Ear to the Ground

“You live in the weirdest town in America.”

– A New York resident with an internet connection who believes Durango is overrun with men in chicken suits, peace wreath haters and marijuana dispensaries

Cream of Silverton

Southwest Colorado’s favorite steep ski area has joined the “cream of the crop.” Outside Magazine named North America’s 16 Best Ski areas in its November issue, and Silverton Mountain landed at No. 4 on the list. The local area celebrated its opening day this week on Dec. 2.

“We picked the cream of the crop and consulted local experts for their advice on where to ski, what to drink, and everything in between,” the story opened.

Chris Davenport, professional big-mountain skier, named the nearby hill to the glossy list. “At Silverton, you’ve got to carry a shovel and probe and make good decisions,” he wrote. “In return, you get 100 percent off-piste skiing: powder. You might only get five runs in, but you’ll be exhausted.”

Noting that the area’s base lodge is a large tent and the sole chairlift is a two-seater recycled from Mammoth, Davenport lauded Silverton Mountain’s inner mom-and-pop. “It’s a throwback to the 40s, when ski areas just had the lift and a warming hut,” he wrote. “No frills. I’ve always said Silverton is like a heli-ski operation with a chairlift.”

Davenport also gave a shout-out to Silverton’s Miner’s Tavern, saying, “The mines may have closed, but this place is still the same.”

Outside also tapped Alta/Snowbird, Jackson Hole, Alyeska, Breckenridge, Whistler-Blackcomb, Park City, Aspen/Snowmass, Powder Mountain, Jay Peak, Bridger Bowl, Crested Butte, Revelstoke, Steamboat, Taos and Mammoth for the list.

Meanwhile, Silverton Mountain’s lone life fired up for the season on Wednesday. While early season conditions are continuing to dominate, the high elevation ski area is boasting more terrain than its neighbors. Fifteen runs opened on Dec. 1, and the area was reporting up to 40 inches of coverage high on the mountain. The base of the hill is a different matter, however, “so bring the rock skis.”

Russell the Muscle

Mud, sweat and tears are coming to downtown Durango this weekend. Cyclocross racing takes over Buckley Park on Dec. 5, with the return of the fourth annual Russell the MuscleCross.

Racing action begins at 10 a.m. with the singlespeed class. A kids race (11 a.m.) and men’s A and 40+ (11:30 a.m.) and men’s B and open women (12:30 p.m.) classes will also roll on Saturday. The race, inspired by Durango Cyclery owner Russell Zimmerman, will offer many “unique course features” and is the fifth in the FLC Cyclocross Series. For more info check out www.durangocyclery.com.

In addition, the FLC series concludes with the finals on Sunday at the FLC Stadium. That day, racing gets under way at 10 p.m.




In this week's issue...

July 21, 2022
Wildlife success or deal with the devil?

Land swap approved in Southwest Colorado, but not without detractors

July 21, 2022
Tapping out

The latest strategy to save the San Luis Valley's shrinking aquifer: paying farmers not to farm

July 14, 2022
Hey, good environmental news

Despite SCOTUS ruling, San Juan Generating Station plans to shut down