Ski Highlands before Aspen Mountain? |

Ski Highlands before Aspen Mountain?

Joel Stonington
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Rumors are flying that Aspen Highlands will open before Ajax, and there has also been a good deal of questioning about whether the Aspen Skiing Co. will get any of the mountains open.

For the most part, however, it’s all rumor, speculation and people talking about that one winter back in the ’70s.

“I don’t know that the top of Highlands is skiable yet for the general public,” said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. “Skiing at the top of Highland Bowl would have been better a month ago. It’s not in the cards right now. If we get enough snow to ski Highlands, then we’ll probably just open Ajax instead.”

So there you have it. The simple fact of it is that the Skico would like to get everything open just as much, or more, than all the skiers out there wondering. Still, the lack of snow is grist for the rumor mill, the big topic at the dinner table and all anyone can think when glancing up at a mostly bare Ajax.

So here’s what Hanle has said about an opening date: The Skico is going to go day by day and try to get the mountains open when they can.

“I don’t see us pushing back the opening day X number of days,” Hanle said. “We’re ready to go. We’ll battle until Wednesday night and get as much as we can open on Thursday morning.”

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Both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are currently scheduled to open for the season on Thursday.

Forecasts show at least some weather coming into the area this week, with some snow possible. Temperatures are predicted to drop, which also would help on the snowmaking front.

As for now, it’s just more wait and see.

Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is

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