Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. — Winter has come early to Aspen/Snowmass and skiers and riders will celebrate with the opening of Snowmass this weekend, Nov. 9-10, and the opening of Aspen Mountain on the following two weekends, Nov. 16-17 and 23-24.
More than two feet of snow has fallen in the last week at Aspen/Snowmass in addition to several storms that rolled through the area in September and early October. The base depth on top of the Big Burn in Snowmass is 32 inches (81 cm) and the top of Aspen Mountain has a 25-inch (64 cm) base.
"We're excited to be able to open early for our locals and loyal guests," said Mike Kaplan, vice president of mountain operations. "We haven't had early season conditions like this in years. Crews have been working hard to get the slopes ready and conditions are excellent."
Snowmass opens with 360 acres - 3,383 vertical feet — plus mini-park
Snowmass will open the Fanny Hill, Coney Glade and Big Burn lifts. There will be 360 acres of terrain open offering 3,383 vertical feet of skiing and riding, including nearly all the world-famous cruising terrain on the Big Burn. A mini-park will be open with flat bars, kinked rails and mini-boxes on Cabin run under the Coney Glade lift. Lifts will run Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9-10, from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Snowmass will then re-open for the season as scheduled on Nov. 28.
Aspen Mountain will open on the following two weekends, Nov. 16-17 and 23-24. The Ajax Express quad will be open serving most of the runs on the upper mountain. The Silver Queen Gondola will operate for uploading and downloading. Aspen Mountain will open for daily operations as scheduled on Nov. 28. Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are scheduled to open Dec. 14.
Lift tickets will be $49 a day for adults and seniors and $32 a day for children and youth (7-17). All season passes are valid as they would be during the regular season. Highlands/Buttermilk passholders will pay $39 a day and Aspen/Snowmass Classic Passes are also valid. Season passes are on sale now at the Aspen Mountain and Buttermilk ticket offices with savings of up to $150 before November 16.
Celebrate US Thanksgiving watching the world's fastest women and the 2002 Olympic medallists compete in the Super G and Slalom World Cup Ski Races on legendary Aspen Mountain in the 2002 Chevy Truck Aspen Winternational (Nov. 28-Dec. 1). It's fun, festive and FREE! The event includes stadium seating, prize giveaways, winter carnival, racer autograph signing, awards ceremony, fireworks extravaganza, and après ski street party with live music. Also enjoy "Dine Around the World" with Aspen's favorite restaurants offering great food and drink specials. World Cup lodging and lift ticket packages are now available starting at $55 per person per night, based on double occupancy. Call Stay Aspen Snowmass at 800/481-3102 or 970/925-9000 to book.
Aspen/Snowmass is accessible by one of the most convenient airports in the mountains — Aspen/Sardy Field (ASE) is located just 3 miles from the town of Aspen and six miles from Snowmass Village. There are four ski areas in the Aspen/Snowmass area - Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. This winter season Aspen/Snowmass will host World Cup ski races (Nov 28-Dec 1), the Audi 24 Hours of Aspen endurance ski race (Dec 15-16), the ESPN Winter X Games VII (Jan 30-Feb 2) and the U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix Finals (April 3-6) held during Spring Jam. The area offers unparalleled night life and off-slope activities as well.