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Summer lift rides to start Saturday

Sarah S. Chung

There are just some things that are more fun at above 10,000 feet, or so some say.

And this weekend is the first this summer that hikers, bikers, Frisbee golfers, and picnickers can take a ride up to the peaks of Aspen Mountain and Snowmass to test that theory.

Tomorrow, the Silver Queen Gondola on Aspen Mountain and the Burlingame and Sam Knob’s chairlifts at Snowmass will start whisking people up for some high-altitude fun.

“[The on-mountain activities are] hugely popular in the summer. A lot of people who visit have it on their must-do lists,” said Rose Abello, Aspen Skiing Co. spokeswoman. “There are those who ski and ride the lifts all winter any may think `oh whatever.’ But it’s definitely a thrill for some.”

“The guided hikes are very, very popular and the scenery is spectacular,” she said.

On Aspen Mountain, some activities have been canceled or curtailed because of the construction of the new Sundeck. Longtime favorites like the free concert series, summer dinners, kids’ activities, and on-mountain weddings aren’t possible this year due to construction.

But free guided hikes, Frisbee golf, and picnic lunches will still be available on Ajax. And for free music and a fun place to take the kids for a day, look no further than Snowmass.

In addition to hiking, biking, and lunching, this year’s Snowmass concert series will start on July 2. Kid-oriented offerings include fishing trips and Camp Snowmass, a licensed day camp for children, ages 3-11.

For information on guided hikes at either Aspen or Snowmass, call the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies at 925-5756. To find out more about half-day fishing trips for kids, call The Outfitters at Snowmass at 923-5959. Camp Snowmass can be reached at 923-0570.

The gondola at Aspen Mountain will run from June 26 to Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The chairlifts at Snowmass will operate from June 26 to Sept. 6, starting at 9:30 a.m. with the last lift going up at 4 p.m.

Gondola ride rates are $12 for adults and $6 for seniors and children. At Snowmass, a ride up the mountain will cost $10 for adults and seniors; children ride for free. Week-long lift passes at both ski areas are $19.


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