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Just Booked Silverton!!!!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Heading up there 2/28 for just a day. So stoked.

Any tips, thoughts, suggestions from those that have been there?

How do they approach putting you into groups? I'm just thrilled to be there, but would like to do the good stuff.

I've never really rated myself, but reading the PSIA criteria, I'd put myself at a solid 9. I won't be straightlining any chutes by any means, and don't huck any drops (self-preservation) unless its required to drop into something and there's no hazards (cliff, rocks) below. I've skied all the steeps of Mammoth, Taos, Telluride, Snowbird, and Alta, and have only turned away from Corbet's in JH due to the conditions. The drop-in freaked me out. I don't have any backcountry experience.

Based on the above, do you think I can hang on the mountain or with most of the skiers there?

post #2 of 27
I'm going next week. I'll try to post a TR.

They group you depending on both skiing and hiking ability. Hucking and hour long paintrain deathmarches are not manditory.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaFeHorn View Post
Based on the above, do you think I can hang on the mountain or with most of the skiers there?
You'll be fine for the skiing. It appears to me that the limiting factor for most groups is the hiking. Every time I've gone we got the most runs of any group because we were all high altitude ski area locals in great hiking shape.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Great, looking forward to seeing your TR, Jer.

breck- I live in Santa Fe, at 7000', and will be in Durango with the fam for the day before, so I should be fine with the altitude. I do several 6 mile trail runs a week and have been keeping fit with ridge hikes at Taos, so hopefully that will be enough.

Next question: I'm currently in the market for skis and have been demo'ing all year. Do you know what K2s Silverton rents? Otherwise, I was going to bring a pair of Watea 84s up with me (too narrow?), as they're my current favorite.
post #5 of 27
I believe they rent Mainen AKs and Hellbents. I'd bring whatever you feel comfortable with. Personally, I'm bringing my Praxis Powders.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaFeHorn View Post
breck- I live in Santa Fe, at 7000', and will be in Durango with the fam for the day before, so I should be fine with the altitude. I do several 6 mile trail runs a week and have been keeping fit with ridge hikes at Taos, so hopefully that will be enough.
Yeah, you should be fine then. Every time I've gone we've had enough guys (all local experts in good hiking shape) for our own guide so it was perfect. When they're setting up the groups you should try to find not only great skiers but also people that appear to be in good hiking shape. Realize that there will be people there that are probably far below your ability and the guide will have to select terrain he thinks that the weakest skier/hiker in the group can handle safely.

But even if you end up in a group with some weaker skiers/hikers, they'll probably drop out pretty quickly so you should still be able to get plenty of runs and hopefully some great terrain once only the strongest remain.
post #7 of 27

Another 2 cents worth of advice.

As has been noted by other posters, the limiting factor for most SM guided skiers is the hiking and not the skiing. Despite the hype, most of the actual skiing is really not that "extreme." The most radical part is having to enter many of the "runs" through rocks that require negotiating very tight very steep terrain for short sections. The ability to feel comfortable in dicey situations can be as important as ski ability. Also, the extended and/or repeated steep hikes at over 12,300 ft. (elevation of the top of the chair) wear out the unacustomed pretty quickly.

Another consideration is that, regardless of the claimed snowpack, because it is an above treeline mountain environment with wind, avalanches, etc. there is very thin cover in places and a good chance that you may damage your skis on rocks to some extent. Everyone wants to take their new skis and go big at SM, but be warned that you do so at the risk of core shots way beyond normal resort skiing. I have skied there over half dozen times and am a pessimist by nature, so factor that in, but personally I would not risk a new pair of skis there, particularly on guided skiing where you do not have a choice where you ski. Renting or going with skis that will not ruin you day if they take a hit is not a bad idea.

When hiking and skiing you are obviously reduced to the slowest common denominator in your group. I just had a humorous conversation on the chair at Telluride yesterday with a friend who was describing the visual criteria their small posse used to assess the abilities of the other skiers in the SM parking lot to try and form a larger group of good skiers before being subjected to random grouping by the guides. I've heard numerous stories about one bozo ruining a group's day, so anything you can do to associate yourself with good skiers before the guides take over will increase your chances of uninterrupted skiing, unless you are the bozo.
post #8 of 27
You should ask Chaos to organize a private group for you. You are definitely going to hit the craziest steeps imaginable and at a frantic pace never experienced by anybody before.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Excellent feedback guys. I think I will be renting SM's skis then, and try to make friends beforehand to get in a good group. If not, I'm just happy to be there and am pretty easy going. I would assume if I'm in a lower level group and am doing well, the guide may put me in a more advanced group?

