Snowmass to open Saturday, Nov. 19 |

Snowmass to open Saturday, Nov. 19

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado nighttime photo of Snowmass accompanies the Aspen Skiing Company's Facebook announcement that the ski area will open on Saturday, Nov. 19.

SNOWMASS – Snowmass will open Saturday, Nov. 19, with more than 160 acres of terrain, including the Big Burn, the Aspen Skiing Co. announced Thursday. And it could be a powder day.

The opening comes five days ahead of the ski area’s scheduled opening.

“The 2011-12 season has started as a talented overachiever with near perfect snowmaking temperatures and abundant natural snowfall,” said Rich Burkley, vice president of mountain operations,” in a Skico press release.

The Village Express and Big Burn lifts will be running, accessing more than 3,200 vertical feet, seven trails and 160 acres. The Sky Cab Gondola and the Ski School Magic Carpet will also be in operation. As of Thursday, the Skico expected Sneaky’s, Mick’s Gully, Max Park, Lunchline, Upper Scooper, Hals and Fanny Hill to open Nov. 19, with more terrain to be added, depending on weather and snow. Lifts will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The mountain will open with two terrain parks, one on Water Plant Flats with several jib and urban features, and a double jump line on the Dawdler steeps. The Ullrhof and Up 4 Pizza will be open for dining. The Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center will also be open. Parking is free in Snowmass until Thanksgiving Day.

Snowmass and Aspen Mountain were both scheduled to open on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24. That remains the opening date for Aspen Mountain, with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club benefit day taking place Nov. 23.

Women’s World Cup ski racing returns to Aspen Mountain on Nov. 26-27, and the first Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert of the season takes place Saturday night, Nov. 26, with Cowboy Mouth taking the stage at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are scheduled to open Dec. 10.

There are currently four resorts open in Colorado: Wolf Creek, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Copper Mountain.

Several others are preparing to open. Winter Park opens Saturday, Nov. 12. Vail Mountain and Eldora open Friday, Nov. 18. Steamboat, Crested Butte and Monarch are scheduled to open Nov. 23. Telluride opens Nov. 24.