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Kendall Mountain Recreation Area. Run by the town, Kendall Mountain Recreation Area is a single-tow ski center open weekends during ski season, weather permitting. It's not a challenging slope, so it's perfect for beginners. You can also skate, sled, and cross-country ski here. Rentals are available. 1 Kendall Mountain Pl., Silverton, CO, 81433. 970/387–0182. www.skikendall.com. $20.
Silverton Mountain. About 6 miles north of town, Silverton Mountain is one of the country's simplest yet most innovative ski areas. Open to expert skiers and boarders only, Silverton Mountain operates one double lift that accesses more than 1,800 acres of never-groomed backcountry steeps. It's the highest ski area in North America, as well as the steepest. The mountain sets a limit of roughly 80 people per day, and most of the time you feel like you have the mountain to yourself. There's no fancy lodge, either—in fact, there's no running water, but you can buy bottled water, along with simple lunches, at the base area. You can rent equipment, including a mandatory avalanche beacon, and other gear. Guided and unguided excursions are available. The ski area also now offers helicopter skiing seven days a week by reservation, which expands the skiable territory to more than 20,000 acres. Off Hwy. 110, Silverton, CO, 81433. 970/387–5706. www.silvertonmountain.com. $49–$99. Dec.–Apr., Thurs.–Sun. 9–4.