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Leaving for Aspen Tomorrow Last Minute Tips / Advice

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

My wife and I are leaving for Aspen on Saturday.  Anyone have any tips or advice for us while we are out there.  We are planning on skiing 4 day, one day each at the areas except buttermilk and pick an area for the last day.

 

My wife will ski any where with exception of runs requiring air or trees closer than about a ski length or so.  So where should we head, where is the good skiing?  Anybody know what the conditions will be like?

 

I would really like to hike the bowl one day, the wife isn't too keen on hiking but said she would do that one if I really wanted to.

Other than that we have no set plans.

post #2 of 31

Skiing's good.  I'd probably start at Snowmass, just to get your legs.   Watch the weather and go to Highlands on a nice day.  It's a much nicer hike when 1/2 your face isn't getting blasted and you can see.

Aspen's great on inclement days, the gondi is warm and comfy

Sign up for first tracks the day before with the concierge.

 

Most all of the high end restaurant's have bar menu's that are under $20.  I like Elevation, Brixe and La Hostra which have high top tables, perfect for a couple. Cashe Cashe the coco vine is unbelievable, but a little messy to eat at the bar.

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

On the AspenSnowmass site they say that they only do the first tracks program at snowmass on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Do you know if that is the case?  We were sort of planning on doing first tracks Sunday or monday at aspen mtn and then first tracks on wednesday at snowmass since those the only days offered.  

Also for someone who is a Level III PSIA skier and my wife who is a very strong intermediate/expert skier would the First Tracks program be appropriate, even if just for getting a familiar with the mountains?

 

Thanks, for the other tips we will have to try some of those out.

post #4 of 31

I've only done first tracks on Aspen, so I'm not sure on Snowmass.  They don't let you go hog wild on first tracks, they did at first, but it got reined in.

It's fun and free, I would recommend it, she'll be fine.

post #5 of 31

My list of runs to hit if you are both expert skiers.

 

Snowmass

 

  • Robertos
  • AMF
  • The Headwall
  • Stuff in the Hidden Valley

 

Aspen Mountain

 

  • Back of the Bell
  • Shoulder of the Bell
  • Stuff off of International
  • High speed top to bottom groomers without stopping
  • Any of the dumps

 

Highlands

 

  • The Bowl
  • Canopy Cruiser
  • Mushroom chutes
  • Steeplechase area
  • Oly Bowl
  • Thunder bowl

 

Don't forget fine dining.  My favorites are the Wild Fig, Pacifica, Szygygy, Cache Cache, etc.

 

Enjoy!

 

Mike

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mike, that's a great list and I'm sure will give us several days of fun exploring the different mountains trying to hit all those areas.

 

As far as experts, we went to JH two years ago and we spent a lot of time on the expert terrain off Sublette and Thunder Quads (T3 chute, alta chutes, other double black terrain)  the only thing she wouldn't do was Corbet's because of the air.  Other than that she followed me down anywhere I would take her.  During that trip she even figured out that she really likes the bumps as well.

post #7 of 31

This is great stuff.  I am glad I caught this I was about to ask how conditions were.  We are arriving Aspen on the 23rd.  Skiing for 5 days.  Definitely want to do first tracks and hope to hike the bowl with my oldest son.  Please report back after your trip and let us know how things went.

 

Brian
 

post #8 of 31

Coming from Ohio, you may not be used to the altitude so drink plenty of water.

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx2ski View Post

Coming from Ohio, you may not be used to the altitude so drink plenty of water.


I was just going to say "hydrate"!

post #10 of 31

Good stuff here in this thread.  I too will be taking my first visit to Aspen later this month (staying at Snowmass Village).  My wife and I will be skiing three days and hope to hit three different mountains (starting at Snowmass and then playing it by ear from there).  We aren't nearly as proficient skiers though and will probably be sticking to more of the groomed terrain.  Let us know how it goes and what worked and what didn't.

 

Also, how pricey are those restaurants which were mentioned (Wild Fig, Pacifica, Szygygy, Cache Cache)?

post #11 of 31

Do the (short) hike- to "Long Shot" on Snowmass, it's a great, very long trail, glades at the top and then opens up a bit. It's a "blue" so it is rarely skied by the locals, and tourists don't do hike to terrain.  It's a ton of fun.  Fun signs on it too.  After you've skied for a long ways there's a "You're 1/4 of the way down" sign.

 

We also really enjoyed the Hidden Valley Glades.

post #12 of 31

All good stuff here, thanks to all for the ideas    Can't wait , bringing the family out to Snowmass on Saturday, albeit with one doubled-broken wrist daughter and one with bruised heel.  Pretty unfortunate timing.  We will , however, have good fun and family time.  Still looking for non-skiing ideas, if any come to mind.  And open to any local experts who might be around for a day at Aspen Highlands, I expect I will be doing a solo shot there while my wife and girls hit the shops.  

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiscoskier View Post

This is great stuff.  I am glad I caught this I was about to ask how conditions were.
 

 

Warm over the weekend with 6" of wet snow today.  Typical March pattern.   Skiing is good and the base is building.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post

 

Also, how pricey are those restaurants which were mentioned (Wild Fig, Pacifica, Szygygy, Cache Cache)?

 

Those are all excellent restaurants, but they are not cheap.  They all post their menu's outside.  I like to walk around town, check them out and then decide.  The bar menu's are great for couples and usually around 40% off.  Some small places like Pacifica only have the bar menu till 5:30.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

Do the (short) hike- to "Long Shot" on Snowmass, it's a great, very long trail, glades at the top and then opens up a bit. It's a "blue"   After you've skied for a long ways there's a "You're 1/4 of the way down" sign.

