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Ski Resort Life

Resort Guide 2013: #12 Aspen, Colo.

The mountain skis so much bigger than it is—675 acres seems like thousands.

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Here’s Aspen’s dirty little secret: Most of the mountain’s clientele doesn’t come for the skiing—which is exactly why you should. How a ski area with a 3,267-foot vertical drop and a high-speed top-to-bottom gondola leaving directly from downtown flies under the radar is a mystery, and one the locals don’t want solved. Aside from the major holidays, lines don’t exist at Aspen Mountain. Even on Saturday powder days. There’s no ski area in the country more equipped to serve up vertical. And it’s not just quantity. Some exploration is required, but study the traverses and learn to work the terrain and you’ll find three-day-old powder stashes, fall-line alleys through the trees, unknown gullies, and challenging steeps. And you’ll have it all to yourself. 

What’s new >> Aspen joins Jackson Hole, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, and Alta to offer the $349 Mountain Collective pass, with two days at each resort and 50 percent off subsequent lift tickets.

Don’t miss >> Complimentary yoga classes at the Sundeck atop Aspen Mountain three mornings a week.

Après spot >> The Oasis, the Little Nell’s mobile champagne bar, pops up at several “secret” locations across the mountain. Watch the Nell’s Facebook or Twitter feed for deets.