Silverton Mountain, Colorado's newest and highest ski area, located in the Southwestern part of the state, got first tracks of the '02-'03 ski season. With several September storms dropping over 20 inches of snow at the top of the ski area, Silverton Mountain experienced its first ski run of the season on September 18.

A handful of Silverton Mountain employees lucky enough to be working fired up the lift to get in a couple of pre-season runs before work. Jerome Gardner, a Silverton Mountain employee joked, "Best run of the season," after skiing calf-deep powder yesterday.

The abundance of early season snowfall has allowed Silverton Mountain to push the projected opening date for skiing up to October 17th 2002. Silverton Mountain has no snowmaking, yet it should be the first ski area open in the nation this year.

For more information on Colorado's upstart resort, check out