In need of a change of scenery after a hectic holiday stretch in Aspen, we went down to ski Silverton Mountain last weekend. They were a little light on snow, and the temps were frigid (-22F as we drove to the ski area Saturday morning), but Christy, Joey, and I still had a great time.
Christy and I had skied here once before and were pretty impressed by its uniqueness. The layout of Silverton is simple: you ride a chairlift and then hike up along a ridge and ski any number of runs to the valley floor, after which a shuttle brings you back to the chairlift. The ski area boasts a single, old, two-person chairlift, a giant tattered tent for a lodge which serves as the ticket office/bar, and a couple of buses and retired delivery trucks to ferry people back to the base area. They do have a shiny helicopter, which is thankfully of a more recent vintage, to offer people single heli-drops across the valley for about $150 a pop.
Avalanche gear is required, and during most of the winter, everyone has to be in a group with a Silverton Mountain Guide. Early and late in the season you can ski unguided though, which is what we did. The $49 lift ticket is well worth it.