Assuming good group, how many runs can one expect?

Interested in hearing snippets of your conversation at TRide. That could be a thread in itself from everyone... judging skiers by their gear and look. i.e. being decked out in TNF does not make one a bada**. (I happen to wear TNF, though)...
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripthepow View Post
You should ask Chaos to organize a private group for you. You are definitely going to hit the craziest steeps imaginable and at a frantic pace never experienced by anybody before.
Is Chaos a guide there? I'm still a newbie to these forums.

I'm going solo up there... Next year I will have 3 friends in tow. I volunteered to do research for a TRide/SM trip next year.
post #11 of 27
You can end up with anywhere from 4 to 7 runs of varying lengths. You can ski from the chair, or hike a 1,000 vert to over 13,000 ft. depending on conditions, so with SM you always take what you can get. If you are easy going and approach it with a good attitude and not overblown expectations you will have a great time skiing in an incredible environment, regardless of how many runs you get.

As for parking lot group criteria, it was humorous because it started with how people stand in their ski boots and progressed from there.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
anything you can do to associate yourself with good skiers before the guides take over will increase your chances of uninterrupted skiing, unless you are the bozo.
This is correct and if you don't know who the bozo is, it's you!
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Despite the hype, most of the actual skiing is really not that "extreme." The most radical part is having to enter many of the "runs" through rocks that require negotiating very tight very steep terrain for short sections. The ability to feel comfortable in dicey situations can be as important as ski ability.
Totally agree. IMO, anyone who can ski the toughest runs at a typical ski area comfortably can ski all the stuff I've skied at SM fine as long as they don't panic bc of what you describe above.

ETA: Didn't intend to insult the mountain or the experience. It's fantastic.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaFeHorn View Post
I would assume if I'm in a lower level group and am doing well, the guide may put me in a more advanced group?
I don't think so. The guide will assess everyone in the group on the first hike/ski to help him plan the rest of the day. I don't think they'd want to let you change groups but I could be wrong since I've never been there as a single.
post #15 of 27

Two suggestions:

 

1) Don't bring reverse/reverse powder skis when they haven't had a significant storm for two weeks.

 

2) Don't go if you have a really bad cold.

 

I have no doubt in my mind that Silverton can be a really rad place if they've had snow in the past week and if I wasn't coughing up blood. The town is cool, the terrian is rad and the guides are great. However, I would pass if they haven't had snow recently or you're not in the best of health.

 

edit: I hope nobody will take the above post as me bagging on Silverton in any way. The place rocks - I just hit it wrong as far as weather and my health were concerned. Like I said - I'm sure the place is far beyond rad with new snow. Also - the coolest guide I had was a guy named Ron (AKA "Ronbo") - great sense of humor, really positive and amped attitude. Make sure to tip your guide at the end of the day too - it's not like these guys are getting rich busting ass so you can have a good time.


Edited by Jer - 2/9/2009 at 11:33 pm
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post

Two suggestions:

 

1) Don't bring reverse/reverse powder skis when they haven't had a significant storm for two weeks.

 

2) Don't go if you have a really bad cold.

 

I have no doubt in my mind that Silverton can be a really rad place if they've had snow in the past week and if I wasn't coughing up blood. The town is cool, the terrian is rad and the guides are great. However, I would pass if they haven't had snow recently or you're not in the best of health.

 

edit: I hope nobody will take the above post as me bagging on Silverton in any way. The place rocks - I just hit it wrong as far as weather and my health were concerned. Like I said - I'm sure the place is far beyond rad with new snow. Also - the coolest guide I had was a guy named Ron (AKA "Ronbo") - great sense of humor, really positive and amped attitude. Make sure to tip your guide at the end of the day too - it's not like these guys are getting rich busting ass so you can have a good time.


