I have skied about a dozen days of unguided at Silverton Mt. since they started it the second year of their operation.  It was never crowded by any conventional definition of the term.  I skied the first day of spring unguided last April and there were not 100 people on the entire mountain.  Excellent day of top to bottom spring conditions.  Most runs my friends and I were the only ones on the run. Best skiing on the planet for $50 when the conditions are good IMO.  I've been there when they've had 300-400 people (a rare very occurrence in the past) and it was still uncrowded skiing.  Only hassle was having to wait for another shuttle pickup.

 

Not sure how much there are charging for unguided by the day this season, but  the $199 pass sounds like a very good deal, even if you only get to SM a couple of days a year and use a few of the free tickets at other places.

post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

I have skied about a dozen days of unguided at Silverton Mt. since they started it the second year of their operation.  It was never crowded by any conventional definition of the term.  I skied the first day of spring unguided last April and there were not 100 people on the entire mountain.  Excellent day of top to bottom spring conditions.  Most runs my friends and I were the only ones on the run. Best skiing on the planet for $50 when the conditions are good IMO.  I've been there when they've had 300-400 people (a rare very occurrence in the past) and it was still uncrowded skiing.  Only hassle was having to wait for another shuttle pickup.

 

Not sure how much there are charging for unguided by the day this season, but  the $199 pass sounds like a very good deal, even if you only get to SM a couple of days a year and use a few of the free tickets at other places.

 

I should have put quotation marks around "crowded." :-)  "Silverton crowded."  That was a bit tongue in cheek.

 

However, depending on conditions, again, there might not be that much terrain open, so although it won't be crowded, you might not be getting the acres of untracked that you've driven 8 hr for. I skied an unguided day there where hardly anything was open due to avy danger, and it was a lot more like your typical resort pow day, yes a bunch of fresh tracks but definitely not all day. And it was not "crowded" at all, as all the passes were closed and then they shut down the road in as well, for a few hours!

 

The cool thing about Silverton is that you never know exactly what you are going to get -- that's all.

post #7 of 29

 

 

 

 

During the unguided skiing they also have guided and they always restrict some of the terrain for the higher paying guided customers, but there is generally enough open terrain to keep everyone happy.  Often times the early season unguided has very slim coverage and is a real rock festival. Don't be fooled by the pictures and videos they always post in November of some guy making powder turns on the top half of the mountain, you still have to ski another 1,500 vert to get to the bottom every run. That's not to say that if you take fat rock skis and low expectations, and hit it just right you can't get some righteous December powder on occasion.

 

Everybody goes to Silverton with stars in their eyes. The place is truly amazing but incredibly over-hyped. I always tell people to go with rock skis and low expectations and you will have an epic day. It probably just will not be the one you expected.

 

 

 

 

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

So... do you give $199 to the guys who operate out of a tent just to get 15 days of skiing at other areas?  It seems like it might be too good to be true.  Anybody done it?

 

The catch is your unguided season lasts for 3 weeks. Plus, all the Loveland, Monarch, and Abay season passholders are planning their Silverton trips during that same unguided period to use their free Silverton day(s).

 

I didn't make it to Silverton during my first year last year, but have talked a lot with the skiers in the area about what the deal is.  As the poster above me mentions, terrain is limited during the unguided days- most of the mountain can only be visited by using a guide- at least somewhat justified from the avalanche risk- this is an area avalanche mitigated a lot more in line with a heli operation than a ski area.

 

A big snow storm during the unguided season can make things "crowded," which means about 100 people. But that is 100 advanced skiers hitting the best of the limited lines available. 

 

I guess the season pass could be one of those things that would be a better deal for a front ranger than a local- I looked at the price and couldn't justify buying it in addition to a Wolf Pass.

 

EDIT- ok, the more I think about this, the more appealing it looked, so I checked- last year the unguided pass price for the same perks was $399. This is a pretty good deal, and I'm considering pulling the trigger.


Edited by anachronism - 7/15/13 at 8:42pm
post #9 of 29

I talked it over with my wife, and it looks like we are both going to buy Unguided Passes. We ski Monarch every year, usually ski Loveland over Christmas with family, and have really wanted to get out to Abay but haven't found tickets to justify it.  Considering Loveland's $130 4 pack is a great deal, getting 11 more days on top of that is rocking.

 

No to mention the days at Silverton. :)

 

Here's to hoping Wolf opens before Halloween this year and we can have non-WROD skiing from October-June. 

 

Thanks for the heads up!

