diamond in the rough

by: madcity - Oct 31, 2009

  • Overall Rating 5
  • Family Friendly 3
  • All-Mtn. Terrain 5
  • Terrain Park 3
  • Nightlife 4

    Pros: Advanced, varied terrain. not crowded

    Cons: none for me

    Recommended For: Singles, Empty Nesters

    Date Visited: Jan 1, 2008

Full review

Maybe the most underrated mountain in Colorado. Not usually mentioned in the same breath as the big-boys like Vail, Steamboat, Snowmass, Copper, etc,. But this one is worth your trip. Although its not as large or popular as its neighbors like Snowmass and Aspen (Ajax), it has very challenging terrain - steeps, glades, moguls, a huge backside bowl, and an incredible view of the Maroon Bells.

Not recommended for beginners or families (young, inexperienced families that is), but if you are intermediate and above, you will reap the benefits of uncrowded runs and lifts.

At the top of the mountain, a snowcat gives free rides laterally across a ridge where it drops you off to either drop in to highland bowl or hike to where you want to drop-in. Unfortunately the ride is mostly lateral, while the hike is mostly vertical. I would rather have it the other way around, but you can't have everything you want- right? The bowl is huge, and even less crowded than lower slopes- as you would expect. Better snow can be found here long after the lower mtn is cut up.

Skip Ajax, go to Highlands.