• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Aspen Snowmass from 4/7 to 4/14......

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
Resort or Ski Area
Snowmass
Date
Apr 7, 2023
Snow Conditions
  1. Slush or Spring Snow
  2. Cord
  3. Sticky
Our last ski trip of the year, wanted to make Snowmass our home base this visit as we have only skied it one day previously. I got a chance to ski all of best stuff off the the High Alpine and Cirque T-bar between today and the first day I skied here. While the snow was perfect spring conditions, the terrain was a little underwhelming compared to some of the best stuff in Utah, California, Jackson Hole, or Big Sky but I had already expected that. This place definitely has the best intermediate terrain that I have ever seen if that's your thing. I skied Possible, Roberto's, and Baby Ruth the last time which is all marked as extreme terrain on the map. Those runs are definitely overrated as far as difficulty goes, I'd say Possible is the toughest run of the three here because it's so narrow and it is steep. Ajax mountain is a third the size but I like the terrain over there better. Here are a couple of my better photos from the day......
20230407_123140~3.jpg20230407_123150~2.jpg20230407_123233~2.jpg20230407_131016~2.jpg20230407_131155~2.jpg20230407_131354.jpg20230407_131603~2.jpg20230407_110946~2.jpg
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
Skied with my son again yesterday. It took until noon or so for the snow to soften up. We skied for a few hours and worked in the two most challenging runs at Snowmass in Baby Ruth and Possible. I thought Baby Ruth was worse as it was very icy at the top and the coverage wasn't great. He thought Possible was worse due to the narrow drop in. Both runs have around 40 degree pitches. After you get down those it puts you right into the Hanging Valley and Frog Pond Glades which must be amazing with snow. Here are some of my better photos from the day....
20230408_111635~2.jpg
20230408_111711~2.jpg
20230408_112350~2.jpg
20230408_124114~2.jpg
20230408_124652~2.jpg
20230408_125425~2.jpg
 

jimk

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
1,831
Points
113
Location
Wash DC area
You guys tackle the tough stuff! Your son's a gamer.

I've been in skiing Utah the last 2.5 months. This past week, Apr 2-9 parts of the Wasatch got 5' snow and now 50 deg temps. This has made both Cottonwood Canyons extremely dangerous for avalanches with numerous and lengthy closures, interlodges, etc. for many days. The week ahead will also be fouled up due to threat of wet slides around access roads and slopes. You're probably safer in Colorado!
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
You guys tackle the tough stuff! Your son's a gamer.

I've been in skiing Utah the last 2.5 months. This past week, Apr 2-9 parts of the Wasatch got 5' snow and now 50 deg temps. This has made both Cottonwood Canyons extremely dangerous for avalanches with numerous and lengthy closures, interlodges, etc. for many days. The week ahead will also be fouled up due to threat of wet slides around access roads and slopes. You're probably safer in Colorado!
He said he was one and done on that after we got off of Possible!

Be careful out there. I saw there was a large out of bounds slide that hit the beginner area at Snowbird which is pretty crazy. It's in full spring conditions mode over here.
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
Happy Easter everyone one. Got 3 hours of skiing in today under perfect sunny spring conditions. Skied most of it on groomers with my wife who is recovering from a really bad cold so we were taking it easy. After getting to know my way around Snowmass, I'm really liking this mountain alot. It has some of everything. This is probably the best intermediate terrain in the country if that's your thing but Snowmass also has alot of great expert terrain too. No it's not Snowbird but it's still really good once you get to know your way around, plus there is way more here to do after skiing. When my wife went in my son and I hit two of the harder runs off of the Cirque called Gowdy's and AMF which both had really steep drop-ins. I definitely like the terrain best off of the High Alpine lift but it is really good too over at the Cirque. Here were some of my better photos from the day.....
20230409_115434~2.jpg
20230409_132426~3.jpg
20230409_132839~2.jpg20230409_133813~2.jpg
20230409_134027~2.jpg
20230409_134131~2.jpg
20230409_134135~2.jpg
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
On a separate note, this new generation of camera phones are spectacular. I took some photos of the Maroon Bells at the top of the Elk Camp lift today. The first photo was with 1 times zoom which is the normal setting, you can barely see the Maroon Bells in the background.....
Screenshot_20230409_185201_Photos.jpg
This is a photo with 3 times zoom....
20230409_115207~2.jpg
And this is a photo with 10 times zoom. I can't even imagine how much better these zoom functions are going to be 5 or 10 years down the road. There will be no need for a regular camera I would guess, at some point....
20230409_115212~2.jpg
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
28,072
Points
113
Location
Southeast NH
Snowmass has some good stuff for sure. My only complaint is that the good stuff is short on vertical and is difficult to lap as they require multiple lifts to access. I suppose that helps keep the traffic down.

Highlands is by far my favorite, then Ajax, then Snowmass. I didn't bother with Buttermilk

Were those photos taken with a phone? If so, what model? A better camera is something I desire on my next upgrade.
 

jimk

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
1,831
Points
113
Location
Wash DC area
I agree that Snowmass has the best intermediate terrain that I've experienced in about 95 US ski areas. Sheer Bliss, Big Burn, etc. are super long, super wide and tilted at a very pleasing medium angle.
Those zooms with your phone are very clear. When I do that with my 3 year old Samsung Galaxy S10e they get blurry; e. g.:
fantasy patrol 6 april.jpg
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
Snowmass has some good stuff for sure. My only complaint is that the good stuff is short on vertical and is difficult to lap as they require multiple lifts to access. I suppose that helps keep the traffic down.