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

Good info guys, thanks!

post #11 of 29

I guess this pass needs to be picked up at Silverton Mt though?  No mailing it sounds like from the info section?

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManyRuns View Post

I guess this pass needs to be picked up at Silverton Mt though?  No mailing it sounds like from the info section?

 

My wife and I purchased this last night, and the information we got in the e-mail confirmation seems to confirm that the pass needs to be picked up in person. Perhaps it will be a busy opening day?

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

 

My wife and I purchased this last night, and the information we got in the e-mail confirmation seems to confirm that the pass needs to be picked up in person. Perhaps it will be a busy opening day?

Makes sense, this would keep one from using it solely as a LL/AB/Monarch pass...

post #14 of 29

I think this is the relevant passage. Seems pretty specific that you need to show up in person. I sent an e-mail asking about where the office is and when it is open, as I probably would like to pick up my pass before they open December 21- depending on when Wolf Creek opens, I may be making a journey up to Loveland.

 

When I get an e-mail response about office details, I'll post it.

 

Quote:

When Can I Pick Up My Pass?
You may pick up your pass at the office, or at the tent at Silverton Mountain on opening day. All passholders must check-in each day at the tent prior to boarding the lift. Your Season Pass and personal photo ID (driver’s license etc.) must be shown in order to receive your ticket for the day. Please keep in mind that we cannot call the ticket offices at A-Basin, Monarch, or Loveland. You will need to show your Silverton Mountain Pass and photo ID in order to claim your free days at those areas. There will be a $35 charge for all lost season passes.

post #15 of 29

Bummer.  Add two tanks of gas and 12 hours of driving roundtrip to Denver onto the $199 pass price.

post #16 of 29

E-mail response from Silverton:

Quote:
Passes will be available for pickup on October 1st. Our office hours are Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM. You can also call at that time and we can get them in the mail for you. 

 

Seems there is the option to not have to show up in person, but I would call to confirm details before ordering.

 

Otherwise, your options are to take a weekday trip to Silverton (I'm not sure of the exact office address) or waiting till at least December 21 to take a Silverton trip to pick your pass up at the area.

 

EDIT: Please please please do your homework on this. I posted this as an FYI, but I really do not want people to take my word on this- I realize in my e-mail to them I mentioned I lived in the area. If you are not in a position to pick up your pass in person, instead of relying on this post and assuming they will mail, please contact them and make an arrangement. This deal has hit TGR too, and if they get a ton of orders from the front range, they may change things to keep their partners happy.

 

On the flipside, the San Juans in October are pretty awesome if you have to drive for your pass.


Edited by anachronism - 7/18/13 at 12:09pm
post #17 of 29

I just pulled the trigger on this too. Not very likely that I'll be making it to Silverton this year.  Was considering a 4 pack at either Loveland and Abasin and now get 5 days at each. Good addition to some days at Winter Park.   As far as mailing the pass, here is the email response I got from Silverton Mountain:

 

Thanks for thinking of us! Passes will be available October 1st. At that time we can certainly mail your pass to you in order to take advantage of early season skiing at participating resorts. Just let us know after October 1st if you would like your pass mailed.
 
post #18 of 29

Wow, interesting... but doesn't Silverton need your picture for the pass before they can mail it?

 

I'm absolutely fascinated by the business deal aspects of all these season pass relationships between the ski areas.   How did Silverton get 5 days at Loveland for 1 day unguided in return?   Are there dollars changing hands too?   What's to keep Silverton from setting up a booth at Sniagrab and selling the snot out of those passes for $199?  It would be the best deal on the front range.  Crazy...

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

 

I'm absolutely fascinated by the business deal aspects of all these season pass relationships between the ski areas.   How did Silverton get 5 days at Loveland for 1 day unguided in return?   Are there dollars changing hands too?   What's to keep Silverton from setting up a booth at Sniagrab and selling the snot out of those passes for $199?  It would be the best deal on the front range.  Crazy...

 

I don't think money changes hands in most cases.

 

I think it is usually a straight up trade, the standard 3 days for 3 days swap. 

 

In cases like this one where there is a disparity between the trade, prestige and number of passholders tend to drive it.

 

In this case, I think the 5 for asymmetry in this deal is driven by the fact that

 

1. Having a Silverton day built into your pass serves as kind of a halo.  I've heard countless people at both Loveland and Monarch bring up that their pass included Silverton, and at the same time, I've only met one girl from either mountain that actually used it. People talk about Silverton a lot differently than they talk about say, 3 days at Purgatory.

