Forums Splitboard Talk Forum SilvertonMountain… my review…skip it.. go split..
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  • #571439
    SPLITRIPPIN
    709 Posts

    Well I got back from SilvertonMountain, and here are my thoughts. 1st off the guides are awesome.. The town of Silverton is excellent, and the rum from Montanya….(They don’t call it the roofie bar for weak drinks)

    The main thing that I really really really didn’t like about SilvertonMountain, and the big turn off is the owner. What a dick! I was cool until I saw how he basically treats clients like shit(unless you’re buying heli time), and bitches at his guides for taking clients on powder runs vs. the ice nugget shit I rode most of the time. Because the owner deemed those the only runs available to non-heliers. Even though there were untracked lines in many places. Then he made a comment about “nothing good in life is free”, and to me that totally goes against any backcountry movement.

    I wanted to check the place out because I’ve heard so many good things about the San Juans, and the people in that area are top notch.

    So, if you’re headed to the San Juans… Save your money, and skip SilvertonMountain.. bring your splitty, and look in awe at all the lines. Next time I go back.. I’ll do just that.

    #615662
    bones get broke
    298 Posts

    Next time you come up this way you should get a hold of “bones get broke have fun splitting bigger lines than Silverton guiding service” 😆 .

    #615663
    SPLITRIPPIN
    709 Posts

    Bones.. that is no joke… After I saw how cheech’d the snow was… I was kicking myself for cancelling riding with you. :nononno:

    Next time though….. I was drooling over all the lines around that area w/ minimal if no tracks.

    Plus, My TR of lines I rode would be like penthouse posting a hairy monkeys arse for the centerfold. Not fun to look at all 😥 :thumbsdown: Unless you consider douche bag gaper plankers from Boston side sliding all the powder from coulies a fun line.

    But, that’s what rum and tweed is for :guinness: :doobie:

    #615664
    bigdood
    457 Posts

    How was the halfpipe? 😆 😆

    #615665
    SPLITRIPPIN
    709 Posts

    Dude, don’t even get me started with “oh dude, did you hear Shawn Whites here”… blah blah blah… yeah, talk about a great backcountry adventure with the bro down ho down fest, piste machines, snowmobiles, and half-pipes… :thumbsdown:

    #615666
    bones get broke
    298 Posts

    My brother and I rode the line directly up from the arrow (The Grande Couloir) last spring………..after Silverton Mtn. closed for the season. It was Goooood, although we weren’t able to shred the gnar stunt ditch at the bottom :lol:.

    #615667
    dude_reino
    467 Posts

    YES!

    Thank you for reinforcing my own opinions on Silverton. Cool mountain, sick terrain, but BAD management!

    My other beefs:

    1.) that you’re required to wear a beacon. Why? Because their budget won’t allow them to do proper avy control? :scratch: Kind of makes me a little nervous about the terrain I’m skiing on. No other ski area requires a beacon to ride in ‘hike-to’ terrain. You sure as hell don’t have to wear a beacon in Highlands Bowl or on Palmyra Peak @ Telluride. That’s because their ski patrol does proper avy control before opening the terrain.

    2.) One chairlift and a shuttle (that never runs on time). Would it be so hard to put in a few more chairlifts? I understand the appeal of offering ‘ungroomed, natural, expert-only terrain’ in their marketing plan…but why so much hiking? If you hike out to the billboard for every line, then wait for the bus, to board the chairlift, to hike out to the billboard again…you’re getting at best 5 or 6 runs. 😡

    3.) During ‘non-guided’ season, I actually heard management say “we’re full” to some people and turn them away. Again, why? Lack of budget for patrolling? :scratch:

    4.) Try asking the guides for simple beta about good lines, and they pretty much blow you off unless you’ve paid them.

    #615668
    TEX
    2486 Posts

    How far out is the coveted ” heli terrain” ? Get his goat by waking up early, skinning to the heli shit and proceed to track the shit out of it 🙂

    But Luca- I would wear my beacon in bounds after a dump out here. There is no such thing as proper avy control. Too many inbounds slides have been hapening.
    Squaw Valley lost a patroller while doing avy control last month.
    A seasoned patroller with over 20 years in and squaw has been throwing bombs for a while

    So what Im getting to is even at the best resorts avy control is still a big gamble

    #615669
    Killclimbz
    1165 Posts

    I’ve heard the same things from friends as what the OP describes. So I haven’t bothered with them.

    As far as the beacons rule. The original idea behind the place was to offer “lift accessed” backcountry riding. So one lift and you go from there. Not patrolled, and certainly not controlled. Aaron’s vision was that only backcountry savvy people would use it. Well it became something a bit more than that.

