Backcountry Skiing: Silverton, CO
by Josh Kling
Crested Butte Avalanche Center
Colorado: Berthoud Pass | Crested Butte | Uphill Skiing & Light Tours of Colorado
Washington: Mt. Baker | Crystal Mountain
Home to multiple ski areas, extreme skiers and sledders, ski and mountain guides, and an incredibly rich mining history, the sleepy town of Silverton is a fantastic place to visit. It speaks for itself when it comes to remote and rugged mountain towns of the west. Many mountain ranges do not have a year round maintained road passing through them. The San Juan Mountain Range, from Durango through Silverton and on to Ouray has three: Coal Bank, Molas, and Red Mountain Passes. Highway 550 brings powder-hounds through some of Colorado’s most remote and diverse ski terrain. Basins adjacent to Highway 550, also known as the Million Dollar Highway, boast an annual snowfall of 400”. The mountains accessed from Silverton possess some of the largest ski descents in the lower 48, and some of the deepest snow in all of Colorado. The locations showcased in this atlas offer the entire spectrum of terrain and difficulty, from novice to extreme and everything in between. Provided you already have a small amount of experience as a backcountry skier and have completed a Level 1 avalanche course, there is something in this atlas for everyone.
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