Mountain Mayhem: Opening Day 2022-23 |

Mountain Mayhem: Opening Day 2022-23

May Selby
Mountain Mayhem
A screenshot of the Aspen Mountain snowstake cam after a November snowstorm.

With the abundance of early snowfall, the 2022-23 ski season at Aspen Snowmass is underway as of today! Lifts open at Aspen Mountain and Snowmass nearly a week ahead of schedule, which is cause for celebration. The early opening also offers a head start on working toward earning the honorary 100-day pin, one of my winter goals.

As a reminder from Katie Ertl, senior vice president of mountain operations, with the early kick-off, it’s important to keep in mind that “getting turns in prior to Thanksgiving means early season conditions. Be aware of areas with low snow, water bars, other skiers/riders, and our operations team that will be out there with us continuing to get the hills prepped day and night.”

Uphilling season is also off to a strong start, and, with that, registration is now open for the 17th annual Summit for Life nighttime uphill race benefiting The Chris Klug Foundation, raising funds for and awareness of the lifesaving gift of organ, eye, and tissue donation. Opt for a virtual version this year, over the course of Nov. 24-Dec. 3, or choose the in-person event on Dec. 3.

For the virtual event, you can choose how you wish to virtually “summit” Aspen Mountain however you so desire — by hiking up a hill using a Stairmaster or running at an incline on the treadmill at your own pace and on your own time. (The equivalent of Aspen Mountain’s 3,267-vertical-foot ascent is 5,600 steps or 273 flights of stairs.)

For the in-person event, choose whether to hike, skin, or snowshoe 3,267 vertical feet to the top of Aspen Mountain then celebrate at a post-race party at the Sundeck with dinner, live music, and an awards ceremony honoring top fundraisers and top race finishers. By participating in Summit for Life, you’ll help spread the message and make a difference for the 106,000 people awaiting a transplant in the United States.

And, since ski culture tends to be ultra-social, even more is in store this season both on and off-mountain, from meeting up for breakfast at Bonnie’s to racing the NASTAR courses at Aspen and Snowmass to toasting at après-ski at Snow Lodge.

Chris Tatsuno and Pat Sewell, who pair up to be Pat and Tats, are game for ski season.
Tyler Wilkinson-Ray photo
A media brunch at Bonnie’s last spring hosted by Starla Wines, the first and only ultra-premium alcohol-removed wine, which nixes the spirits yet still savors the experience.
Registration is open for the annual Summit for Life benefiting the Chris Klug Foundation:
Chris Pulling and Whitney Larkin at Bonnie’s in March of 2022. They tied the knot there a month later on the deck for a ski-in/ski-out celebration.
Katherine Park Magyar at the gate, ready to race the NASTAR course on Aspen Mountain.
Garrett Brown and Alex Thomas looking fresh amid the freshies on Ajax.
Ashley Oesterle and Amanda Harlan Maltas toast at après-ski in Aspen.
Aspen all aglow for night skiing last spring.