Thanks for your help!
- 133 Posts. Joined 2/2011
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Thanks for your help!
March is pretty much prime time. It can be springy by then, but March is also the biggest snow month.
Snowmass and Buttermilk have ton's of beginner and intermediate terrain. At Aspen and Highland's it's limited. Intermediates can go there, but they will have a lot more fun if someone knowledgeable guides them?
Aspen, Highland's and Snowmass all have very good expert terrain. Much of it harder and a lot longer, than anything in Vail.
I recommend staying in town if you don't have little kids. I think you'll have a great time!
I agree with Shredhead. Aspen will be great for both you and your dad. I also agree that there is more and longer expert terrain in Aspen. If you’re comfortable on Lover’s Leap, Rasputin’s Revenge and Prima Cornice, you should be good on most of the expert stuff at Aspen. All the expert areas you listed are large with lots of ways down. Scope your line and work your way up to the harder stuff.
I was there during mid-March a few years ago and had one of the spring-y weeks. It was so warm there were actual slush puddles lower down at Snowmass. It hadn't snowed in ages and it was ice in the morning, bad slush in the afternoon. But like others said, it's technically a big snow month. You just never know. And Aspen's a great town so if conditions are poor all is not lost--there's lots of other stuff to do and you know you can count on a good dinner at the end of the day.
I usually end up in Aspen for a few days in March, and the answer is... it's awesome. As always, mountain weather is a fickle and strange beast, but I love early to mid-march in Aspen.
As for difficulty level, Vail is easier, but there's little at Aspen that forces you into cliffs and the like (unless you're really pushing it). As long as you're careful and have good "survival" skiing skills, you'll be able to make it down most of the areas that you mentions.
Edit: If you want to take a lesson while you're there and get a good tour guide, Aspen has a bunch of great instructors and I know that folks here could recommend some great instructors -- Weems, Squatty, Kate Howe, and a number of other epic members/friends of epic know the mountain a bit better than the back of their hands, will be able to improve your skiing, and show you a seriously good time.
March is usually the snowiest month. So one of the best times to go there. It is one of the few resorts that truly has everything ski wise and town wise. Its really tough to beat. Also the crowds are much much less than vail and other resorts closer to denver. Never any lift lines. Last year was a really bad snow years so you may hear some reports about lack of snow in march. Normally in March you have a day or two of powder followed a lovely blue bird day.
March is on average the best month for Aspen/Snowmass. You get max coverage on the expert terrain, and usually at least some new snow. I did get a scorching hot week in March 2004. Yes it was sloppy on low intermediate terrain at Snowmass, but many other destination resorts would have been worse. There's a good proportion of high altitude north facing terrain at Aspen/Snowmass/Highlands and a reasonable amount of it is steep, which is what you want if you get a warm spring week. End of March 1988 was more typical, 15 inches new scattered through the week, mostly packed powder conditions, excellent skiing.
I skied Aspen only once, 40 years ago, so much has undoubtedly changed including the weather perhaps. I skied 18 days in a row starting March 1, and it snowed every second night and was sunny every single day until our last day, when it snowed during the day. Best weather on a ski trip I've ever had or likely will have.