A big fat zero | AspenTimes.com

A big fat zero

In spite of all the people who have reportedly chosen Aspen for their Christmas vacation, Aspen Mountain was deliciously uncrowded yesterday afternoon.

Five or so inches of fresh powder apparently weren’t enough to draw the masses to one of the great expert skiing mountains in the world. The key words here when it comes to explaining why there was so much uncut powder on the ground being “expert skiing.”

Ajax is made for the expert and intermediate skier. It’s hell for the intermediate snowboarder, which is most of them.

Most boarders find Ajax a pain in the butt, which is where too many of them end up spending their time when they make the mistake of going there. Maybe, as one local, consistently discontented boarder explained, it’s all those “double” fall lines and moguls, which make even competent boarders want to “crawl up in a ball and wait for the ski patrol to rescue them.”

Although, it is a true pleasure to see a boarder who actually has what it takes carving his or her way down one of the mountain’s legendary mogul fields.

Any doubts that Ajax requires a certain competency are dispelled by the fact that the percentage of Easiest terrain adds up to a big fat zero. More difficult terrain accounts for 48 percent, and most difficult and expert terrain make up 52 percent of the mountain.

Thank god for Buttermilk and Snowmass and all their great terrain and terrain parks.

No matter your preference, the snow is fantastic on all four mountains. Aspen Highlands has a 45-inch base on top, 37 inches midway down. Snowmass has 43 inches on top, 30 halfway down. Aspen Mountain has 34 inches on top and 27 inches at the midmountain measuring station. And Buttermilk has 25 inches on top and 24 inches at the midway point.

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