Highlands can’t open without 6 more inches | AspenTimes.com

Highlands can’t open without 6 more inches

Aspen Highlands won’t be able to open until six more inches of snow falls, the Aspen Skiing Co. announced Thursday.

Skico officials thought earlier in the week that they would be able to open some terrain on Saturday’s scheduled opening. But in a prepared statement sent out yesterday, Highlands Mountain Manager Ron Chauner said, “We are six inches away from opening Aspen Highlands. Once we get the snow, we’ll need about 24 hours to open Exhibition and Cloud Nine lifts.”

Buttermilk will mark its scheduled opening with a special family day Saturday. Panda Peak, Powder Pandas and Bumps Restaurant will open, but no upper terrain.

Snowmass will open Velvet Falls today. The ski area is operating five lifts and 11 runs are open.

Other open runs include Upper Banzai Ridge, Lower Hal’s, Max Park, Upper Scooper, Lunchline, Cabin, Coney Glade and Fanny Hill. Daily lift tickets at Snowmass are $29.

Snowmass will also host the Fifth Annual Surge Boarderfest Dec. 11 and 12.

Open trails on Aspen Mountain include Deer Park, Spar Gulch and Little Nell. If snowmaking continues through the weekend, Ruthie’s could be open for skiing Monday.

On Saturday, Aspen Mountain will be hosting a Bell Mountain barbecue from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ski instructors will build a “snow shrine” at the base of the Bell Mountain lift. There will be free hamburgers, hot dogs, music and more. Lift tickets on Aspen Mountain are $29 per day.

Four more inches of snow are necessary to offer top-to-bottom skiing, according to the Skico.

Even without substantial amounts of new snow in coming days, readers shouldn’t worry about Aspen Mountain Manager Steve Sewell’s dog. The Times reported yesterday that Sewell said he checked the new snowfall Wednesday morning, then kicked the dog when he realized a storm fizzled.

Relax, he was just joking. Sewell really thinks his dog is the cat’s meow.

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