Skiing Aspen Mountain is a special thing among dedicated skiers across the country and around the world. Every year people travel from as far as South America, a lot of Brazilians come to Aspen, and as far as France and Italy where they themselves have great skiing. The come all the way to Colorado so ski one of the truly great ski mountains in North America.
What makes Aspen so great is a combination of factors culminating in an amazing ski experience. First the mountain rises right our of the heart of town, meaning no driving to the mountain all dressed in your ski clothes and overheating, trying to find a parking spot, and paying twenty or even forty dollars for the day to park as you would in Vail. Instead you walk from your hotel right to the Silver Queen Gondola, in your ski boots if you like. This comfort has resulted in more than one skier still out at 2:00 a.m. in their ski boots after skiing all day and partying all night and never making back to the room to change.
That gondola we mentioned this is another benefit to skiing Aspen, it runs from the base all the way to the top of the mountain, covering 3,200 vertical feet in 14 minutes. All in the enclosed comfort of a gondola car, known as The Bucket to Aspen locals. Once on top of the mountain you can access almost every run on the ski resort without ever having to take another chair. Allowing you to ski non-stop all the way back to the base, again to keep you in the know, what locals call “top to bottom runs”. You will need to be in excellent shape if you even want to consider trying to do this non stop, but don’t worry the views from Aspen are amazing so taking a break and soaking in the mountain air is never a problem. In fact when you step of off the Gondola you take in Highlands Bowl, truly a marvel of in bounds skiing.
With the popularity of skiing some ski areas have a serious problem that is creating a major drawback to the ski experience. In Colorado for example, front range resorts such as Breckenridge and Vail are an easy day trip form the major metropolitan areas of Denver, Golden and Boulder. This means crowds, in fact crowds so bad that lift lines of up to 45 minutes to an hour have been known leave skiers standing in the maze freezing for the better part of the day. You will not experience this in Aspen. Aspen is not within distance of any major metro area to allow for day trippers, this means that everyone on the mountain either lives in Aspen or is here on vacation. In fact mid week it is not uncommon to ski right onto the chairlift. So you will literally get in thousands of more feet of skiing every day on Aspen than you would at other Colorado ski areas.
The other benefit to this removal from the front range of Colorado is that only experienced skiers ski on Aspen, this is why the mountain is known for its legendary bump skiing. With only expert skiers on the hill the bump lines created are perfect for skiing, there are no beginner skiers scraping them off and ruining the integrity of the line.
Most important of all is the terrain, Aspen is on the Western Slope of Colorado, these were the first mountains in this part of the range to heave upwards as the earth’s plates collided. What this means to skiers is steep terrain, not only steep but consistently steep, creating magnificently challenging ski terrain.
When you travel to Colorado you may want to consider Aspen ski rental as the cost of traveling to and from with skis can be equal to the cost of renting. This also give you the benefit to rent the exact right pair of skis for the conditions that day. Fat skis for a powder day, carving skis for a cold day on the groomers, or bump skis for a sunny day bashing bumps. One of Aspen’s newest ski shops Miller Sports Aspen carries the best ski’s available, Kastle and Blizzard in their Aspen ski rentals arsenal. Their expert staff will get you on the right gear and may even clue you in on the best stashes on the mountain.
By Sophkins from Pixabay