Snowmass history: Snowcat tours precede Poma lift

Skiers enjoyed snowcat tours before area was developed as a resort

Aspen Historical Society
Skiers gather for a snowcat tour at Snowmass in 1966 near the top of where the Cirque Poma is located now, photographed by David Hiser.
Aspen Historical Society/Courtesy image

Before there were chairlifts or Poma tows, snowcat tours brought skiers to the highest point at Snowmass. Starting near the top of where the Cirque Poma is now, skiers in 1966 enjoyed snowcat access to the area, which was in development process as it was transformed into the Snowmass-at-Aspen ski area. The Cirque Poma debuted during the 1997-98 ski season, 30 years after Snowmass first opened. The Poma lift covered an 800-foot vertical rise to an elevation of 12,510 feet and was the first in the country to be solely powered by clean, renewable wind power.