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Ski the Mountain
Aspen Mountain has been offering black diamond skiing directly above the town of Aspen since 1947. Though somewhat small in size, Aspen Mountain offers every kind of terrain in a compact, accessible package. The knowledgeable skier can maximize vertical by linking together fall line runs all over the mountain. From steeps to bumps to trees, Aspen Mountain is a terrain smorgasbord, accessed by a state-of-the-art gondola (iTunes docks included) and eight lifts. Aside from Christmas break, lines don’t exist on Aspen Mountain. On a crowded day, there are only three skiers per acre, meaning you’ll likely have a run to yourself.
When it snows more than six inches on “Ajax,” you’ll hear many an Aspen local claim: “Face to Six.” Follow their lead by taking the gondola and skiing Silver Dip to Ridge of Bell. When you hit Bell Mountain, head either left or right, as both traverses take you to the front side of “Bell.” Ski the glades to Chair Six or “FIS.” The double chair deposits you atop a gladed ridge known as “the Dumps.” Head downhill and take your pick of tree shots and mind the mine shafts. Stay close to the lift line for a bonus lap on Six, or head farther down mountain to Zaugg Dump, which will funnel you to Spar Gulch, Aspen Mountain’s main highway gully run. Take the gondola back up to hit Kristi’s or Walsh’s—double diamond faces on a lightly wooded slope that link up with Gentleman’s Ridge and Jackpot to form the longest black diamond run on the mountain. A series of steep glades drop down from Gentleman’s Ridge to Copper Bowl, Aspen Mountain’s other main artery leading to the base.
Groomers and Family
Aspen Mountain boasts 76 meticulously runs. The steepest one, Silver Queen, sits at an angle of 42 degrees. Aspen Mountain isn’t ideal for beginners, but it’s possible to ski the upper mountain while avoiding Spar Gulch and Copper Bowl, the two main top-to-botton funnel runs, which tend to intimidate families and beginner skiers. Ski off Chairs Seven, Three or Six to find some intermediate terrain at the top of the mountain. Don’t miss Ruthie’s Run, quite possibly the most consistent, fall line groomer in Colorado. The entire family will enjoy Bonnie’s, a midmountain restaurant serving legendary white bean chili and apple strudel with homemade whipped cream. Its famous two-tiered outdoor deck is a favorite hangout spot.
Aspen Skiing Company focuses their park efforts on Snowmass and Buttermilk.
You won’t need to look hard to find bumps on Aspen Mountain. The steepness of the resort lends itself to many a bump run, with some of the favorites being Dipsy Headwall, Ridge of Bell, FIS Slalom Hill and Lazy Eight Gully. For tree skiing, hit Glade #3 off Gentleman’s Ridge or Bear Paw in “the Dumps,” off of Chair Six. Back of Bell serves up challenging tree skiing, tight shots and bumps. For an out-of-bounds experience, Aspen Mountain Powder Tours will hook you up with fresh tracks on the backside of the mountain.
Projected Opening Ski Season: 11/22/2012
Projected Closing Ski Season: 04/28/2013
Projected Days Open: 138
Days Open Last Year: 138
Years Open: 66
Average Snowfall: 300"
Pros: Empty till noon on Powder Days!!!!
Cons: Bogus Snow Report
Pros: Snowmass has lots of runs, terrain, and powder. Great food and Viceroy hotel rocks
Cons: Some ice down low
Pros: steep terrain, powder, fresh snow
Cons: dangerous terrain
Pros: Best restaurants, 4 mountains with best free bus service
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