Aspen Mountain the stats
ASPEN MOUNTAINTerrain: 673 acresElevation: 11,212 ft.Lift-served vertical: 3,267 ft.Lifts: 1 gondola, 1 high-speed quad, 1 high-speed double, 2 quads, 3 doublesDesignated trails: 76Green runs: noneBlue runs: 48 percentBlack runs: 26 percentDouble-black runs: 26 percentLifts open at: 9 a.m.Whats new: Nothings new this year on Aspen Mountain, save the Hyatt Grand Aspen at its base, but big changes are on the horizon. The second stage of a three-part process to replace the Silver Queen Gondola is under way, with the new buckets to make their debut next winter. Also on tap for the not-too-distant future, a new hotels and fractional ownership properties from the slopeside Residences at The Little Nell to the Lodge at Aspen Mountain, which is destined to change the sleepy Lift 1A side of Ajax forever.Cruisers: Ruthie Run, on Aspen Mountains westernmost edge, cant be beat for carving the corduroy. The intermediate runs off the summit Dipsy Doodle, Silver Bell, Copper Cut-Off, 1 & 2 Leaf, etc. will also keep you riding on edge.Bumps: When it hasnt snowed for a while, much of Aspen Mountain is a bumpers dream. For guaranteed quad burn, head to Reds Run, the Face of Bell or Jackpot. And dont overlook Slalom Hill near the bottom, to finish yourself off after a top-to-bottom bump bonanza.
Powder day: On a full-on powder day, get to the gondola early, definitely by 8:30 a.m. If youre lucky, youll be there when the ski patrol drops the rope on Walshs. Or head on over to Shadow Mountain lift and play in the oft-overlooked gullies known as Corkscrew and Super 8. You may well be able to farm powder stashes all day among the glades on the three faces of Bell Back, Shoulder and Face as well as in Glades Nos. 1, 2 and 3. And dont miss the Mine Dumps (Bear Paw through Last Dollar) short, steep drops that are primo when snowed under.Terrain parks: Sorry, jibbers, there are no terrain parks on Aspen Mountain.Dining: The Sundeck, near the top of the gondola, serves great pizza, sandwiches, stir-fries and salads. Bonnies, at the edge of Tourtelotte Park, offers scrumptious soups, strudel and other hearty fare at slightly more reasonable prices. At the base, Ajax Taverns sun-drenched deck and truffle-soaked french fries cant be beat, but its not cheap.Signature event: Spring Jam, March 16-19, 2006, is always a highlight of the season. And at Aspen Mountain, the party kicks off Saturday evening with the annual KickAspen Big Air Invitational, where some of the worlds best athletes compete under the lights at the base of Aspen Mountain. Combine that with DJs spinning tunes and an array of pyrotechnics, and the slopeside scene cant be beat. Later that evening, the annual Core Party continues the craziness with notable musicians, DJ mixers, additional stage performers, graffiti artists and special effects transform downtown Aspen into a massive outdoor nightclub.Apres pick: Apres in Aspen can be legendary. For a quiet respite after a long day on the hill, The Greenhouse at The Little Nell is the place to see and yet not be seen, while the younger set hangs at both 39 degrees at The Sky Hotel and at Mezzaluna, where the pizzas and beers kick-start the evening. For a true beer and burger joint, the Cooper Street Pier is a tradition that will only be around for one last ski season (this one).
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Bluebird skies, spring-like temperatures and a few inches of snow from Monday night’s storm helped Snowmass skiers and snowboarders cruise into the season Wednesday for opening day.