 

2. There is a TINY base of Silverton passholders compared to Monarch, Loveland, and Abay. Combined, those mountains have enough visitors in a single day to match Silvertons entire season. It wouldn't take many free-skiing Silverton visitors to absolutely mob the place, while the number of Silverton passholders visiting these other places wouldn't even register.

 

Another example of Asymmetry is Monarch and Copper/Winter Park. Monarch passholders get 1 day, Copper and Winter Park get 3. This may be a bad deal for Monarch if many RMSP holders took up the offer, but many Denver skiers consider Monarch too far, so they may not. On the flipside, it may be a great deal for Monarch as Monarch's main skier base is Colorado Springs, and CS skiers would be wiling to drive and use the Copper and WP days. Still, imagine the shitshow if Monarch gets the snow and RMSP holders mob the area...

 

Wolf Creek cited this kind of issue as the reason they have stopped partnering with anybody- Partner area passholders tend to use their Wolf Creek passes a lot more than Wolf Creek skiers did the reverse.  They used to share days with Taos, but stopped after having a capacity lot filled with New Mexico plates on big storms crowding out the paying crowd. Considering the number of Summit County and Denver skiers that come down on weekends that a big storm is forecast, I believe it.

 

Silverton has been offering the 15 days for several years. the difference is the pass is usually $400, so this is the first year they seem to be getting attention outside the local market.  I think the biggest thing that keeps them from running Denver TV spots on their pass is that if they took steps to actively poach business, the agreement would end.

 

One question I have: I don't show on Arapahoe Basin any mention of a Silverton day? What are they getting out of the deal?

post #20 of 29

The $80 heli ski drop that you get with this pass is pretty awesome too.

post #21 of 29

I have some more info.

 

1. The pass does not have a photo, but they ask their partners to ask for photo ID matching the pass when it is redeemed.

 

2. They will mail the pass according to their confirmation letter that I got by e-mail today.

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

The $80 heli ski drop that you get with this pass is pretty awesome too.

 

 

But because of that, I won't ever book a heli trip there again, except a private on a day the hill is closed.

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 

 

But because of that, I won't ever book a heli trip there again, except a private on a day the hill is closed.

Can you share why?

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Everybody goes to Silverton with stars in their eyes. The place is truly amazing but incredibly over-hyped. I always tell people to go with rock skis and low expectations and you will have an epic day. It probably just will not be the one you expected.

One area of overhype is the snowfall, which is averages a bit over 300 inches of Colorado fluff on predominantly steep terrain, according to Knox Williams, who ran the Colorado Avalanche Information Center for 30+ years.  Combined with notorious snow stability issues, the early season unguided skiing is likely to be worth the trouble once in a blue moon IMHO.  The justifiably cautious attitude toward snow stability makes it no surprise that the unguided terrain is a modest fraction of the guided terrain.  Nonetheless for Colorado locals the free days at the other areas and the discount for guided skiing make this an attractive deal.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Can you share why?

 

With a waiting pool of skiers willing to shell out $159/lift,  there's just too much temptation to overbook the single heli. 

 

They have good terrain, close in.  Next time I'll book a private on a day the hill isn't open and pay for Hobbs. Three good groups of four could probably get 20 runs each,  instead of 6 and not pay much more.

post #26 of 29

How do you get 20 runs???  That sounds interesting.  Otherwise, I'm not going back for 6 runs (or less).  If I drive all the way down there, I'd rather ski San Juan Ski Company, T-ride or CB and get some vertical.  It's kinda funny I'm strongly considering buying a pass from an area I have almost zero interest skiing.

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 

With a waiting pool of skiers willing to shell out $159/lift,  there's just too much temptation to overbook the single heli. 

 

They have good terrain, close in.  Next time I'll book a private on a day the hill isn't open and pay for Hobbs. Three good groups of four could probably get 20 runs each,  instead of 6 and not pay much more.

 

I get you. Have you run into this issue in practice?

 

I ask because the website says STANDBY heli drops, and the website seems to make things very clear that full price customers get priority, down to being first in line when they fire up the lift (lift is only run when enough people have hit the terminal to justify turning it on).

post #28 of 29
Yes, we had fun and got our 6 2000ft runs, but just barely. A lot of waiting for the ship.

In AK, I've had a 4 group ship, get 13 4000ft runs over a much larger area. But Samus is a really good pilot and he runs a tight ship.
post #29 of 29

Got an impromptu call from Silverton to check to make sure I understood the pass details. They will be mailing the pass October 1.

 

Looks like their website shows it as sold out.

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