Snowmass, Highlands inch closer to summer |

Snowmass, Highlands inch closer to summer

Staff report
Jamie Murphy snowboards across the pond skim at Snowmass on Sunday for closing weekend.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

The weather warming up and the snow getting slushy means one thing: The long winter season is finally coming to a close. Aspen Highlands and Snowmass will celebrate their final weekend of the season, with both closing Sunday.

For the fourth year running, Elk Camp Restaurant at Snowmass will host its Surf & Snow Beach Party from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday to close out the 2022-23 winter season (The mountain does not close until the next day). The bash will feature free leis, a dance party, hot tubs, and margarita blender bikes, according to Aspen Snowmass.

Skiers and riders are encouraged to wear their swim attire and participate in the pond skim outside the Elk Camp Restaurant or lounge in the hot tub on the patio.

Gondola foot passes up to Elk Camp will be free after noon, so not skiing or snowboarding is no excuse to miss the party, Skico officials say.

After the mountain party, skiers and riders can head down to Base Village to continue the festivities.

Over at Highlands, which was originally scheduled to close April 9, there will be even more closing-day festivities.

“Mismatched costumes, snow blades, and thrifted sunglasses are a must across the entire mountain on Highlands’ closing day,” the Aspen Snowmass website states.

Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro at the top of the Cloud Nine lift will host its closing-day party. Merry-Go-Round, at the top of the Exhibition Lift, will have specials and a DJ for the festivities.

Highlands Alehouse is a great place for drink and a snack after your final bowl lap of the season, the Aspen Snowmass website states.

There may be some snow showers on Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service, but the storms should clear up before the chairs start turning. The rest of Saturday and all day Sunday will be sunny, spring-skiing conditions on the slopes, giving that glimpse toward summer.

For anyone who’s not ready to put their skis away just yet, Aspen Mountain will remain open until April 23, Skico announced in March.

Buttermilk closed April 2 with its annual “Bacon Day,” and athletes took part in a rail-jam competition at the base of the halfpipe.

Summer activities are just around the corner in Aspen. Aspen Mountain Silver Queen Gondola will run on weekends starting Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29. Ajax daily summer operations will kick off on June 16 and continue through Oct. 1. The Silver Queen Gondola will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

Snowmass summer operations on both the Elk Camp Gondola and Elk Camp Chair will start daily on June 21-Sept. 4. Weekend operations will continue through Oct. 1. Elk Camp Gondola hours will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Elk Camp chairlift hours will be 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.