Aspen Snowmass summer operations begin Saturday | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Snowmass summer operations begin Saturday

Staff report
Photo courtesy Aspen Skiing Co.

Bike Snowmass Passholder week

From June 20-26, owners of a 2014-15 Aspen Snowmass Winter Ski Pass have the opportunity to ride for free at Bike Snowmass during Passholder Week. Ski pass holders receive one free day of Bike Snowmass access, 50 percent off downhill bike rentals and $39 group clinic rates (regularly $49). To redeem simply stop by the Four Mountain Sports located in Base Village.

For detailed Bike Snowmass pricing and bike rental information visit www.aspensnowmass.com/summerpricing.

Aspen Snowmass launches into full summer operations Saturday with daily service on Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola as well as the opening of Bike Snowmass.

“We are very excited for summer operations to be in full swing, especially with the improvements at Bike Snowmass offering the best trails we’ve ever had. It’s going to be another great summer in the mountains with plenty of biking, hiking and general enjoyment of the great outdoors and the extraordinary scenery that surrounds us,” said Peter Santini, director of business development for Aspen Skiing Company.

The Silver Queen Gondola will operate daily from June 20 to Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and then on weekends in the fall including Sept. 12-13, 19-20, 26-27 and Oct. 3-4. Located at the top of Aspen Mountain, the Sundeck restaurant will also be available for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bike Snowmass is scheduled to open for the summer mountain bike season Saturday. Daily lift operations for mountain biking and sightseeing will run on the Elk Camp Gondola from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Elk Camp Chairlift from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sept. 7. Weekend operations will continue Sept. 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27. Mid-mountain and at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola, Elk Camp restaurant will also be available for daily lunch from 11:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Improvements to the Bike Snowmass park continue with the completion of the new Verde Beginner Trail as well as improvements to the Viking Trail (formerly Easy Rider) late last summer. In addition, Valhalla received a face lift last fall, and this spring, the Vapor Trail has been undergoing improvements with the goal of refining trail flow. Due to snow up high, the Vapor Trail is on a tentative hold for opening weekend, but will open as soon as trail conditions permit.

The new Verde beginner flow trail, designed by Gravity Logic, is perfect for new riders as well as intermediates who are working on cornering and fundamental skills. The trail offers 3.5 miles of fun, flowing terrain.

Viking Trail is the perfect next step after tackling the Verde Trail for downhill mountain bikers to continue progressing forward. Running for 2.7 miles, the trail takes riders from the top of Elk Camp Gondola down to Snowmass Base Village through evergreen forests, aspen trees and wide-open meadows. The trail was rerouted into the woods and offers intermediate features that are aimed at skills progression to prepare riders for Valhalla Trail.

The Vapor Trail serves up 2.9 miles of downhill terrain and 1,500 feet of vertical drop. It begins at the top of the Elk Camp Lift and descends through a wide-open meadow, over bridges and berms and through groves of aspen and evergreen trees. It eventually ends at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola, where riders can connect to the rest of the Bike Snowmass trail network. With berms up to six feet high and other natural features, Vapor Trail challenges various levels of riders, from intermediate to advanced. This summer, the lower section of the trail will continue to be rerouted to improve flow with a tentative completion date of early August.

Valhalla, designed and built by Gravity Logic in 2012, invites the toughest riders, and those who strive to be, to tackle 2.75 miles of freeride terrain and more than 1,400 feet of vertical drop. Fit for intermediate to advanced riders, Valhalla features berms, jumps, bridges, table tops, a wall ride, drop zone, fruit bowl and rainbows. This trail begins at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola and descends down to the Snowmass Base Village. Last fall, Valhalla received a face lift with a rework of the berms and jumps as well as an addition of a new wall ride.


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