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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Argo View Post
Killclimbz, would you drive in from the north or the south given the choice? On a snowy day.....
I'm interested in an answer on this question too.....

Also, any recommendations on where to stay? There are 4 of us guys, staying 3 nights (3/6 though 3/9).
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 11:28 AM
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The I70 to Grand Junction route is the more traveled and better plowed. The other main way is Highway 50 to Montrose. It's a beautiful drive, but parts by the reservoir get icy and it's rather slow going. Having done both, I'd take the I70 to Grand Junction and head south from there route. Of course with either route you have to drive over Red Mountain Pass, which is a hold onto your hat type of pass. Especially from Ouray to Silverton. That 300ft drop with no guard rail and a six inch wide emergency lane does not leave much room for error. Take your time on that one. You could drive the 285 and around route, but that would add hours to your drive and the passes to Silverton from that direction are not much better. If it's really coming down the routes into Silverton will get closed fairly quickly, so I would try to beat the storm as much as possible Argo. I can't think of a better place to be stuck in than the town of Silverton when the roads close. Great 'effin town.

As far as places to stay. Their is the Hostel in Silverton. Most people stay there and I believe it is the cheapest option. Some good deals on houses can be found on VRBO too.

The other option is to stay in Ouray, which is a nice town too. Of course that means you have to drive the gnarly section of Red Mountain pass every day you go to Silverton.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for the response, The route through Durango is what I was curious about. I have only been to silverton in Summer via train..... Have not been on the roads. Glad to hear it is maintained coming from the north, that was my main concern.

Hope we get through before the roads close.... I have driven wolf creek pass and it takes an avy or some serious dampage to close that pass.... They do have guardrails though.... The never close the pass between mint urn and Leadville and I have driven that a lot also in some bad weather. It also has guardrails in most curvy places.

We got a house vrbo fashion.... We use vrbo when we travel all the time. This time it was arranged through the team admin but they use it too..... Great site for finding places wherever you go.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 11:46 AM
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The Durango way is nice, but Wolf Creek Pass closes a lot more than you think. With the heavy snowfall they are talking about it will likely be closed at the ski area or at the Summit if you don't get there in time. There is a serious avalanche path on the West side and it's a monster. CDOT gets rightfully nervous about that one. Overall though, Wolf Creek pass is an easy drive if it's open. On top of all of that you got Coal Bank and Molass Pass to deal with getting into Silverton. Which I remember as being fairly gnarly in winter. Plus the extra 2-3 hours of driving going around that way.

Red Mountain Pass will get your attention, but I don't personally think it's worth avoiding because of that. I've driven over it a few times in snowy conditions, last time in a pretty good storm. Doing it in daylight if you can does help.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 11:56 AM
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Thanks again. Red it is.... Hopefully we get some good snow and are able to make it. Hope everyone has a great weekend with this fresh snow coming.
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 11:57 AM
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Should be good weekend to be down there. Pay attention to your guides. The San Juans are the best terrain in the state.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 12:28 PM
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Just caught that Wolf Creek Pass is closed right now due to snow fall. At least according to the Spruce Creek Lodge. Argo, I hope your ass is already on the way to Silverton, sounds like the San Juans are getting hammered. If not, you might want to look into a place in Ouray for the night. It's a nice town and I think CDOT will get probably get the pass open fairly early in the AM. This storm packs a punch, but it is also not supposed to stick around for all that long.
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 12:49 PM
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Not leaving until my wife is off work at 430. Been riding vail all morning. Going home for a nap now... if the pass is open I'll drive it. The bulk of the storm is supposed to be done Early this evening down there... guess I will find out soon enough northeast facing slopes are deep with wind loading today. Fucking windy on top but nice once your on the runs
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 12:51 PM
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Red mountain pass is listed as open with packed snow and ice... hope it stays that way. Glad i got my 35" snow tires put on. Lol
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-11-2013, 01:22 PM
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As long as it is open, I'd go for it. The gnarly canyon is somewhat protected from blowing snow so visibility is not usually it's problem. After you get out of it, there are spots that get pretty nasty. Like the top of Rabbit Ears if you ever travel that way during a storm. It's still pretty reasonable.

Looks like a lot of fresh down that way. Should be an awesome weekend. Try to pull out the camera, that area photographs well. Plus if you don't have pics, it didn't happen as far as we are concerned.
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