Aspen Snowmass is one of the world’s most famous ski resorts and is located near Aspen and Snowmass Village (hence the names), Colorado (U.S.). This is the place where many famous and totally unknown people from all over the world enjoy skiing. The resort complex is owned by the Aspen Skiing Company. The four ski areas that make the resort are Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass.
What is called the Aspen Mountain comprises the Aspen Mountain (duh) and the Bell Mountain. If you have problems locating the area, just ask about the White River National Forest, as Aspen Mountain is located within it (of course, it’s more likely that you’ll find Aspen before White River National Forest). This ski area is smaller than many visitors may expect, as it only has 673 acres (2.7 km2). That being said, the height is what most matters. You can reach an elevation of 11,212 ft (3,417m), which allows you-among others-to admire the small and charming town of Aspen.
Aspen Mountain was opened in 1946 and it is the oldest of the Aspen Snowmass complex. This place has been quite resistant to change, which may be appealing if you want to taste a bit of 1950s and 1960s. For example, the vintage skiing culture can be seen in the many elements of the “good old days”, good examples being the tributes and homemade memorials created in the honor of people such as John Denver. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is believed that the area was the place where the first Panty tree of bras appeared.
Aspen Mountain has several lifts, including 1 high-speed double, 1 high-speed quad 2 quads, 3 doubles, and, last but not least, the Silver Queen Gondola-a structure with a vertical rise of 3,267 ft (996m). Access from the town of Aspen is provided both by the Silver Queen Gondola and the Little Nell chairlift. The overall lift capacity is 10,755 humans per hour (not bad at all).
Aspen Mountain is not recommended for those who have only recently been initiated into skiing. Instead, learners should use the other three areas of the Aspen Snowmass complex. While 26% of the terrain offered by the area for skiing is considered to be appropriate for experts, the rest of it is well-suited for those with moderate skills.
Aspen Highlands is particularly famous for its Highland Bowl-one of the most challenging places for skiing in terms of intensity. The main access to Highland Bowl is through hiking from the Loge Peak. Highland Bowl provides access from the summit into the Five Finger Bowl- an avalanche-prone backcountry.
Without a doubt, a great thing about Highlands is the just-above-timberline summit of it. Access is provided by the high-speed quad that originates at the Merry-Go-Round. At the summit, you can view Hayden Mountain, Highland Bowl, Maroon Bells, and Pyramid Peak (you’re spoiled, I know).
The lower part of Aspen Highlands also contains several interesting things. For instance, it has an expansive steep intermediate run called Thunderbowl, which is typically used for ski competitions that take place in the mountain area. If you are up for some challenge, at the bottom of the mountain you can also find Lower Stein and P-Chutes runs, both of which are meant to serve experts.
If you are not an expert and not even a skier with moderate skills, Buttermilk Ski Area is exactly what you are looking for, as it is considered the easiest of all the areas in Aspen. However, it is worth noticing that the area is not fully dedicated to beginners and it contains three sections: West Buttermilk for easy skiing, Main Buttermilk for intermediate skiing, and Tiehack for those seeking challenge (even the name is a challenge). All in all, Buttermilk is ideal for beginners and you may consider it first if you want to learn skiing or snowboarding. This is even more true when considering it offers services for children below the age of 6, services which include children ski schools that combine learning with playing.
Snowmass is by far the largest of the four mountain areas-larger than the other three combined. The area is famous for impressive ski-in/ski-out lodging and wide cruiser runs. The mountain also includes gladed terrain, mogul runs, and a terrain that would make happy those into extreme skiing and adrenaline!
Once again, for those into extreme skiing, in Snowmass you can find the most vertical feet of skiing from the entire U.S. That’s quite cool and if you want to get there you have 1 high-speed six-pack, 1 double, 2 gondolas, 2 quads, and 2 pull lifts and 8 high-speed quads waiting for you.
Hiking & Camping in Aspen Snowmass
For detailed information regarding ski/snowboard lessons, dining, access, and other relevant information, visit the official website of Aspen Skiing Company here.
Find trails and lifts at Aspen Snowmass with FatMap. Select Ski touring or Freeride and compare trails in terms of slope aspect and steepness.
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