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Help plan SW Colorado road trip mid March

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  • Help plan SW Colorado road trip mid March

    my wife will be gone and my teenager has five days off March 8-12....he is a great skier area and backcountry....like lots of Denver folks we ski the mid to North part of the state and NEVER have been together down to the San Juans....thinking about a Silverton day with ad lib the rest, probably cheap motels, maybe a Wolf Creek or Telluride (never skied there!) day, would like to do at least a day or two backcountry, probably not enough time to do the San Juan huts, but........we are winging it......good skiers and will be great to get out with only my son who does put up with the old man relatively well.....we have decent avi skills and farly good shape...........anyone want to throw out suggestions? I have done Summer hike, backpack, fish trips to the San Juans, but many years ago..........tour Coal Bank pass? any favorite tours?.....probably not in the budget to have anything guided down there.....obviously weather and conditions will dictate a lot, but .....speak up folks!! thanks,Chet

  • #2
    As far as Telluride or Wolf Creek I can't help you out, but I'd definitely advise to make the most of Silverton. I'd join a group on a guided trip there. Also, I'd go ahead and find accommodations in town as they are usually affordable but that's a busy time down there. If you're savvy about terrain a look at the topos of 550 between Ouray and Silverton would probably reveal a ton of possible tours.

    You can ride Silverton w/out a guide, but especially for your first trip I wouldn't advise it. I'd rather ride one day with a guide than two without. It's pretty reasonably priced too. If you do go guided don't be humble when you state your fitness level and ability. Most folks are at least slightly overestimating their ability and getting stuck with a slow group is not ideal.

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    • #3
      Hit Silverton for sure. It is the place for steep powder skiing and given its location and how much fun it can be I would consider two days there. I would also go to Telluride if you are in that area. I have never skied Wolf Creek but know it is small and has a rep for being flat but I am sure on a good day it would be more then nice. BC skiing is really popular on Wolf Creek Pass and also on Red Mountain Pass. I don't know either so I am can't be much help there. A trip to Monarch or Monarch pass on your way down would not be a bad idea. There are some very obvious mellow to mid level risk BC lines on Monarch Pass.

      Edited to add: Given it will be a day of travel on each end you are probably limited to a Monarch or Wolf Creek stop on your way out or back. Silverton is only open Thurs- Sun so that really means the 9th for you
      Last edited by James; 19 February 2014, 06:03 PM.

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      • #4
        Silverton is really fun. I try to get a day or two there every season and even with sub par snow it's pretty fun. (although it's better with great snow - go figure!)

        It may not be SW enough for your purposes, but Crested Butte is having a great season. Both inbounds and in the BC have been very nice. There's a nice little guide book available now too. Lots of fun skiing to be had.

        Wolf Creek is fun too but I've also never skied Telluride. Taos would be another place to consider, depending on how their snow is looking. I think they need some now, but when they have snow that mountain is really fun.

        Wolf Creek Pass has some fun easy to access BC terrain too.

        Edit to add: Monarch too! What he said ^^.

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        • #5
          Crested Butte is awesome and so is Taos. Along with Telluride they are must stops for any Coloradan. I really want to go back but the chance of that became slim once I discovered Silverton.

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          • #6
            Yes, have enjoyed Crested Butte and Taos..........any backcountry suggestions, day tours Southwest suggested? any shops to recommend for advice Durango, Ouray, Pagosa? direction? thanks, Chet

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            • #7
              Be advised - Silverton will be guided-only during that time.

              Crested Butte, Telluride and Taos are fantastic mountains.

              To be honest - I'd recommend heading to one of those and skiing them for 3 days. There *should* be plenty to keep you busy. Travel day on each end...

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              • #8
                Telluride is a great mountain, great town.

                Wolf Creek is small, steep part is very short, but the snow is usually great. Also, easy and great bc skiing from the top of the pass.

                Purgatory is a fun mountain, Durango is a fun town. Tele Til Your Smelly is a Durangotang, send him a PM.

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                • #9
                  Looks like the only day Silverton will be open is that Sunday the 9th. They're still showing spots open on their website. I'd drive down on Saturday if you're super motivated you could stop at Monarch and hike around a little. Ski Silverton Sunday and tour around there Monday and Tuesday or ski Telluride out of a motel room in Ridgeway. They've been getting a lot of snow so whatever you do should be fun. Enjoy!

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                  • #10
                    if it's available, try the Addie S hut on Red Mtn Pass- only 100 yards off the highway (but feels remote when inside) so easy to do- accesses classic no-avy terrain (the "backyard") above it
                    Reluctant enthusiast, part-time crusader, half-hearted fanatic

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Danno View Post
                      Telluride is a great mountain, great town.

                      Wolf Creek is small, steep part is very short, but the snow is usually great. Also, easy and great bc skiing from the top of the pass.

                      Purgatory is a fun mountain, Durango is a fun town. Tele Til Your Smelly is a Durangotang, send him a PM.
                      Stop at the library in Alamosa for beta on Wolf Creek Pass BC.

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                      • #12
                        It looks like Colorado has boundaries defined solely by lines of latitude and longitude.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SkaredShtles View Post
                          Stop at the library in Alamosa for beta on Wolf Creek Pass BC.
                          Um, I have a better idea.

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                          • #14
                            Wolf Creek Pass tree skiing is some of the most fun I've had on skis.

                            Don't bother with Monarch Mtn, it got all skied out last weekend.

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