Highlands is by far my favorite, then Ajax, then Snowmass. I didn't bother with Buttermilk

Were those photos taken with a phone? If so, what model? A better camera is something I desire on my next upgrade.
Yes that was my first impression as well until I got to know the mountain a little better. If you start out on a run in Cirque area, then catch the High Alpine lift at the bottom, you can really pair some nice expert runs together. Yes the chutes aren't long at the High Alpine (or Cirque) but I consider the Hanging Valley and Frog Pond Glades extentions of those runs. The terrain back there is outstanding and parts are nearly as steep as Roberto's, Baby Ruth, or Possible. You can ski that area 50 times and never hit the same line. Going down Possible is the best way to access everything back there in my opinion. Roberto's is a pain to get to but also gives you great access.
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
I agree that Snowmass has the best intermediate terrain that I've experienced in about 95 US ski areas. Sheer Bliss, Big Burn, etc. are super long, super wide and tilted at a very pleasing medium angle.
Those zooms with your phone are very clear. When I do that with my 3 year old Samsung Galaxy S10e they get blurry; e. g.:
View attachment 58042
I'm using the Samsung Ultra 22 for these zoomed in photos.
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
Had to work most of the day so we didn't get out very long. Also we got out late in the day so the snow was very sticky, although the spring bumps were still good. 10 am to 1 pm is about the perfect timeframe for this part of the season. We tried the Campground area on the lower mountain which was a little underwhelming due to snow quality but that area does look like it would be great with good snow. The whole Hanging Valley area was closed today so we traversed all the way over from the top of the Cirque t-bar after we finished up on the Campground area. We hit a very cool tree run called cookies, then called it. Here are some photos from the day, tomorrow is a break day.....
20230410_123227~2.jpg
image.jpg
20230410_133715~2.jpg
20230410_133318~2.jpg
20230410_133544~2.jpg
 

Attachments

  • 20230410_133520~2.jpg
    20230410_133520~2.jpg
    3.9 MB · Views: 0
Last edited:

LonghornSkier

Active member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
318
Points
28
Location
Hoboken
Was there a dust event recently that hit CO specifically? Seeing more of a tint in your photos than I expected!
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
One of the locals that I was riding the chair with said that dust on the snow probably blew in from Moab.
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
Had to work most of the day today but did get in about 2 hours of skiing. Spring conditions were great at the top of the mountain but got real sticky towards the bottom. We skied mostly off of the High Alpine lift, with snow, there is some great tree skiing within that pod especially near the lift. All of the chutes on the High Alpine and Cirque were closed again today. Here are some photos from the day....20230412_120907~2.jpg
20230412_113719~2.jpg
20230412_121021~2.jpg
20230412_121436.jpg
20230412_122310~2.jpg
20230412_124334~2.jpg
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
Skied the Highlands for the first time today. The Deep Temerity lift was closed but most of everything else was accessible. I had no desire to hike up to the Highlands bowl, tour guides were available though if you wanted to make the trek up there. This mountain is very narrow and does have quite a bit of steep skiing, especially in the trees. The ungroomed snow was so bad though that it wasn't worth dropping in anything not groomed. We did a handful of runs off of the Loge Peak and Cloud Nine chairs then called it a day after 2 hours. I'm not a huge fan of groomers but they were alot of fun at the Highlands. The groomers are steep and narrow, you can really fly down the mountain here. We did ski one double black run called Moment of Truth but as I mentioned earlier, the snow wasn't great. I would definitely like to visit again during the heart of winter season. Aside from the great expert skiing, the surrounding scenery here at the Highlands is spectacular. With that being said, I did get a decent feel for this mountain today and would rank them in this order... Snowmass, Ajax, then Highlands. Most of the locals I've spoken with over the last couple of trips rank them the same. Here are some of my better photos from the day.....
20230413_101813~3.jpg
20230413_101620~2.jpg
20230413_102628~2.jpg
The Highlands bowl in the background....
20230413_101524~2.jpg
You can see that the ungroomed snow wasn't great.....
20230413_111615~2.jpg
20230413_111810~3.jpg
I believe that is a view of the Independence pass in the background which is one of the craziest roads you can drive on. The road is only open in the summer months.....
image.jpg
Our last day of skiing is tomorrow, it is supposed to snow overnight so we I'll see how that goes.....
 

Attachments

  • 20230413_102628~2.jpg
    20230413_102628~2.jpg
    2.3 MB · Views: 1
  • 20230413_101524~2.jpg
    20230413_101524~2.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 1

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
28,072
Points
113
Location
Southeast NH
Those rankings surprise me from locals. I am decidedly Highlands as the best of the bunch. It has by far the best expert terrain of the bunch even without the hike too terrain.
 

Tonyr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
804
Points
63
I was kind of surprised too but agree after getting to know the mountains here. Most of the locals ski Ajax and Snowmass with Snowmass being the most popular destination. Originally Highlands was somewhat of an after thought in the valley. It was known as a cheap place to ski before Aspen bought it. That Deep Temerity lift really opened things up and made Highlands what it is today giving the Highlands bowl alot more accessibility. It seems like most locals that live in the area ski it alot less than Snowmass and Ajax. I've had lifties and bartenders tell me this and it's a consistent response with the well to do locals too. They all ski Ajax and Snowmass with some days at the Highlands and maybe 1 or 2 days at Buttermilk per season. I was told Buttermilk is really only fun to go to when the X Games are there. The Highlands is a party spot.
 
Top