The purpose of your guide is not to lead you to blissful powder

by: Ka Pow - Mar 13, 2011

  • Overall Rating 3
  • Family Friendly 1
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 4
  • Terrain Park 1
  • Nightlife 2

    Pros: Gorgeous mountain and fun adventure

    Cons: Your expectations will likely be higher than what you experience

    Recommended For: Singles

    Date Visited: Mar 1, 2011


Full review

The good: The views are amazing. The guides have a great attitude and will keep you safe. This is an adventurous place and you will be in the company of great skiers. You will get steep 40 deg runs though on most of the mountain they are very brief.

The bad: They claim "Our base lies at 10,400’ with a peak lift served elevation of 12,300’. There is hiking to 13,487’, which means with a little effort you can get around 3,000’ vertical drop."
What they don't tell you is after you get your run down the culoir, across the apron, and down the rest of the fun stuff then about 1000' of your vertical is down a cat track to then catch a bus back to the lift.
They are actually counting a bus ride as vertical-shame on them.

Other than that their website gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect. I would add that you should not have the expectation that the purpose of your guide is to lead you to blissful powder runs. The purposes of your guide are :

1. Keep you and your group safe by picking your lines for you among other basic guiding skills.

2. Tell you where to ski so that you stack lines, and don't track up any more of the terrain than you have to so others can get fresh lines.

3. Tell you where to ski to help them compress the snow as an avalanche mitigation strategy.

4. Keep a great attitude and ensure a cohesive and positive group dynamic.

I personally felt a little restrained by the guide and felt like I was working for the mountain instead of the mountain working for me. I expected fresh lines due to the limited number of people on the mountain, but even on a heli drop I was sent down a skied off culoir and was scolded for not keeping my line stacked close enough going down the apron. Heaven forbid I take advantage of the one good line of powder on the mountain the whole day.

I have gotten more fresh powder and vertical in the first 2 hours of the day at major resorts on weekends then I did at a full day at Silverton.

Do it once for the bragging rights, and hope for a powder day :-)

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