I recently got a promotional email from Silverton Mountain pitching their heli ski sale. $50 per drop for something that's usually several times that at a minimum. I know the snow isn't working out well in Colorado this year but I thought it was worth a try. We also get a Silverton day on our Monarch passes, so that was even more incentive.
I went down with a couple of friends and we stayed at the Triangle Motel in Silverton. We headed up to the mountain early to make sure we got spots. The base area experience at Silverton is pretty rustic with a yurt for a loge and simple manual systems for everything. Our heli passes were made with duct tape and a sharpie.
The snow looked kind of shiny near the top of Silverton Mountain's only lift.
After a warm-up run on some pretty thin and firm snow it was time to go get in line for our ride.
The pilot seemed to be enjoying his job and really banked some turns and made me wonder if I was going to lose my lunch for a moment. But I kept it together and took in the scenery. That's a pretty neat way to see the terrain!
Here's our destination, Pyramid:
Then suddenly we were there and it was time to hop out and ski!
There were guides posted at the drop zone to direct us. They had helpful advice like "Stay left there; going right heads into the no-fall death zone." I heeded those helpful tips!
Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of our run. It was very difficult skiing with breakable crust and a few big slabs of ice. I came out of one of my skis when the tip went under a very stiff crust and had to work pretty hard to just make it down in once piece. But we all made it and even with the poor skiing I have to say it was fun and worth the price.
For the rest of the day we just did some lift/hike served skiing. We found that boilerplate firm snow was the best skiing of the day! I hear they got more snow after this so hopefully snow conditions have improved significantly! I imagine heli drop prices went back up too.
Finally, a bus shot. This is the new upgraded bus which is pretty nice compared to the old bread truck they used a couple of years ago. Stuff like this is what makes Silverton a quirky and rustic skiers mountain. I hope they keep it that way!
Update: Sadly, there was a fatality there the next day. A young woman fell about 1500 vertical Feet and didn't survive her injuries. I can see how this might happen and it's very sad. My deepest condolences to her friends and family.
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