Weekend Aspen Mountain walk-up rate is $79 for adults | AspenTimes.com

Weekend Aspen Mountain walk-up rate is $79 for adults

Staff report

With Aspen Mountain set to open Saturday and Sunday for earlier-than-scheduled skiing and snowboarding, Aspen Skiing Co. announced Thursday that walk-up lift-ticket rates will be $79 for adults (ages 18 to 64), $51 for children (7 to 12) and $73 for youths (13 to 17) and seniors (65 and older).

All season passes will be valid, just as they would be during the regular season, Skico said. The mountain's eastern side, including the Spar Gulch and Copper Bowl areas, will provide top-to-bottom skiing on 215 acres of terrain and 21 trails. The Silver Queen Gondola and the Ajax Express and Gentleman's Ridge chairs will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days.

For current season-pass holders at non-Skico resorts, a lift ticket will cost $55.

"We are thrilled to be opening early and getting out on the hill," said Rich Burkley, Skico vice president of mountain operations, in a statement. "This is the best mid-November skiing we have had in years."

Burkley's comment on "mid-November skiing" was characterized as a quip in the statement because Aspen Mountain hasn't opened in mid-November in recent years due to subpar snow conditions. Historically, the mountain opens on Thanksgiving Day.

This year, Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 28. After Sunday, the mountain will be closed from Monday to Nov. 22 and will reopen for daily activity on Nov. 23. Snowmass ski area also opens for the full winter-and-spring ski season on Nov. 23.

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As for this weekend, Skico also announced that Ajax Tavern restaurant will offer $2 beers and $6 glasses of wine in honor of the early opening. The Sundeck also is open Saturday and Sunday.

Parking on Aspen's public streets always is free on Sundays.

Skico said earlier this week that early snowfall, coupled with good snowmaking conditions at night, is allowing the early opening.

UPDATE: With 6 inches of powder capping the mountain on Friday night, and the possibility of another 8 inches on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, Skico noted that more than 60 inches has fallen on Aspen and Snowmass so far this fall.

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