The Snowmass experience |

The Snowmass experience

Kent Roberg

With a summit elevation of 12,510 feet, the view from the top of The Cirque provides an incredible look at the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak. Snowmass is the largest mountain of the four in Aspen in terms of terrain. At 3,010 acres and 4,406 feet of lift served vertical, Snowmass is an experince worth seeking out. Located on highway 82 just south of Woody Creek, Snowmass is a self contained ski village with bars, night clubs, shopping and a market. Buses to Aspen and surrounding ski hills are frequent and quite convienent.

Snowmass has plenty of steep and challenging terrain which the Aspen area is fabled for. Newly opened extreme terrain requiring “mandatory air” will challenge the most daring, cliff jumping, thrill seeking riders out there. This area of the mountain is clearly marked so there are no concerns over wandering onto a cliff with no hope of getting down without the help of a helicopter. Snowmass also boasts the longest run in Colorado. At 5.05 miles, The Long Shot will get even the most conditioned skiers and riders feeling the pain. A short hike just off the top of the Elk Camp lift and you are at the begining of a long adventure. The Long Shot is open at the discretion of Ski Patrol so check the sign.

For great cruising and less traffic head over toward the Campground lift or check out some of the intermediate terrain off the Coney Glade or Sam’s Knob chairlifts. The deck at Sam’ Knob is the perfect spot for a sunny outdoor lunch or photographs. Stop inside and sit by the fire or visit what may be the most appetizing and aromatic luch spots at any resort.

The Two Creeks chairlift access some long, open intermediate runs as well as a nice cruise through an extravagant ski in/ski out neighborhood which is worth taking in. Cafe Suzanne at the top of Two Creeks also has an outdoor deck but doesn’t have as much sun late in the afternoon as Sam’s Knob.

The terrain park at Snowmass is home to some great skiers and riders. Gretchen Bleiler and Peter Olenick are just a few big names in Slopestyle and SuperPipe competition who cut their teeth at Snowmass. The park is perhaps the most well groomed and intelligently constructed in Colorado. Next time you’re at Snowmass check it out for yourself and find out why Snowmass remains one of the most well respected ski areas in the country.