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February 20, 2007

Silverton Heliskiing a Possibility

The Denver Post has an article about Silverton's EIS including heliskiing and the resort looking at options:

Tucked into the several-hundred page environmental review the Bureau of Land Management delivered to Silverton Mountain in September 2005 - a six-year analysis that ultimately approved unguided skiing on BLM land surrounding the privately owned ski area - was a single sentence allowing for future helicopter skiing. It was largely unnoticed.

But as Silverton's snow safety crew expands the mountain's offerings onto distant mounts such as Storm Peak, helicopter-access skiing at the expert-only ski hill is a growing possibility. Silverton Mountain owners Aaron and Jenny Brill are negotiating with several helicopter operators to begin ferrying guided Silverton skiers to the farthest reaches of the area as well as help conduct avalanche control work.

The area's snow safety team is already using helicopters to access distant snow fields that typically require a two- to four-hour hike. The idea is to enlist paying customers to offset the snow-safety helicopter costs, Aaron Brill said.

"So after the heli might be in town for a morning control mission for us or the county ... we want to be able to fly a round of skiers from the top of the lift to the other side of the valley," said Brill, who envisions single-ride heli drops to runs that would take hikers as long as four hours to access, leaving the closer runs for hiking skiers.

Posted by Justin at February 20, 2007 09:12 AM