Friday, April 3, 2009

Shredding the Gnar (Silverton, Colorado)

Picking up the thread from my previous post - our second day in Silverton featured a heli ride, blue sky, and plenty of powder. Here's a picture Marc took of me.

We graduate from a "medium" group to a "fast" group on the third day. I overhear two Swiss snowboarders negotiating with a guide to ride the "Gnar". It turns out that it's the biggest line on the mountain and we join their group. The day begins with warmup runs. Marc makes this video of me tumbling through the trees.

The guides jump start the shuttle to bring us back to the lift.

Then, two heli drops. First, another large open field of pow.

The helicoper waits at the bottom.

The second heli ride is longer.

It lands on the ridge above the Gnar Couloir.

From here, we get to see the terrain behind Storm Peak.

Silverton Mountain Resort at the other side. The Gnar Couloir entrance on the right.

Our approximate path down the hill. Too bad I don't have a helmet cam - what a ride!

It starts a little narrow and then widens. Here is Marc sailing down the couloir - can you see him?

Continuing down from here would send us over Warren-Miller-sized cliffs, so we gather in a safe zone after the main chute and continue left.

On our last day, we hike to the "Billboard". The ropes help but crampons may be better. The reward is another fresh big mountain line that includes chutes, gullies, and powder. Silverton Mountain has become my favorite resort, hands down. I purchase a T-shirt in the luxurious base lodge.

Evening flight, so after bringing Marc to the airport there's time left for Mesa Verde.

I hike to the Soda Canyon Overlook with the balcony house, a cliff dwelling - can you spot it toward the right underneath the rim?

Here it is.

The weather can't decide between sunshine, flurries, wind, and clouds.

Another house built into the cliff.

I also visit the little canyon near the museum.

With the Spruce Tree House.

Marc has additional details and pictures from this trip.

1 comment:

  1. Some of those routes look perfectly vertical. Very scary