    It’s become something a lot different than that for sure. I doubt they have even had a close call avalanche within their boundary. Problem is that they close dangerous terrain. So you can’t make the choice if you want to ride it or not.

    This is something like the 124,561,386th report of Aarron Brill’s ‘tude. He needs to lose it. I’ve already convinced several large groups to not bother with his ski area because of it and they went with a snowcat operation instead. Money better spent imo.

    #615670
    SPLITRIPPIN
    709 Posts

    @bones get broke wrote:

    we weren’t able to shred the gnar stunt ditch at the bottom :lol:.

    You can only ride that if you’re super awesome rich, and Red Bull is your bitch.

    My thoughts are if you’re going to do something like this in a quiet town, you better f’n behave like a local, and treat your guides like they’re gold. A good manager doesn’t fly around in the chopper, and make sure your guides are on the right run. A good manager/owner of a backcountry establishment is Phil from Retallack. That guy has all the pros go to his place, and he’ll sit down with you and empty a fine bottle of scotch. Even if you’re only riding there on standby rates.

    There most likely wont be any avy’s in Silverton due to the fact that they pound the living piss out of the snowpack. And, that is noooo flippin joke.

    I am excited to get back to Silverton, hang my hat at the Triangle, and rip BC lines w/ Bones. We’ll have to do a bivy, and rip the holy hell out of those chopper lines b4 they open. :headbang: I’m pretty sure Boarder247 got some of those lines across the way, north of the Grand Couilre.

    #615671
    fustercluck
    668 Posts

    I’ve only briefly met Aaron Brill, so I don’t really have any comment on him personally. As far as some of the points Luca makes – I’m pretty sure requiring users to wear beacons was part of what was needed to obtain use of the BLM land. It is the most avy prone area in the U.S. And in most parts of the ski area, if you are caught in a slide, you will be battered so bad the beacon will only help body recovery. Another chairlift = $$. This is definitely a bare-bones operation. There is a cap on the amount of skiers per day, again part of the BLM deal, I believe. i’m sure they would prefer to take the money rather than turning people away. And the guides probably don’t want to send people to lines they might be able to get customers to pay them to get to.
    At the same time, there is no other place in the country that offers that experience at that price, especially the unguided price. And the guided operation is far superior to many cat operations, at a fraction the price. That being said, the split options around there are astounding when conditions allow.

    #615672
    BastrdSonOfElvis
    80 Posts

    I’m always eager to chime in on this conversation because my trip to that place years ago burned my ass. Our guide (who was cool) was farming the pow hard for fear of losing his job because his boss was such a dick. A skier friend of mine dropped his pole off the lift on our first ride (gaper move, yes but) and not only couldn’t he ski down and get it, but no one else ever did for him. Pole = gone. The whole customer service vibe was “we’re super cool and you’re just lucky to be here.” Never again.

    But, I’d love to split with you guys down there. I’m only a couple hours away and I think my wife actually has some conference in Durango in a few weekends. Any takers?

    #615673
    Wyomingsplit_ride
    663 Posts

    I never understood the whole, “ride a chairlift to ride the backcountry.” I always thought it was about earnin’ those turns?????? Sorry you had a shitty trip SR. You should have come to the ScrubFest. The only attitude was from Tex, Fullers, and I on Sunday morn when everyone went and rode while we surfed the kitchen sink bro. Next time, next time.

    #615674
    SPLITRIPPIN
    709 Posts

    Yep… That is my punishment for missing out on ScrubFest for VoIP training, but you know what’s funny. In typical govy fashion.. The paperwork for my training never got signed in time, so I never ended up going to training, and it was too late to approve vacation.

    I’ll be at ScrubFest next year for sure, and hopefully be living in either CO, or MT by then.

    There’s nothing worse than being on vacation knowing you’re getting screwed, but having no choice because you’ve allready paid.

    #615675
    UTAH
    830 Posts

    That’s good beta thanks splitrippen. Don’t quite understand where Luca’s coming from, not to critique your response but it’s that kind of mindset that almost killed a couple young kids at Brighton this year and did kill a young women at Snowbird in hike to ride terrain. Plus, it sounded like your promoting resort expansion and more bombs aren’t those things we all want less of? I appreciate ski patrol they do a good job but it seems the more I talk to them the less I care for their opinions. Avy control seems to be less about snow science and safe BC protocol and more about if you throw a bomb on it and it doesn’t go then it must be safe.

    #615676
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    @luca_brasi wrote:

    1.) that you’re required to wear a beacon. Why? Because their budget won’t allow them to do proper avy control? :scratch: Kind of makes me a little nervous about the terrain I’m skiing on. No other ski area requires a beacon to ride in ‘hike-to’ terrain. You sure as hell don’t have to wear a beacon in Highlands Bowl or on Palmyra Peak @ Telluride. That’s because their ski patrol does proper avy control before opening the terrain.
    .

