To Whom It May Be Of Snow Concern,

As a Durango native, (oh, geez, the obligatory preface): outdoor sports performance coach of over 3.5 decades, yoga/fitness teacher of s(om)e renown, gainer of a ‘few’ podiums across many winter sports, and way more importantly?  The ever-learning father of a 9 year-old girl who loves to rip it across both alpine and nordic disciplines come winter?

I stand FIRMLY AGAINST ANY INCREASE of heli-supported skiing acreage at Silverton Mountain.

Enough is enough. Brill’s ‘advancement’ of Silverton Mountain is sooooo nauseatingly predictable of his sort;  WIDER IS BETTER!   MORE IS BETTER!



When you go WIDE (more acreage) the Teaching grows more Shallow.

If you stay ROOTED?

The Teaching goes DEEPER.

It’s simple Tao Of Skiing…guess, Aaron missed that memo (era/philosophy) or has evidently succumbed to $ over Tao.  All karma is God.

See, I come from a long lineage of self-propelled mountain athletes.  This whole notion of catering/ushering ‘backcountry skiing’ to rich – usually white people – via noise and fossil-fueled helicopters equipped with missiles (i’m not making this up) to shoot into Mother Earth for ‘avalanche mitigation’ over sacred snowy wilderness where I may be sweating up such preciously white slopes while imparting spiritual dharma to my daughter or students, must stop. It must stop NOW! Brill’s forwarding of “Silverton Mountain” is precariously similar to DAPL:  just PUSH THROUGH Native, Sacred Lands…QUICK!  Before they find out!   Well, the Noble Warrior(ess)’s stood firm at Standing Rock, and feeble ilg says, let’s stand FIRM at Silverton Mountain!  NO INCREASED ACREAGE!   The ol’ chairlift access is awes(om)e and perfect as is!!!

There is more to skiing (and life) than merely increasing its acreage (or length).

A genuine skier will mine far more inner, spiritual depth within the confines of say, Hesperus Hill or Chapman Hill (which, per captia?  has produced more State, Regional, National, and yes, Olympic skiers than any other in-town ski hill in the U.S. including myself – when there used to be not one but FOUR Nordic Jumps over those two area’s!).

There is more to winter sports than merely accelerating access to those who can afford it with dollars instead of fitness and skill and inwardly tuned wisd(om).

Enough is enough. Go within.  It’s what real local skiers do.  Go Within.  We wax our own skis, we take care of our sacred snow land…Least…that’s how i feel it.  And teach it.  And try to impart it.  Go within.

Head bowed,

Steve Ilg


Author/THE WINTER ATHLETE (Johnson Press)

Leave a Reply