Every month, we’re featuring two stellar Silverton guides at the ski area so you can get to know what makes them so awesome and why they devote their winters to showing you the best terrain in Colorado and beyond.
For January, we’re recognizing Jess Wegert and Jeremy Yanko. Both of these guides started their guiding careers at Silverton Mountain, and are still here to enjoy the incredible terrain and snow found each winter. Read on to find out why they keep coming back to the steepest and deepest terrain in Colorado every season.
How long have you worked at Silverton Mountain? Since 2010.
What do you love about this ski area? I love the people that I get to work with every day. There’s so much mountain experience, knowledge, and wisdom within the staff, and each day I get to work with these people is a true treat. Silverton Mountain is a dynamic place to hold a job which means that my duties are continually evolving, which helps to keep the job from becoming routine. All of these things together make for a really exciting place to work.
What is your favorite thing about skiing/snowboarding here and in general? The options and diversity. Silverton Mountain has something for everyone: awesome treeline runs, wide open alpine bowls, steep rocky chutes, and the list goes on. There’s the lift to help get up to a tremendous amount of hike-to terrain. It really is an extreme shredders dream.
Is there a particular factor that made you want to be a professional guide? Working here has helped me realize that I can share this experience of riding in our beautiful mountains with people from across the country and from all around the world. The best thing to hear after a day of guiding is “WOW thanks for such a great experience!” Hopefully, I can help to send home an increased appreciation for the mountains and the environment that I live in.
What is your Go-To Gear? I have to go with Venture Snowboards. I started riding Venture when I began guiding a Silverton Mountain, and have since become one of their Ambassadors. I love supporting a local manufacturer committed to sustainability, and prefer the feel and durability of their bomber solid core board compared to every other board I’ve owned.
What is your favorite memory of Silverton Mountain? I will never forget the first time I ever hiked to the top of the Billboard in 2005. The beautiful views and excitement of the climb were great, and then looking down the rock lined awesomeness of the Dope Chute only made it better. I knew then this was the coolest place shred in Colorado, and that if I ever wanted to live in Silverton I would have to figure out how to get a job here. I never looked back after that experience.
How long have you worked at Silverton Mountain? I am entering my 12th Winter with Silverton Mountain.
What is your favorite thing about this ski area? I love the adventure skiing at Silverton Mountain. You have to thank the terrain for the most part, but each rider can embellish and relish in the adventure by choosing to hike for turns or ski remote terrain all day via helicopter. Most runs are not straight forward and have some component to manage whether it be the classic constrictions on the East side, or attempting to nail good conditions as the wind, sun and temperature do their magic on the West side.
Why did you become a Professional Ski Guide? Silverton Mountain lends to creativity as you play the weather and choose where to go based on team strengths and, of course, where the coldest powder is located. The mountain has a wonderfully high elevation where the snow tends to stay consistent or a little storm can go a very long way.
More generally, Silverton Mountain is a good place as the staff is a tribe who recognize the genuine skiing experience, and it shows how psyched we are to be here doing this job. We’re fortunate to enjoy and share this funky ski area all season long.
What is your Go-To Gear? I have been continually impressed with K2 Skis, especially the versions that are 120mm underfoot or wider, and their ability to take such a hammering everyday and still provide a fun ride all season long.
What’s your favorite Silverton Mountain Memory? My favorite memory of Silverton Mountain is a culmination of memories skiing on storm days. They are simply the best and pretty damn tough to beat!
Ready to meet Jess, Jeremy, and the rest of the amazing Silverton guides? Make your guided skiing/snowboarding reservation here.
Banner photo courtesy of Crystal Sagan