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Aspen conditions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have read most everything and am completely aware of the massive drought and poor coverage in Tahoe, Utah, and Colorado. I cancelled my Jan5-11 Tahoe trip. I have a Utah trip at end of February and am trying to fit in a January trip still.

 

I have a friend of a friend in Aspen to stay with and was wanting to get the true low-down on the current conditions. I still have Jan 5-11 off from work but could also go Jan 20-25. I have seen that a good bit of advanced/expert terrain is open, especially at Ajax and Highlands, with some recently opened at Snowmass.  Is any of it decent? Or all just poor coverage, hard pack, and man-made? The long-term forecast looks bleak, so I know it would be smarter to wait till the end of the month, but I need to use that time off next week.

 

So how is the skiing really?

post #2 of 8

I skied Ajax on Christmas, and it is a bit thin in many places. Ruthie's was in really good shape considering, but word got out on that pretty fast and the masses descended, so I poked around and found some fun stuff but nothing really of note (Aztec was good, just that whole side of the mountain was in way better shape). I never really even considered any of the advanced terrain I like to ski there despite it being open, but your mileage may vary. Probably hitting Highlands tomorrow, so I can offer more feedback if you should want some.

 

As far as the windows you are looking at, yeah, end of January is a long way off and there is a much better chance for some dumps of snow between now and then. But either way, I mean, Aspen is Aspen, I have an absolute blast whenever I come here no matter the ski conditions. Seems like it's iffy everywhere, so might as well be in a place as fun as this one. I guess only you can answer if it is worth it, but the fact that you already aborted the Tahoe trip leads me to believe you may have a higher bar for what is acceptable skiing than me. I don't know what you like to ski or what you want out of a ski trip, so I really don't know what to tell you.

post #3 of 8
Funny this thread just popped up. I am bringing my 9 year old daughter to Aspen on 1/14 for four days of skiing. She is good for her age but there is no need for crazy steeps for us!

I just checked and we can probably move things to Whistler with little penalty. We have already been to Whistler but never Aspen so I would rather go there.

What do you guys think? We are now three weeks away from our trip and long range forecasts do not look promising. The PNW has been doing well with more storms coming. Thanks.
post #4 of 8

My last day was the 21st, so my knowledge is a little dated.  We were skiing the double diamonds, Walshes, Perry's, Corkscrew, Glades, etc. just as they were opening and the skiing was thin, but very good.  They did an outstanding job making snow this year.  Spar and Copper were great.  The entire Ruthies side was really good, because they put down a really good base for the WC.

Aspen skis better than just about any place I've ever been, in low snow conditions. 10-15 more inches and they'd have the whole mountain open

 

Snowmass was suppose to be skiing well on the blue/green terrain, but their DD terrain takes quite a bit of snow. 

 

I skied Highland opening day and it was good, but there terrain is a lot more rocky and they still had a lot of early season woopdedoo's.

 

But if they go through the entire Christmas holiday period without snow, then it's going to be very firm.  I would postpone until 1/20?

 

Gores95, I think you'd be OK?

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Although I'm antsy to go next week, the smart and responsible thing to do would be to wait and see if the snow situation improves. Honestly, I could go in March if needed! 

 

While the forecast remains bleak, a pattern change could be setting up for Jan 8-10. Arghh!

post #6 of 8

I skied Highlands today, and it was skiing pretty well considering the conditions. Followed the sun and was rewarded with some good runs. I thought it was in far better shape than Ajax, personally. Still rocks around and most trails are buyer beware, but decent.  I've heard rumors of an inch or two of snow being possible for Thursday, but a bigger dump is really what this area needs.

 

If March is an option, I'd strongly consider that if you only have one chance to go to Aspen this winter. Probably the best month snow wise in the area (purely anecdotal on my part, I have absolutely no hard data to back that up), and certainly the month that has had my favorite powder days from the last few years.

 

 

post #7 of 8

^^^^

Did you ski Steeplechase, Deception or the Bowl?   Highland's has such low skier volume,  that I could see the blues being nicer.  But normally the steeps take a lot more snow than Ajax?

Following the sun is one of my favorite things about the Highlands.  Later in the season you can ski till 4 and get full sun, top  to the bottom, by doing Deception, Upper Stien then Powder Bowl!

 

March is the snowiest month!

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

^^^^

Did you ski Steeplechase, Deception or the Bowl?   Highland's has such low skier volume,  that I could see the blues being nicer.  But normally the steeps take a lot more snow than Ajax?

Following the sun is one of my favorite things about the Highlands.  Later in the season you can ski till 4 and get full sun, top  to the bottom, by doing Deception, Upper Stien then Powder Bowl!

 

March is the snowiest month!



No, I didn't ski any of those, was kind of taking easier. Took a peak around Steeplechase and opted against it, but it looks enjoyable if you are careful about your line choices. Everything above Cloud 9 was a little iffy, but again, if you're smart about it, you can definitely pick off some of those steeps up there. The reports I heard from those that did ski the bowl were that it was in ok shape all things considered. Everything Cloud 9 and below was in solid shape, albeit with the occasional rocks and pebbles around.

 

Yeah, everything you say about Highlands is what I love about it too. Upper Stein is one of my favorites, especially late in the day. That wasn't open yet (although I have to admit, from what I saw of it, I would've given it a go, so open that sucker already), but Suzy Q (one of my favorite under the radar runs, especially on a powder day) was skiing really well and provided a bit of nice steep skiing, albeit short and to the point.

 

All in all, yesterday was a blast. Temps pushed past 40, and it felt like spring out there. Despite the snow conditions, it was awfully nice catching some rays on the deck of the Merry Go Round.

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