The Weekend Snowdown: Silverton, Eldora, Snowmass

Throughout the winter, we'll weigh the options and bring you each weekend's most magical mountains. Think of us as sherpas, only with keyboards and web browsers instead of ice picks and beacons.

1. Silverton Silverton's got an average of 34 inches of snow, which is just absurd. They've got 22 skiable runs over some 1600 acres, which is also absurd. In the two days they've been open so far, they've had 19 skiers, and a lift ticket will only set you back $39. Basically, it's the best mountain in the state, but only if you're super freakin' hardcore. They don't have greens or blues or grooming or sanity of any kind. It's just a big raw mountain with limitless mistakes/adrenaline rushes to be had. Think backcountry with no (or less, anyway) hiking.

2. Eldora The geeks are all about Eldora right now because they got half a foot of snow in the last couple days. Not much under normal circumstances, but what with all the Indian Summer turning the high country into brown ice slicks lately, we'll take what we can get. Get it before the fresh pow's all been carved away, brah.

3. Snomass/Aspen Mountain 5 inches of new stuff here, and this is the final weekend before Aspen Highlands opens. Which means the clock is seriously ticking if you like your big name ski resorts with some breathing room and not so many tourists.

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