Asher on Aspen: Dive into Snowmass |

Asher on Aspen: Dive into Snowmass

Shannon Asher
Asher on Aspen
Credit Hal Williams

The other day, a friend asked why I never make it out to Snowmass. Out of the 80 days that I’ve skied so far this season, only three of them have been at Snowmass. I have no good reason for this, other than the fact that it takes me twenty minutes to drive there. In order to get more familiar with this side-valley mountain, a few friends and I decided to make a full day of it and explore.

Initially, Snowmass can seem a bit overwhelming if you don’t know your way around. The mountain itself is massive. Did you know that Snowmass Mountain has more terrain than Aspen’s other three mountains combined? I immediately fantasized about all of the untouched trails that I had yet to explore when I first heard this statistic. Luckily, we were skiing with a friend who knew the area like the back of her hand, and she happily served as our guide for the day.

It was an especially brisk, spring day with an overwhelming amount of wind. This made for an adventurous day of skiing. We loaded the six-person Big Burn lift, and almost immediately, the wind picked up. The gusts made the tree branches dance and the lift shake. I buried my head and looked down in irrational fear of being swept off the lift. My friends tried speaking and it was not only hard to get words out, but also hard to hear anything over the wind.

The blusterous ride all proved to be worth it once we arrived at the top of the mountain where we were met with spectacular views. We cruised over toward Sneaky’s and did a top-to-bottom run. This was probably my favorite run of the day, as it provided the most scenic views of the valley below. One unique bonus that comes with skiing on a windy day is the mini snow tornadoes that come along with it. I love to watch and marvel as the snow picks up and begins to swirl around on the surface, resembling a mini tornado. Only certain days do these creations come about, and it’s quite fascinating to watch.

Rolling in from our last run hours later, we heard loud music and the echo of someone speaking into a microphone. Live music? Could it really be? I skied right up to the musicians with a huge smile slapped across my face. We stood there, still strapped in our skis, and enjoyed this Denver-based band’s performance (part of the Aspen Skiing Co.’s “Music on the Mountains” series). It felt like it had been years since I had experienced live music. Small pods of socially distanced skiers gathered around, and I dreamt that more live music was soon to return to Aspen this summer.

For après hour, we made a reservation at The Collective, where we planned to check out the Game Lounge and Selfie Den. The Selfie Den is a fabulous new pop-up that is essentially a series of rooms that include aesthetically pleasing backdrops with exceptional lighting, intended for friends to gather and take Instagram-worthy pictures. It has everything you need already set up for the ultimate photo shoot.

The Selfie Den is comprised of every backdrop you can imagine: a cowboy-themed wall complete with western hats and toy ponies; another lined with funky-colored skis; a 3-D flower section with greenery jutting out, and a brightly-colored scene of shapes and doughnut pillows — just to name a few. There was even a working piano that was available for play. I felt like I was dropped into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. It was an activity that appeared to be equally as fun for adults as I’m sure it is for kids.

Our day in Snowmass culminated with a pit stop at Sundae. Known for their small-batch artisan ice cream and handcrafted classics, there is no better place (besides Paradise Bakery) to satisfy a sweet tooth. We indulged in the most decadent-looking oncoctions. There is just something about going skiing and then treating yourself—whether that’s a beer or a dessert. I feel like I deserve that ice cream sundae so much more if I preface it with a day of skiing.

We gobbled down our desserts almost as fast as they were made. We sat for a while outside the Base Village skating rink, basking in the sun and people-watching. The wind made skiing a challenge, but that’s the thing I love about it—the conditions are different every day. With the Snowmass season extended through April 25, the next time I trek to its slopes (and I will be back!) it may be for a sunny spring day of laps in tank-top and jorts.