    Having not been there I have no issues with anyone’s opinion of Silverton Mtn but your claim is false.

    Bridger Bowl requires a transciever for their hike-to terrain as well as terrain served by their new lift. Big Sky requires one to ride the Big Coulior which is also accessed by a very easy hike.

    Jackson and I forget which resort in Utah do not require beacons and each had an inbounds avy death this season. I’m more and more hesitant to put my faith in “proper avy control” as a means for protecting my safety at mountains with big terrain.

    #615677
    SPLITRIPPIN
    709 Posts

    Avy control.. isn’t that sending a swedish snowboarder down 1st? Sorry, bad joke in regards to how most avy deaths in Austria(Alps in general) are Swedish ski bums.

    Silverton has plenty of bombs, and they use them… hell they were blasting after getting no snow for about 2 weeks. It’s funny they spend all this money on bombs (to bomb heli aspects), but they load you up in some POS milk van, and other donated BS. Then the owner drives off in his new car. Most likely some leeward soft slabs from the 60+MPH winds we had. Sandblaster to the face anyone?

    Gawd I sound like a bitter dick.. sorry, that place just made me feel like I got raped by a elephant, and had to pay for it. :nononno:

    #615678
    bones get broke
    298 Posts

    Regarding the bombs-
    It’s a real treat to be out touring early in the morning and just when you’re deep into avy terrain you start getting shelled. Not literally, of course. But some of the areas that I go are close enough to Silverton Mtn. that you can almost feel the concussions. It really starts to rake the nerves to imagine myself fighting for my life in a slide that was caused, sympathetically, from one of thier big bombs. I understand thier need to bomb terrain into submission but sometimes it just seems like they’re out there just playing with large fire crackers.

    #615679
    wasatch surf
    979 Posts

    @bones get broke wrote:

    you can almost feel the concussions. It really starts to rake the nerves to imagine myself fighting for my life in a slide that was caused, sympathetically, from one of thier big bombs. I understand thier need to bomb terrain into submission but sometimes it just seems like they’re out there just playing with large fire crackers.

    sounds like being in the Northern Powder Circut when alta, brighton, solitude, and the whirly turds are all tossing bombs. Silverton Mtn. sounds like a real drag. Just another reason i try to stay away from resorts.

    #615680
    dude_reino
    467 Posts

    @splittilps wrote:

    Bridger Bowl requires a transciever for their hike-to terrain as well as terrain served by their new lift. Big Sky requires one to ride the Big Coulior which is also accessed by a very easy hike.

    Jackson and I forget which resort in Utah do not require beacons and each had an inbounds avy death this season. I’m more and more hesitant to put my faith in “proper avy control” as a means for protecting my safety at mountains with big terrain.

    To clarify, I am all for wearing beacons within ski-area boundaries on dangerous terrain. I have been known to do so on many occasions. But when I do, it is voluntary. My issue with Silverton is that they require the beacons. (I did not know about those ski areas you mentioned. Thanks for the info. As far as I still know, no ski area in Colorado requires beacons.)

    My point is that in most other ski areas, if ski patrol is uneasy about the snowpack on a given day, they simply shut down that area until they can work it to their satisfaction. No one is allowed in those areas even if they voluntarily take the risk. Its CLOSED.

    Do they close sketchy terrain at Silverton? I admit I don’t know that answer. But the impression I get is that ‘If you have a beacon, you can hike anywhere within the ski area’. Again, I could be wrong.

    Its not that I have complete blind faith in avy control. I just feel more comfortable at a ski area with a big budget and top-notch ski patrol as opposed to a low-budget mountain like Silverton that can’t possibly patrol all that terrain with limited resources.

    @utah wrote:

    Plus, it sounded like your promoting resort expansion and more bombs aren’t those things we all want less of?

    No, I’m not promoting more intrusion on our wilderness. Sure, a ‘backcountry experience’ means no lifts and lots of hiking…but is that really Silverton’s appeal? I am not looking for a ‘backcountry experience’ in a ski area. I came there looking for a ski area with lots of natural, expert terrain, with no gapers or beginners around, no greens, blues, or groomers, and no overbuilt luxury condos ruining a great wilderness. Silverton has all that, but where in that equation does it dictate that you can only have one lift and a shuttle bus and everything has to be hike-to? You’re basically paying money to hike, which you can do for free anywhere. My point is that if I’m going to pay money at a ski area, I want to sit my ass in a chairlift and get in 10+ runs a day.

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