ASPEN - Record snowfall this spring has prompted the Aspen Skiing Co. to reopen the top of Aspen Mountain for skiing and riding on Memorial Day weekend.
The company announced plans Thursday to open 25 runs and 136 acres of mostly intermediate terrain, served by the Ajax Express lift, on May 28-30. The mountain will be open on subsequent weekends, as well, as conditions allow.
In addition, the Skico's Aspen Powder Tours will run powder tours, or "corn skiing," tours on the back of the mountain.
Heavy spring snows (it was snowing Thursday in Aspen) have left the top of the mountain covered in snow, with a base of 71 inches up top, according to the Skico.
The Silver Queen Gondola will run for the Memorial Day weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with the last ride down at 4:30 p.m. The Ajax chair will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Sundeck restaurant at the summit will be open.
"We haven't had summer conditions this good since 2008," quipped Rich Burkley, vice president mountain operations, in a Skico press release. "We figure that if we open for skiing, maybe it will quit snowing."
Aspen/Snowmass Premier, Premier Silver and 6-and-under passholders can ski or ride for free during the extended season. All other Aspen/Snowmass passholders will be charged for skiing and riding - $19 for adults and seniors (ages 18-69), $15 for those age 70 and up, $13 for youth passholders (ages 13-17), and $10 for child season passholders (ages 4-12).
Single-day lift tickets will be $32 for adults, $25 for youths and seniors, and $15 for children. Tickets will be sold at the Aspen Mountain ticket kiosk on Gondola Plaza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Regular summer rates will be in effect for foot passengers. The gondola typically cranks up on Memorial Day weekend for summertime rides to the top of the mountain.