Town Talk: What does it take to complete the Snowmass scavenger hunt?

Selfies, trivia, singing — it’s all fair game in the Snowmass Mountain Mission

A snowman stands next the ski racks on Snowmass Village Mall on a powder day on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. Building a snowman is among the immersive tasks on the Snowmass Mountain Mission scavenger hunt. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

There are selfies. Trivia abound. Multiple peaks to conquer — and at least two singing-related challenges to complete along the way.

At the end of the Snowmass Mountain Mission, a prize: a free buff for any participant that achieves 3,000 points, and a grand prize of Snowmass-branded goodies worth around $75 for anyone who finishes the game with an elusive 6,000 points. Not all tasks are created equally: some items earn more points than others to bring participants closer to a prize.

What does it take to complete the Snowmass scavenger hunt? For this month’s Town Talk, we at the Snowmass Sun took a firsthand approach to find the answer ourselves.

First things first: Your phone is your North Star.

The scavenger hunt is based on a mobile app (Eventzee, available for iPhones and Androids); to sign up, you’ll need to create an account and enter the event code “Snowmass.”

The app requires photo or video evidence for nearly half of the 70-odd challenges on the list; other tasks are trivia-based. Consider bringing a spare battery pack or ask a family member to download the app as a backup; you can use the same login information on multiple devices to save your progress.

And if — like your phone — you lose energy quickly when the temperatures dip, bundle up and consider packing touchscreen-friendly gloves for the occasion. Nearly every task on the list takes place outside.

With proper attire and the app in hand, it’s time to strategize.

The scavenger hunt covers territory in Base Village, the Snowmass Mall and a handful of other locations around town; multiple activities involve on-mountain exploration and treks on nearby trails.

Most of the activities are free and fairly easy to complete in an afternoon — without venturing more than a few hundred yards from Fanny Hill, it can take as little as an hour to earn the requisite 3,000 points for a Snowmass neck gaiter.

Selfie challenges in Base Village and the Snowmass Mall feature easily identifiable landmarks, and trivia questions can be completed in rapid-fire fashion while waiting in line for the Sky Cab (as this reporter did) or while taking a snack break (that, too, is a task on the list).

Many trivia answers are hiding in plain sight on trail maps and signage around town — trail maps can offer a handful of hints, and a sign located near the roundabout on Brush Creek Road contains the answers to three more questions on the list. Snowmass ambassadors, dressed in gray and red Aspen Skiing Co. uniforms, are another resource for puzzling clues.

But around half a dozen tasks on the list are immersive experiences that require planning in advance (and a financial investment) to complete.

A photo-op at the top of the Longshot run at Snowmass involves a gondola ride, a chairlift ride, a short hike and a 5.3-mile ski to the base of Two Creeks; you’ll need a valid Aspen-Snowmass lift ticket to access the terrain.

A snowmobile tour with Western Adventures starts at $300. Taking a guided snowshoe tour with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies at Elk Camp costs $71 for adults and occurs only twice daily at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (There is, however, a free nature trek that departs from the Snowmass Mall.) Sharpshooter photographers will be elusive this season amid COVID-19 restrictions. And a hike on the Rim Trail South, while free, will take half an afternoon to complete.

With some of the more immersive challenges out of reach for this time-strapped reporter, the Snowmass Sun team didn’t quite reach the 6,000-point bar for the grand prize. But thanks to a bit of teamwork (editor David Krause kicked off the morning on the mountain; reporter Kaya Williams picked up where he left off in the afternoon), we totaled 3,933 points in a day to earn a Snowmass buff.

Participants can redeem prizes at the information booth located at Town Park Station, open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Aspen Times-Snowmass Sun Scavenger Hunt Challenge

We also challenged staff members at our sister paper, The Aspen Times, to complete Aspen’s “Skiers on Parade” town-wide scavenger hunt. (To sign up for the Aspen hunt, download the Let’s Roam app, create an account, then enter the code “aspenskier” under the “redeem” section of the app.)

Publisher Samantha Johnston, reporter Carolyn Sackariason and our marketing and magazine manager Amy Laha used a bit of teamwork to complete the entire hunt in around an hour. (The Let’s Roam app uses a different scoring method than the Eventzee app, so we couldn’t make an apples-to-apples comparison.)

Think you have what it takes to beat us? Attempt the Aspen hunt and post your time, or attempt the Snowmass hunt and share your score (plus a selfie or two) on social media. Then tag us on Facebook (The Aspen Times) or Instagram (@aspentimes) to enter a drawing for some swag.



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