Conditions Report: Skiing a Colorado Classic | Silver Couloir on Buffalo Mountain

Greg Obernesser | | Trip ReportTrip Report
Buffalo Mountain on the left coming down I-70 West with the couloir on the right side. Credit: Calm Cradle Photo

The Silver Couloir is a not just a Colorado classic ski descent, it is one listed in Fifty Classic Ski Descents in North America. It is in the book for good reason, the line is monstrous and can be seen from while heading west just out of Eisenhower tunnel. Buffalo Mountain is the peak that literally looks like a buffalo with its big rounded shape. The full tour takes about 5 hours at an average pace.

Skinning up Buffalo Mountain. Credit: instagregoh

About the ascent: We opted to skin the ridge, but the other route is to boot pack up the couloir. The skin route is about 2.4 miles and takes you straight up the shoulder towards the summit. Total elevation gain is around 3,100 feet. The beginning of the route begins at about 9,800 feet and ends at 12,900 feet.

Photo Tour:

Nearing the summit of Buffalo Mountain. Credit: instagregoh
Facing south on Buffalo Mountain looking at Copper Mountain. Credit: instagregoh
Summit of Buffalo Mountain. Credit: instagregoh

About the descent: The Silver Couloir is a classic in my opinion because of its accessibility and its incredible descent. The couloir stretches a full 3,000 feet to the valley floor with an average pitch near 30 degrees. Certain spots can get steep with pitches near 40 degrees, but there is tons of lateral room.

Mouth of the Silver Couloir. Credit: instagregoh
A couple of hundred feet down the Silver Couloir. Credit: instagregoh
Jason making GS turns in the middle of the Silver. Credit: instagregoh
Jason in the middle of the Silver Couloir. Credit: instagregoh

 

Dave choosing a spicier line. Credit: instagregoh
Nearing the bottom of the Silver Couloir. Credit: instagregoh
Jason & Ben at the bottom of the Silver Couloir, looking up. Credit: instagregoh

Know before you go. Get the gear, get the training, get the avalanche forecast.


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