El Niño brings November Pow to Silverton Mountain

Steady October snowstorms and cold temps have blanketed Silverton Mountain in an early indicator of what looks like a strong El Niño 2018-19 winter! El Niño typically pounds the southwest with huge storms and several El Niño winters have dumped record snowfall, so the 2018-19 season could be a good one. So far this season Silverton Mountain has seen 246% of average snowfall for October! What’s more- Silverton will be open with single run and 6 run heli skiing/boarding starting November 24th this year. The lift fires up on 12/27, but the chairlift is available for rent* also starting on 11/24. There’s no better way to get your ski legs ready than to break out your gear for some holiday heli laps.

Request your heli reservation TODAY by emailing the office with your group size, preferred dates, and contact information.

And in light of the increasingly awesome conditions at Silverton Mountain, both chairlift accessed and heli skiing spaces are filling at a record pace this year. Be sure to grab one of the prime dates for 2018/19 while you can.


Interested in renting the chairlift before the official opening in December?

You can do it for as little as $9,900 per day.

Private Mountain rental is a unique and exciting venue choice for charity fundraisers, photo shoots, product testing/R&D, bachelor and bachelorette parties, or corporate events. If you bring 40 people that’s only $250 a person to have exclusive access to the Silverton guided chairlift terrain.

The pricing varies depending on the time of season, day of the week, and how many people you have. Rates are normally based on a max of 40 people, but requests for larger groups can be accommodated. Private mountain rental is available starting 11/24 of each season which makes it a great option for your company holiday party.

From 12/27 -4/14 private mountain rentals are normally limited to Mon-Weds (Thurs-Sun if you book well in advance). Prior to 12/27 and after 4/14 the mountain can be available 7 days a week. The private mountain is most commonly rented for charity/non-profit fundraisers and a great way to give and have a great day at the same time!

Powder Skiing and Snowboarding October 8 at Silverton Mountain!!

Winter is here with great snow at Silverton Mountain, Colorado this week!  The most recent winter storm over the past few days continues to dump snow on the high elevation slopes and some excited Silverton Mountain ski and snowboard patrollers made the first turns of the ski season.  As the patrollers rode up the chairlift today they were surprised to find such great conditions and celebrated the start of winter season at Silverton Mountain.  The fun factor was off the charts as the first lift served turns of the Colorado 2018/19 ski season were made at Colorado’s highest elevation ski area. 

Snow is in the forecast the next 4 days which may allow Silverton Mountain to open some upper mountain terrain in the coming days. Silverton Mountain is the highest ski area in North America with a peak elevation of 13,487’ and also provides heli skiing on adjacent terrain up to 13,552 feet high.  This uniquely allows Silverton Mountain to provide skiing and snowboarding on all natural snow as early as August in previous years.

THIS IS NOT A JOKE, this is not photoshop, the photos are from Monday, October 8, 2018.

For the first time ever Silverton Mountain will open for heli skiing starting in November 24, 2018 reservations required. The chairlift is slated to open 12/27/2018 but that could change.

Meet your Silverton Guides: Shocklee & Maria

Every month, we’re featuring two fantastic 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 March, we’re recognizing John Shocklee and Maria Kallman. These two guides have nearly seen it all over the years, and know how to show every guest in their respective groups a good time, every day of the season. Read on to find out why they keep coming back to the steepest and deepest terrain in Colorado every season.

John Shocklee

How long have you worked at Silverton Mountain? I have been guiding for the last 15 seasons.

What do you love about Silverton Mountain? I love being able to ski it every day. This is my version of a ski pass, being able to work and ski at this ski area as much as I want. It would be hard to imagine a better place.

What is your favorite thing about skiing? I love skiing so much because… well, for so many reasons. It’s the freedom of being able to freefall in control. Especially the feeling of floating in powder on a steep pitch. I also love being able to go places in the winter that are more difficult to access in the summer. The only thing that would come close is riding a mountain bike off-trail, but everywhere you ride has the smooth consistency of a trail. It’s hard to describe, but it’s just an amazing feeling.

Is there a particular reason you became a professional guide? I got it into my head that guiding would be a way better profession than sitting behind a desk all day. I knew I wanted to be outside, using my body for work. Guiding has evolved into a primary skill of mine. I first discovered this while being a river guide. It took a little while to adjust to not having complete control of guests in a boat compared to the freedom that comes with skiing, but learning how to hand this made me a better guide on snow and on water..

What is your go to gear? Fat K2 skis with telemark bindings are a given. Dakine packs have always treated me well, and so have Smith goggles and shades. In fact, I just got my Smith Pivlock Overdrives adjusted for my prescription.

Describe your favorite memory of Silverton Mountain. There are so many good ones. Being able to ski Two Smokes making two turns is a fantasy for many, but I’ve been able to do it twice [Note: Two Smokes is a notoriously sketchy run that usually involves a rope and very careful descents]. Once was when I was escorting 23 pro athletes during the Red Bull Cold Rush. I remember making two turns through the choke, and looking back and seeing all these amazing pro athletes making airs into the run. It was a sight to see.

Maria Kallman

A group of skiers and snowboarders stand on top of a run called Nightmare at Silverton Mountain
Maria leading a group into Nightmare during the 2016 Sisters’ Meeting in the Mountains

How long have you worked at Silverton Mountain? This is my 8th year with Silverton Mountain, and my 7th year guiding. This is my 4th season part-time, as I am also a Physician Assistant in the emergency department in Grand Junction.

What do you love about Silverton Mountain? I love facilitating challenging, eye opening, FUN outdoor experiences for people in the spectacular San Juan mountains. The dynamic nature of the guiding requires critical thinking and maximal situational awareness at all times due to countless changing variables including snow, weather, and terrain nuances that take a lifetime to learn, plus the group dynamics, skier abilities, and physical challenge.  Above all, what keeps me coming back each year is the team I work with, what I consider to be the Silverton mountain family.

My favorite thing about skiing at Silverton mountain is the lack of pressure to “get the good snow before it’s gone.” Nobody’s throwing elbows in the lift line, or trying to breathe down your neck on the bootpack.

What is your favorite thing about skiing? How else would we experience the beautiful exhilarating winter mountain environment? Skis allow us to move around an otherwise impenetrable environment with such ease and speed. And the feeling of flying…

Describe your favorite memory of Silverton Mountain. I have too many great memories to pick a favorite, but just last weekend I was on the bootpack near Ropedee 2 and came upon a flock of ptarmigans. Then, on literally the same run skiing out the road on the backside I scared off a coyote. Where else do you get to see wildlife like that at a ski area?