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For the Restless
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Man skiing down run in Silverton, Colorado with mountains in background

Short Film: Exploring Silverton—Colorado’s Winter Playground

For serious skiers and snowboarders endowed with an unbound sense of adventure, one mountain has developed near-mythical status for its rugged unmarked runs and distinctly back-to-basics ethos: Silverton, Colorado.

Nestled high in the San Juan Mountains, Silverton is known for being the ultimate adventure landscape for top tier skiers and snowboarders. Far less crowded than Vail or Breckenridge, the mountain is considered one of North America’s best-kept skiing secrets, reserved for those that will gladly eschew the luxury of heated gondolas if it means having perfect slopes largely to themselves.

“It has this allure of being a different kind of experience,” says Shane Fuhrman, co-founder of Silverton’s uber cool Wyman Hotel and the mayor of Silverton. “It’s an ‘extreme only’ ski area. Nothing’s groomed and the easiest run is a hard black diamond.”

“In order to have an experience like Silverton, you have to take a seven day trip to Alaska or the Alps and you're paying for a helicopter [the entire time],” he says. “This is a much more affordable way to get that same level of adventure.”

Expansive view of Silverton mountain with ski runs
Skier looking up at helicopter flying above
“Silverton is the closest thing skiers can find to Alaska in the lower 48 states.”
Skiiers hiking up mountain in Silverton, Colorado

Near the foot of the mountain in a valley basin sits the tiny town of Silverton, with a population of roughly 650. Quaint, tight knit and with one foot firmly planted in its rich past, Silverton is one of these Wild West gems that has been lovingly preserved by its community.

The town itself was officially formed in 1874 after the discovery of silver, gold, lead and copper led to a sharp rise in prospecting. The ensuing century would see mining gradually subside and tourism take its place as the primary economic driver. The town reinvented itself as a winter sports mecca when the Silverton Mountain opened in the early 2000s.

View of Silverton main street overlooking mountains in background
The town reinvented itself as a winter sports mecca when the Silverton Mountain opened in the early 2000s.
View of local arcade establishment in downtown Silverton, Colorado during the winter
Ski lift over small river stream cutting through snowy landscape in Silverton

“Silverton has been on our radar for some time,” said Palmer West, co-founder of AETHER. “We drove through the town on a motorcycle trip about two years ago. Fell in love with the area, the town, and the Wyman Hotel. We heard stories that piqued our interest, we had to return in the winter and experience this Alaskan-style backcountry right at our fingertips. Silverton did not disappoint.”

“Adding to the allure of Silverton is what Shane is doing with the Wyman Hotel and his vision for the town. We quickly realized this unique place was very much in the spirit of what drives us at AETHER,” West continues.

Skiiers hiking along jagged mountain landscape

The spirit of adventure that draws elite skiers and snowboarders to this remote mountain town aligns with a core tenet of AETHER. We pride ourselves in creating the gear you need to embark on your greatest adventures, enabling you to respond when adventure calls. Our technical ski apparel is designed to protect you in the most extreme environments. Winter in Silverton is about as extreme an environment as you could hope to find in America.

“Silverton Mountain really brings out a rowdy, professional crowd. You see a lot of pro skiers and snowboarders there,” says Fuhrman. “Throughout the winter, there’s just this feeling of stoke all the time. People who don’t know each other are high-fiving—they’re just excited for the day.”

Two skiers hiking up snowy mountain in Silverton, Colorado