Aspen Highlands to open Saturday with more than 800 acres available to skiers |

Aspen Highlands to open Saturday with more than 800 acres available to skiers

Highlands Bowl at sunrise near Aspen Highlands ski resort.
Aspen Times file photo

The countdown to four open mountains is ticking toward the end, with the opening of Aspen Highlands on Saturday.

“This is one of our best openings in the past decade,” Katie Ertl, senior vice president of mountain operations at Aspen Snowmass, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to see so much outstanding terrain open this early in the season and especially to be able to open our steep terrain safely, thanks to the work of our bootpackers and ski patrol.”

Highlands will have more than 800 acres of skiable terrain. Exhibition, Cloud Nine, Thunderbowl, Loge Peak, and Deep Temerity will open at 9 a.m.

According to Aspen Highlands Snow and Trail Report, Highlands has received about 31 inches of snowfall in the past week and has a base depth of 43 inches.

All mountain services will be open for the first day, Aspen Skiing Co. officials said, with on-mountain dining at Merry-Go-Round and Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro. Four Mountain Sports will be open for rentals.

With each day of snowfall, Ajax and Snowmass have been able to open up more and more terrain. Just under three weeks into the season, Ajax has five of eight lifts and 57 trails open, amounting to 593 acres of skiable area. Snowmass, which also opened Nov. 19, has 1,414 acres of skiable area with 10 of 20 lifts and 51 trails open.

Buttermilk, the final unopened ski area, is set to open Dec. 17. It will open with at least a 22-inch base, which is is 140% of its average snowpack for the season. It is set to debut its newly-transformed base area, featuring a renovated and rebranded Buttermilk Mountain Lodge Restaurant and an expanded outdoor bar and patio called The Backyard.

The next storm is forecasted to move in Monday, Dec. 12, and Tuesday, Dec. 13, according to OpenSnow. Aspen Mountain could receive up to eight inches between Monday and Tuesday, Snowmass and Highlands could receive seven, and Buttermilk could receive up to five.


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