Enjoy a bowl at Highlands for the ski area’s opening | AspenTimes.com

Enjoy a bowl at Highlands for the ski area’s opening

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

Janet Urquhart The Aspen Times

ASPEN – Aspen Highlands will start its season with a bang on Saturday by opening 800 acres, or 78 percent, of the mountain, the Aspen Skiing Co. announced Thursday.

“All of the Highland Bowl, with the exception of the Hot Y’s through Mosh Pit, is ready to go,” Rick Burkley, vice president, mountain operations, said in a statement. “On the front side everything will open except No Name Bowl, the P-Chutes, Lower Stein, Audacious and Sepperator.”

The Exhibition, Loge, Cloud 9 and Deep Temerity chairlifts will fire up for the opening. The Thunderbowl and Five Trees chairlifts and terrain will open the following Saturday, Dec. 18. Highlands will be open the longest of the Skico’s four ski areas – through April 24.

Both the Merry-Go-Round and Cloud 9 restaurants will be open at Highlands.

Also making its debut on Saturday is Buttermilk, where 95 percent of the terrain and all chairlifts will open.

“All of the black runs on the Tiehack side are beautiful untracked powder,” Burkley said. “The mid-mountain blues are great skiing and riding [from] wall to wall, and the west side greens are buffed to perfection.

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“Despite our best efforts and constant focus, the Superpipe will not open Saturday. Warm weather this week limited the massive push to complete the build.”

Work on the Superpipe will continue as conditions allow. Meanwhile, the crew working on the terrain parks hand shoveled 23 features in the S3 Park on Red’s and six additional features on Teaser.

Buttermilk operations will be in flux for a few weeks. Sections of Spruce and Jacobs Ladder will close as snowmaking ramps up on those runs in preparation for the Winter X Games in January.

In addition, the lower Tiehack lift will run through this weekend, then close on Monday, Dec. 13 before opening for good on Saturday, Dec. 18. The Cliffhouse will feature a limited menu on the 11th with full service beginning on the 17th.

Additional terrain will open at Aspen Mountain and Snowmass this weekend, the Skico announced. At Aspen Mountain, Lift 1A and the trails below Ruthie’s will open for the season. As of Thursday, there were 596 acres open on Aspen Mountain, including 84 percent of the advanced and expert terrain, and 91 percent of intermediate terrain.

At Snowmass, Upper Green Cabin debuts. There are 1,707 acres open there, including 30 percent of advanced and expert terrain, and 66 percent of beginner and intermediate terrain.