Heli-Skiing You Can Actually Afford

Colorado’s Silverton Mountain offers heli drops from $150
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Colorado’s Silverton Mountain offers heli drops from $150
Silverton fresh

Silverton Mountain is known for having macho unmarked terrain accessed by one slow double chair. Its newest offering? Single-drop heli-skiing that reaches more of Silverton’s several thousand acres in Colorado’s sky-scratching San Juan Mountains.

Last winter, Silverton co-owner Aaron Brill leased a six-seat A-Star, which flew four days per week and rarely had a down day from weather or a lack of customers. Drops start at $150 per run (plus a lift ticket, which costs between $49 and $129 depending on the month). Access lines like Wet Spot, a zone of cliffs and chutes spilling from a 13,200-foot-high landing zone. Or follow Brill to The Gnar, a signature couloir where you’ll billygoat perfect wind buff in the steepest parts before doglegging left.

 The longest heli runs streatch 3,100 vertical feet in basins that accumulate an average of 600 inches of snow a year. Bring a shovel, probe and a transceiver or rent them there.




Silverton Mountain: The Greenest Little Ski Area

The Ski Area Citizens' Coalition, an organization that ranks ski resorts' environmental practices, calls Colorado's Silverton Mountain a "little ski area that rocks." The mountain has one lift—which services over 1,800 acres of expert-only terrain and accesses over 3,000 feet of vertical drop—no grooming, no snowmaking, no cut trails, and no beginner runs. We spoke to co-owner Aaron Brill while riding the chairlift about Silverton's reuse and recycle motto.