by: papi6022 - 12th September 2013

  • 5
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced/Expert
  • 5All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 5Family Friendly
  • 5Aprés Ski
  • 5Terrain Park
  • Overall Value
Awesome terrain variety, fab town, few peep's on the slopes!
expensive

Full review

It'd be hard to beat the "power of four" (as they advertise) and it's close to being true. I've been coming here for years at least a week a season and even at holidays it's rarely crowded, the exception being Snowmass base - it's got all the kids, families and ski lessons converging in morning mayhem, but once up the mountain the folks spread out considerably. Each peak has it's own blessings with Snowmass having the most blues. It also has huge amounts of bowl and tree skiing some of which - Hanging Valley, the Cirque - are seriously challenging and a thrill. I always stay in Aspen town because it's so great and classic and take the free shuttles to everywhere. If you stay at the Sky Hotel or the Little Nell you can basically fall onto Aspen mountain as it's your front yard. Many great paths down "Ajax" especially the Gentleman's Ridge tree runs, all the faces and sides of Bell ridge, and America's original downhill run - Ruthies Run - down all the way to town - one of best super, fast intermediate runs in the country. You can access some fun, little pitches off the F.I.S. chair and no one is ever there. Some people complain that runs are fairly short on Ajax, but if you're doing some of the double blacks that's not always a bad thing, and the cruise down the lower third is also a super fast chute, just watch out for collision potential. There are no greens on Ajax, hence, few beginners, nice for everyone as they have their own mountain - Buttermilk. There's good terrain at Buttermilk, especially the Tiehak side with some very good tree runs no one is ever on and zero lift lines. It gets the short shrift here because of what all the other mountains offer, but on its own it easily compares to good mountains anywhere. Then there's Aspen Highlands, home to the legendary Highlands Bowl - an hour hike up to the top for a long glorious ride down the bowl and then into trees. The Temerity lift accesses some ridiculous steeps and once again you have it all to yourself! Olympic ridge had wonderful glades that lead to the bottom and some badass bumps, or you can cruise on the Golden Horn, a beauty of a groomed intermediate bowl with it's own lift. Despite its rep, Aspen is definitely laid back, and this kind of culture doesn't really allow pretentiousness to dominate, because even if you've billions, so does the person down the street so why compete?! What you'll find is some amazing variety of eats, drinks, and shops and some excellent ski/boarding stores at all price points, a hugely fun crowd of locals and visitors all happy to be in this neck of Paradise. I know I always am!
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