Double the opening-day fun on Aspen Mountain: Fresh snow allows for added terrain |

Double the opening-day fun on Aspen Mountain: Fresh snow allows for added terrain

Skico: Overnight blast on mountain allows for opening of 104 acres of terrain at Ajax

Snowmakers blow on the base of Aspen Mountain after a snowfall of at least 7 inches on the top of the ski resort and 5 inches in Aspen on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Skiers and snowboarders will feast on more terrain than originally planned at Aspen Mountain on the Thanksgiving opening day.

Aspen Skiing Co. will open 104 acres thanks to as much as 7 inches of fresh snow that covered the slopes Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, according to Jeff Hanle, vice president of communications. Prior to the storm Skico expected to open 50 acres at Aspen Mountain.

Even with the snow and more terrain, there won’t be top-to-bottom skiing available at Ajax for the opening, Hanle said.

Snowmass Ski Area received even more snow than Aspen Mountain but not enough to add terrain. It will still open just 7 acres at Elk Camp Meadows on Thursday, Hanle said.

Snowmass logged up to 10 inches of fresh snow at spots and “got hammered after 6 a.m. (Wednesday),” Hanle said.

Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands received more than 9 inches of snow from the storm. Bootpacking is underway to establish a firm base before the opening of the ski area on Dec. 11.

Opening day went from being questionable to a powder day at Aspen Mountain in just a few days. Skico announced Monday that its expanded snowmaking system meant some slopes served by the Ajax Express and Gent’s Ridge chair would open on Thanksgiving. The addition of the natural snow means 10 trails and 104 acres will open. That is about 15% of the 675 acres of terrain.

Hanle said the open trails will include Northstar, Silver Bell, Silver Dip, One & Two Leaf, Lazy Boy, Easy Chair, Deer Park and some of Copper.

Uploading and downloading will still be necessary on the Silver Queen Gondola. The Sundeck will be open for food and drinks.

At Snowmass, the Elk Camp Gondola will access the 7 acres of open terrain. The Elk Camp Restaurant will also be open. Snowmaking is underway to get more terrain opened at Snowmass.

Access to the Elk Camp Gondola will be free on Thursday and Friday at Snowmass. Starting Saturday, tickets will be $40 for adults and $30 for children, teens and seniors for sightseeing as well as skiing and riding.

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