Edited by Jer - 2/9/2009 at 11:33 pm


 

Jer-  was this from your recent trip?  you posted back on 1/28 you were going in a week.  SM's website claimed 25" on 1/26.  that's 2 weeks since new snow, as you're referring to above.  was it choppy, skied up, hard crust, ?

 

You also said you'd do a TR...  I guess that was it?

 

hope you're over the cold.  bummer your trip didn't work out the way you wanted it to.

post #17 of 27

There really wasn't much to do a TR about. I had a few runs through some settled powder in the trees, but it was mostly schralp down a steep hard entrance to a short powder shot, then down a pretty tracked out gully to another short settled powder shot to the road or cat track. There was a lot more crud/firm snow skiing than consolidated powder skiing. And there was no blower at all. But like I said - what can they do? They can't make it snow every Mon-Wed.

post #18 of 27
SantaFeHorn - how did it go?  Sounds like you were really excited to hit Silverton, but no followup ensued.  Did it meet your expectations?  Did you rock, or did you fly into the Bo-zone?
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Spike-

Loved it.  I went in having quite a bit of butterflies about it, and the first run quickly took care of that.  We skied one of the Rope-de-dope chutes, that had a rollover at the top that you couldn't see what was below.  Being the new guy in the group, I got to go after the guide.  I had a pair of Maden AKs, and had never skied on anything that wide, so was a little nervous.  Anyway, i cleared the rollover, and then linked 5 huge fast super g's out of the funnel up to where the guide was off to the side.  One of the guys in the group said:  "dude, you nuked that".  So, I felt like I rocked.

We got 5 runs in with a heli drop.  Had some freshies in the trees, but it had been 10 days since the last sizable storm, and was crusty in spots.  I was completely spent at the end of the day and wish I had done more than 1 day.  Terrain was great, I wouldn't say it was the hardest or steepest stuff I've been on, but I thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience.  There were a few no-fall zones, which kept it interesting.

Planning a 2 day return this February, and trying to figure out how to get a few more trips in as well, as its only a 5.5 hour drive from me.
post #20 of 27
Thanks for the reply, glad it was an enjoyable experience.  Any pics?
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Spike -

Here's my album on facebook.  i think you can see them publicly.  Excuse some family pics in there (wife and kids), its the album of our Durango/Silverton trip, but most are Silverton.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2020321&id=1185303525&l=5c2ccbc632


post #22 of 27
Awesome photos - looks like you got a bluebird day.  Just a wild guess, but it looks like your last run was my last run too.  I did Durango the day before Silverton.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaFeHorn View Post

Spike -

Here's my album on facebook.  i think you can see them publicly.  Excuse some family pics in there (wife and kids), its the album of our Durango/Silverton trip, but most are Silverton.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2020321&id=1185303525&l=5c2ccbc632

Nice family and pics. Glad you had a good trip. The snow quality and weather has been excellent in the area. Velocity and Storm Peak is sweet in the spring too. Below yours is one of my favorite shots:






FWIW, here's a crappy overview of the Silverton Mtn area lift cut and Velocity Basin to the left from Red Mountain pass:

post #24 of 27
 Wow, I let my fiance drive from Montrose to Denver on Thursday and we ended up here in Silverton, and now I can't stop thinking about this magnificent place.  I wasn't even mad at her for taking us 5 hours out of the way it was so special.  After seeing SanteFeHorns pics, I'm even more obsessed.  I don't have level 9 skill quite, but I can do that stuff.  This place looks like my favorite kind of skiing to the T, I just had no idea a place like this existed.  I need to go get better with the goal of shredding this place after a big dump.  I only live 2 1/2 hours from heaven for christ's sake.
post #25 of 27
 If I were Shaun White, and my Red Bull heli was parked in Silverton, I would try to ski some of these lines that are nearby.
IMG_4781.JPGIMG_4901.JPGIMG_4862.JPGIMG_4851.JPGIMG_4844.JPGIMG_4824.JPG
post #26 of 27
 I would have posted this as some new thread, but the more time we spend in this area, the fewer people I'd like to have know about it.  
post #27 of 27
Magnificent country!  Don't think you have to worry much about that getting skied out. 

Thank you for the new pics.
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