Snowmass the stats
December 17, 2007
SNOWMASS With 3,132 acres to explore, Snowmass is the largest local ski area. It earns high marks for its cruisers and as a family resort.SNOWMASSTerrain: 3,132 acresSummit elevation: 12,510 ft.SNOWMASS With 3,132 acres to explore, Snowmass is the largest local ski area. It earns high marks for its cruisers and as a family resort, but it is not without some white-knuckle terrain.Lift-served vertical: 4,406 ft.Lifts: 24 total 21 primary: 1 eight-passenger gondola; 1 high-speed six passenger chair; 1 six-passenger pulse gondola (enclosed), 6 high-speed quads, 2 quads, 3 doubles, 5 magic carpets, 2 ski/snowboard school lifts; 3 secondary: 1 double (Sheer Bliss); 2 platter pulls (Cirque and Scooper) Steepest run: 40 degrees, Gowdy’s and AMFLift hours: The Sky Cab opens at 8 a.m.; the Cirque lift opens at 10 a.m.; the Village Express and Big Burn lifts open at 8:30 a.m.; all other lifts open at 9 a.m.Designated trails: 91Green runs: 6%Blue runs: 50%Black runs: 12%Double-black runs: 32%Best known for: Wide open, groomed cruising runs and family-friendly activities. Snowmass has long been rated one of the best family ski areas in North America.Whats new: The Town of Snowmass Village and Snowmass Ski Area are undergoing major changes with the construction of Base Village. New this year is a 25,000-square-foot childrens center at the center of the base area. Its near the new Elk Camp Gondola and Elk Camp Meadows learning area located mid-mountain with a quad chairlift dedicated to making learning easier.Cruisers: Its Snowmass claim to fame. If youre looking for groomers, then Snowmass is the best place, where more than half of the runs are either blue or green and most are fresh corduroy. Theres even a Noon Groom, that opens at noon for those who cant quite make it out of bed after partying the night before. The Big Burn has by far the best cruisers in the country and has been recognized as such by industry insiders. The Big Burn serves half dozen intermediate cruisers, including the favorite Whispering Jess and Sneakys.Bumps: Though known as an intermediate area, Snowmass best-kept secret may be the unbelievable amount of steep terrain that creates waste-deep moguls. The Headwall and Hanging Valley Wall areas often get bumped up, but the hardest moguls can often develop in the Sams Knob area, where black diamonds extend down into the Campground area and are less often groomed than other parts of the mountain.Powder: Because its so large, Snowmass Ski Area is the perfect place to be on a powder day. On the western edge, check out any of the terrain in Campground, where good snow will often stay through mid-day. The run with guaranteed fresh tracks is on the far left, called Powderhorn. Its actually great to start at the top of the Big Burn, bomb down Sneakys, connect to Powderhorn and stay on the rope line, skiers left, all the way down. Thats almost 3,600 vertical feet. But for those seeking something a little more dangerous, Hanging Valley Wall is a sure bet. Hit Robertos and the Headwall, if you can make the five-minute hike from the top of the High Alpine chair. Hundreds of acres of the steep and deep await you, including Gowdys and AMF, the steepest runs at Snowmass. Laps on High Alpine also provide big bang for the buck.Terrain Parks: There are three terrain parks on Snowmass. The new Snowmass Terrain Park has more than 30 hits and rails. Among the biggest attractions are a series of tabletops that end with a 20-foot step-up. Two other parks, Makaha and Scooper (primarily a learning park) add to the mix. There also is a superpipe and beginner pipe.Dining: Snowmass sheer size offers many choices and dining is no exception. There are eight restaurants: Cirque Bar & Grill, Caf Suzanne, Gwyns High Alpine, Lynn Britt Cabin (snowcat dinner rides), Burlingame Cabin (snowcat dinner rides), Two Creeks Mexican Caf, Ullrhof and Up 4 Pizza. The breakfast at Gwyns High Alpine cant be beat, and the restaurant also offers sit-down dining. Caf Suzanne, by the Elk Camp chairlift, serves up crepes and other French specialties.Signature Event: Big Air Fridays is a popular eight-week series entering its sixth year. It has become a mainstay and weekly favorite for the best snowboarders and skiers in Colorado. Each week, they gather to perform the latest tricks for a chance at a weekly prize purse and series points. Judges will choose four skiers and four snowboarders to continue on to the finals. A live band performs after every Bud Light Big Air Friday from 3-4:30 p.m., then stick around for fireworks at 7 p.m. above Fanny Hill. Feb. 15, 22, 29; March 7, 14, 21, 28; April 4.Aprs Pick: The best place for Aprs is Zanes on the Snowmass Mall. Pool tables, an outdoor patio and a welcoming atmosphere, Eddie Zane will be happy to serve you his famous Philly cheese steak and all the specials on tap. Its an all-around great place to hang while eating and drinking affordably.