Skiing Palmyra Peak

I am standing on Palmyra Peak's summit ridge with two Telluride ski patrollers, and they seem every bit as amazed as I am to be here. From our perch at 13,150 feet, we can see deep into the vast high-altitude cirques and spines of the Telluride backcountry—Lena Basin, San Joaquin Ridge, Bear Creek Canyon. But we are not chasing backcountry turns today: we are here for in-bounds, avalanche-controlled skiing (more...)

— March 15, 2008

Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents

Gary March 17, 2008 at 11:02 am

Nice TR. But to say that this is the only place in America with a mountain like Palmyra open for skiing is incorrect. Literally one ridge over is Silverton. I noticed that as you dropped into Palmyra the mountain was already tracked. At Silverton, you would be skiing the same type of terrain, but dropping into fresh untracked powder. In my opinion, Silverton has more of the backcountry experience and deserves its proper credit in your story.

Andy March 17, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Gary,

Obviously anytime I start making big sweeping statements like this there's going to be lots of room for argument. I thought specifically about mentioning Silverton when I was writing about Palmyra peak, but decided that Silverton (in my opinion) does not qualify as 'resort' skiing.

Silverton strikes me as more of a La Grave type experience: bare-bones, lift-served backcountry. Unlike Palmyra, you'll almost certainly need a guide to access the wilder parts of Silverton. Beyond that, whether or not Silverton's terrain is comparable in scale, pitch, and altitude to Palmyra is a question I can't answer, as I haven't had the pleasure of skiing there yet.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

ForrestGladding April 15, 2009 at 9:44 am

I came across your site by chance and have to say I really enjoy it. I really liked your take on T-Ride! I started my western adventures in Colorado (Vail and Crested Butte) in the early 90's. I always loved T-Ride, but more for the summers than the winters since I felt the skiing/boarding was lacking something. I eventually found what I was looking for in Utah. I think you hit the nail on the head with your analysis of how T-Ride has changed. And yes Silverton is pretty unique and recommend it highly.

John September 20, 2012 at 3:16 am

Depending on the guide you get, Silverton can be a terrible experience. I've spoken with different people about this, one of them was a guide in Chamonix that lived part of the year in Crested Butte, and he agreed with me that Silverton powder farms. Another individual I spoke with about this was a Jackson Hole ski patroller. Silverton also is not cheap. I will confess however, that Silverton is a one of a kind experience for Colorado. This post has some more info: http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f17/opinion-on-silverton-mountain-28023-5.html