Work A Ski Season at Silverton
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Silverton Mountain is located in San Juan County, just six miles from the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado. Silverton is a bit of a mecca for those wanting to work a season, with its incredible terrain and non-commercial vibe.
How is the Mountain?
At 13,487 feet, Silverton is North America’s highest ski area and one of its most expert. Almost unique among resorts in North America, there are no groomed runs and no cut trails.
The mountain is comprised of 1,819 acres of lift accessed terrain and a crazy 22,000 acres of hike-to and helicopter accessed terrain.
On your days off, you can expect to get in anywhere from 3-6 runs during a day (roughly 10,000+ vertical feet) of some of the best terrain in the world. Silverton is seriously one of the sickest, most undiscovered mountains in North America, and working there gives you a season to explore its wild terrain.
During certain times of year the ski area only allows guided skiing, with guides provided by Silverton Mountain. Each guided group of eight skiers or less can expect to hike between 5 and 45 minutes to access some runs. However, some runs drop straight from the chair lift.
Getting a Job at Silverton
Silverton Mountain typically posts jobs on its website around mid to late August. Expect start dates to range from early November to December. You can check out job openings at www.silvertonmountain.com/employment
As a guide you will be required to work like an ox and carry heavy loads on hill. Otherwise, tent positions can expect to work in negative degree conditions making you wish you owned an ankle-length down parka and ear muffs for the first time in your life.
Staff perks include a pass to ski one of the most badass mountains in the country for the season as well as additional Colorado ski resorts. Also, you get discounted heli-skiing!
On top of the great skiing be prepared Sunday family dinners with a few loving aunts and lots of crazy uncles. People who work at Silverton tend to be passionate about their skiing and snowboarding.
Town Layout and Vibe
Silverton is a super small town feel where every buddy knows your name. This town is full of super passionate people whether it be for skiing, snowboarding, climbing, hiking or their cats. Silverton was voted #1 Best Small Colorado Ski Town by Elevation Outdoors Magazine – you can’t beat this small town’s feel. Everything in town is within walking distance.
The night doesn’t have much to offer. Most of town is asleep by midnight while thoughts of face shots and pow lines fill their dreams.
The girl to guy ratio is about 100 guys for every girl in Silverton.
How Much for Rent?
The cost of living is relatively low. Housing can be found for $250 to $550 a month depending on if you like your house insulated or not. There is a small market in town for your grocery needs. Otherwise, Durango (50 Miles) or Montrose (60 Miles) are your closest bustling metropolises/town with a few shops.
There are no buses or public transportation in the winter. The Durango to Silverton train is a tourist train that only operates in the summer. Therefore, having your own reliable transportation can be extremely helpful. Otherwise, hitchhiking to Durango and up to the ski area is super common and can be used to get around as well.