Highlands to open bonus acres | AspenTimes.com

Highlands to open bonus acres

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Skiers and riders who like the steep and deep will score even more treats than originally planned at Aspen Highlands this winter.

The Aspen Skiing Co. will add about 80 more acres of expert terrain under the new Deep Temerity chairlift than anticipated, according to mountain manager Ron Chauner.

The Skico originally thought summer work would add about 100 acres of steeps, chutes and tree runs below the Grand Traverse. But quick work by the summer crew cleared the way to add 180 acres of some of the most difficult ski area terrain in North America.

The Deep Temerity chairlift was added this summer to extend the skiable portions of Highland Bowl, Steeplechase and the terrain between them. It’s going to add to the feeling of adventure skiing that’s helped Highlands regain national stature.

“The cool thing about this lift is this is dropping down to terrain that most people have never skied,” Chauner said.

The new lift will add up to 1,100 vertical feet in Highland Bowl and essentially double the length of most of the terrain it serves. A new traverse was also bulldozed onto the steep slope to bring skiers and riders back into the main section of the ski area.

When the Skico started the Deep Temerity expansion in the spring, officials anticipated adding about 80 acres in the Highland Bowl runout, South Castle trail, Kessler’s and Soddbuster, Chauner said.

The work progressed so well on the new traverse that the time and budget existed for additional trail work. The Garmisch and St. Moritz runs farther down the slope on Steeplechase were also extended. In addition, terrain between trails, familiar to the Highlands ski patrol but not many members of the public, was also added. Those areas, which aren’t on old trail maps, have been dubbed Fran’s Love, Logjam Gully and the Greatest Line Ever, or GLE for short.

The Greatest Line Ever is in the trees between Soddbuster and Garmisch. Logjam Gully is between St. Moritz and Boomerang Woods. Fran’s Love is a gladed area beside Soddbuster.

“People are going to find a whole new world down there,” Chauner said.

Additional trail clearing by summer crews will eventually add 270 to 300 acres of skiable terrain that didn’t exist before this winter, he said.

Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com

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