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Aspen with skiNEwhere, Feb 4-6, 2016

jimk

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Aspen with skiNEwhere, Feb 4-6, 2016

This report is a little bit late, but snow conditions are so great in CO that they should still be holding up very well a week later. Last week my son and I met up with skiNEwhere for three super days of skiing in Aspen, CO. It was mostly sunny during our time together with seasonal temps, but they had received 40" of new snow in the week prior to our arrival. They have had a great snow year all along, so conditions were about as good as they get. We skied a day each together at Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Ajax.

Photo: this is my son and skiNEwhere on the summit of Aspen Highlands. These guys lapped Deep Temerity chair much of the day and also did two runs in Highland Bowl, including one hike to the summit without bothering to ride the free snowcat. Oh to be young again!! Yours truly joined them on occasion including a couple early drop-ins in Highland Bowl, but can't charge all day like the young guns! Aspen Highlands might be my very favorite of the ~85 ski areas I have skied in North America and Europe. It's got amazing advanced terrain, fabulous scenery, huge vert, yet still has an intimate "locals mountain" feeling that lets you to get acquainted quickly.


Photo: this is skiNEwhere at Aspen Highlands on a run/glade called No Name in Olympic Bowl. The scenery in this section of the mountain with 14ers like Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells as a backdrop is un-freaking-believable.


Photo: this is a shot I took of a lady friend of ours who skied the Deep Temerity trail pod with us at Aspen Highlands. The runs and glades off this lift are relentless with a steep and bumped-up 1700' of thigh-burning vertical.



Photo: we had kind of a chaotic day at Snowmass trying to find our way around without a knowledgeable guide, but there is some great stuff there. This is skiNEwhere moving quickly in the lengthy Hanging Valley Glades. Snowmass has a bunch of lifts that each rise a vertical of around 2000' feet, so you get a lot of long runs there.


Photo: a mutual friend in the Hanging Valley area at Snowmass, Roberto's run? Deep snowpack, the cliffs are almost covered in snow.



Don't let anyone tell you Ajax is small and boring. It's a very fine mountain for black diamond snowriders with tons of steep glades and bump runs, in some ways better than Snowmass in that regard. There are copious black diamond nooks and crannies with low traffic and you can ride the long, uncrowded gondi all day for continuous 3000+ vertical laps down the mountain. Believe me, only the young and very fit can do that for eight hours straight.

A mutual buddy on Ajax somewhere in some glades around the back of Bell Mtn if I remember correctly:


Too bad I can't comment on the cool town of Aspen and all the great nightlife. Even though we stayed right on Main Street, all we did while there was ski, eat, and sleep :-o

skiNEwhere was taking video on and off during the three days. Here's a very short video he took of my son crashing in a glade at Ajax. Gives you a flavor for their uptempo skiing. Those two guys are pretty fearless.:spread:
Here is the video of the crash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeJFlEP3ztU

Yours truly on Deception trail in Olympic Bowl at Aspen Highlands:


A gang of us heading to more good trees on Ajax. That gondi rises ~3200' vertical, this spot is about halfway down the hill.
 
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Edd

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Aspen is the shit. After quite a few western trips, I find it to be the ideal area, with every type of terrain and plenty of it. There is the small matter of $. After that, it's an easy decision.

And the nightlife is not to be missed, IMO.
 

4aprice

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Aspen is the shit. After quite a few western trips, I find it to be the ideal area, with every type of terrain and plenty of it. There is the small matter of $. After that, it's an easy decision.

And the nightlife is not to be missed, IMO.

Agree. My situation takes me to Utah these days but Aspen is still my favorite resort hands down. I even had enjoyable days on Buttermilk. Haven't been to a ski town that beats it yet either (need to get to Telluride) . Planning my Colo/Utah get away in April and can't wait (won't include Aspen though)

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

jimk

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Agree. My situation takes me to Utah these days but Aspen is still my favorite resort hands down. I even had enjoyable days on Buttermilk. Haven't been to a ski town that beats it yet either (need to get to Telluride) . Planning my Colo/Utah get away in April and can't wait (won't include Aspen though)

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ

There's a good chance I will be skiing Snowbird for five out of the following six days: 3/31-4/5/16.
 

KevinF

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Aspen is the shit. After quite a few western trips, I find it to be the ideal area, with every type of terrain and plenty of it. There is the small matter of $. After that, it's an easy decision.

And the nightlife is not to be missed, IMO.

Agreed. I've had the opportunity to visit a decent number of places "out West"... I could just keep going back to Aspen each year. Whatever you're looking for, they have... and they have a lot of it.

I've been to Aspen four or five times now... I don't think I've *ever* waited in a lift line there. There's NOBODY there! I was there at the same time jimk was, three or four feet of snow had fallen, and we just skied onto the lift every single time!
 

deadheadskier

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I loved the Aspen area. I'd take it over Summit County, Vail, Steamboat etc.

I do remember paying $14.27 for a small house margarita at the St. Regis, so it's pricey for sure. That said, I don't get the "snobby" reputation it has. I thought people were very down to earth there.

Of course some people claim Stowe is snobby in the east. I don't see it.
 

4aprice

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There's a good chance I will be skiing Snowbird for five out of the following six days: 3/31-4/5/16.

Jim, my plans are not finalized as of yet but there is a chance I will be in Salt Lake at the same time you are there. Will PM if plans materialize that way

I loved the Aspen area. I'd take it over Summit County, Vail, Steamboat etc.

I do remember paying $14.27 for a small house margarita at the St. Regis, so it's pricey for sure. That said, I don't get the "snobby" reputation it has. I thought people were very down to earth there.

Of course some people claim Stowe is snobby in the east. I don't see it.

Condo we stayed at was right across the street from the St Regis, but never hit it up for a drink. Used to go over to the Tippler for dancing. Way back it was the Paragon Ballroom and the old deck at Little Nells. Saw some wild stuff there. Never felt the snobbiness or let any snobby reputation step on our fun, always had a good time there.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

dlague

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Aspen is the shit. After quite a few western trips, I find it to be the ideal area, with every type of terrain and plenty of it. There is the small matter of $. After that, it's an easy decision.

And the nightlife is not to be missed, IMO.

Are we talking about all four of the ski areas, Aspen actual, or the town? We are planning a trip to Snowmass using the workplace deal.
 

Edd

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Yes, the combined ski areas (haven't skied Buttermilk), plus the town. Shuttles from town go everywhere, and the lift tickets are accepted at all four areas.
 

4aprice

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Yes, the combined ski areas (haven't skied Buttermilk), plus the town. Shuttles from town go everywhere, and the lift tickets are accepted at all four areas.

Buttermilk is a great place to go run and hide if there is a storm skiing day. Tough to be up on the Burn, High Alpine, or Elk Camp at Snowmass or Loges at Highlands when the snow and wind are whipping around. Buttermilk West for cruising, and Tiehack for trees and steeper stuff.

As for town, I agree with Edd, it's the best ski town I've ever experienced. I would like to see Telluride to compare (Park City doesn't do it for me). Snow in Utah is better, resort life in Colo is better. Can't wait to get west in April.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 
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