Pete Connolly grew in Peterborough, New Hampshire skiing Pat's Peak and Cannon Mountain. For the past several years, however, has been living any backcountry skier's dream: the tiny mountain town of Silverton, Colorado, flanked by the 14,000 foot peaks of the San Juans, working as a mountain guide during the winter, and then come July, heading to Argentina to guide the backcountry camps at SASS Global Travel. He's as good a guy as any to provide the local skinny on life in one of the last frontier towns of modern skiing.
Where to stay:
If it's just you and a buddy, then the Triangle Motel. If you have a crew, rent a house for a night or two. Don’t worry about location too much as everything is within walking distance of everything.
Where to get breakfast, what to order:
For breakfast, hit up the Teller House on Greene Street for classic TexMex breakfast items; the Mother Lode is where it's at. If you are looking for something quick then you can’t go wrong with Avalanche Brewery. They have simple to-go breakfast burritos and baked goods, and it's definitely worth trying the breakfast pizza with a biscuit crust.
What to do for lunch & where to get sandwiches before heading up to Silverton Mountain:
If you plan to shred at Silverton Mountain, you can pre-order a lunch through them that will be delivered from Kendall Mountain Cafe. Get the turkey. Not that sliced deli meat, that good shredded turkey like from Thanksgiving. Otherwise the spot is the Avalanche again…
Routine for après:
Party in the tent with the crew up at the mountain. Then head to Montanya Rum Bar on Greene Street for drinks. The Miner’s Tavern gives out $1 PBRs with your lift ticket.
Dinner options & best thing to order:
I usually just stick to the same places, so again, the Nor’easter pizza from the Avalanche Brewery (plus all of their beers are delicious). The Carne Asada from the Teller House; Rudy, who owns the place is the man.
Other forms of entertainment in Silverton/Silverton to-dos outside of skiing (include the guide necessity for novices):
Not a ton of other things going down in Silverton during the winter. Plus everyone is usually in bed by 9 because of the intensity with which they brought it on the mountain throughout the day. But if you plan to head in to the backcountry on your own, watch the fuck out. The San Juans consistently have one of the most dangerous snow packs in the world. Do yourself a favor and get a guide or know what you are doing. If you really want to do something different, stay at the Bonnie Belle Cabin for a couple nights, which sits on a 12,000 foot ridgeline surrounded by huge mountain and no people. There is nowhere I would rather spend a couple days during the winter.