 

 

It's a great run.  But it's a fairly hard blue since it's so long.  It has over 3400 ft. of vertical so the conditions can change considerably and once your on it, there's no changing your mind.

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 


Those are all excellent restaurants, but they are not cheap.  They all post their menu's outside.  I like to walk around town, check them out and then decide.  The bar menu's are great for couples and usually around 40% off.  Some small places like Pacifica only have the bar menu till 5:30.

 

 

Still remember the restaurant scene from Aspen Extreme where they talk about ordering ONE shrimp hahaha..

 


post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 

They all post their menu's outside.  I like to walk around town, check them out and then decide.  The bar menu's are great for couples and usually around 40% off.  Some small places like Pacifica only have the bar menu till 5:30.

 

Interesting.  I will be there with just my wife so the "bar menu" idea may suit us just fine.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 

It's a great run.  But it's a fairly hard blue since it's so long.  It has over 3400 ft. of vertical so the conditions can change considerably and once your on it, there's no changing your mind.

 

Hmmm...my wife is still pretty tentative and tells me she only likes "easy blues".  Might have to re-think whether we make the hike.  (I obviously feel this is a must-do.)

post #16 of 31

Well I was there on a day with 4" + of fresh and still snowing, so long was good, it was so sweet.  There is nothing steep in at all, so that wouldn't be a problem.  Neat experience for your wife.  I think it would depend on the conditions that day.  They groom it once a week I was told.  Do it earlier in the day while her legs aren't shot.  Or not, I only did it once, but both my wife (Level II PSIA) and I (Level 1) enjoyed it.

 

Hanging Valley Glade is a Double Black Diamond.

post #17 of 31

Has anyone experienced the new runs over next to Long Shot?  Rio, Alpine, and Split Tree?  They are new for this season.  Something we want to do for sure.
 

post #18 of 31

I've skied Burnt Mountain before they cut the new runs.  Similar terrain to long shot, nice low angle glades.

post #19 of 31

In SV right now, and they need snow BAD!! Hard as a rock, that's why I'm waiting for the half day to start.

post #20 of 31

I think DaveB posted in the wrong thread since I'm assuming SV is Sun Valley.    Fricken Hoosier!

post #21 of 31

They sound perfect for the family to ski.
 

post #22 of 31

PM'd you.
 

post #23 of 31

Since I am heading to Aspen next week for my first trip there, I had a question regarding the different mountains there.  My wife will be sticking to greens and blues and is worried that she might struggle on the blue runs since it's been six years since the last time she skied.  We will be skiing three days only and hope to spend one day a piece at Snowmass, Aspen and Highlands.  I have heard that Aspen is considered the toughest of the three.  With my wife in mind, I'd like to start with the easiest of the three mountains and progress to the most challenging (based upon the difficulty of the blue runs at each of the resorts).  I had figured that would be Snowmass --> Aspen Highlands --> Aspen Mountain.  For those of you who know these hills well, would you agree with that?

post #24 of 31

Generally true, however if sticking to greens and blues there is not much different between Snowmass and Highlands. Suggest considering the first day at Buttermilk. It has was she probably wants and easier to find and navigate the desired type of runs.

post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post

Since I am heading to Aspen next week for my first trip there, I had a question regarding the different mountains there.  My wife will be sticking to greens and blues and is worried that she might struggle on the blue runs since it's been six years since the last time she skied.  We will be skiing three days only and hope to spend one day a piece at Snowmass, Aspen and Highlands.  I have heard that Aspen is considered the toughest of the three.  With my wife in mind, I'd like to start with the easiest of the three mountains and progress to the most challenging (based upon the difficulty of the blue runs at each of the resorts).  I had figured that would be Snowmass --> Aspen Highlands --> Aspen Mountain.  For those of you who know these hills well, would you agree with that?

Yes- I have limited experience at all 3 and was there a few weeks ago.  Ajax (Aspen Mnt) has very limited greens and requires taking a decent blue if you want to ski to the bottom...it is the most convenient if you are staying in town, but only recommended for those who are confident on blues.  I don't think Highlands is great for beginners either, but have only done 2 days there and didn't focus on the green terrain.  Snowmass is the biggest of the 3 and has something for everyone.

post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

Do the (short) hike- to "Long Shot" on Snowmass, it's a great, very long trail...

 

Fun signs on it too.  After you've skied for a long ways there's a "You're 1/4 of the way down" sign.

 

 

I noticed that too a few weeks ago!   And then another long ways down there's a second sign that says "You're 1/2 of the way down", when in fact you are getting pretty darn close to the fast run out to the Two Creeks lift and base.

 

I wonder whether the signs are meant to add to the feeling of adventure?   Anyway, the short hike-to for Burnt Mountain really runs thins out the crowds...

post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post

Since I am heading to Aspen next week for my first trip there, I had a question regarding the different mountains there.  My wife will be sticking to greens and blues and is worried that she might struggle on the blue runs since it's been six years since the last time she skied.  We will be skiing three days only and hope to spend one day a piece at Snowmass, Aspen and Highlands.  I have heard that Aspen is considered the toughest of the three.  With my wife in mind, I'd like to start with the easiest of the three mountains and progress to the most challenging (based upon the difficulty of the blue runs at each of the resorts).  I had figured that would be Snowmass --> Aspen Highlands --> Aspen Mountain.  For those of you who know these hills well, would you agree with that?

we will be there starting saturday. Can't wait!
post #28 of 31

I would highly recommend Buttermilk.  It's a really nice little hill with a good mix of easy terrain and hardly any people. You can find untracked groomed at three pm.

 

Aspen's not a very good choice for low intermediates. The biggest problem, there are only three narrow easy runs to egress the mountain and they can have a fair amount of high speed traffic late in the day.  The top has a few runs she could probably ski and then ride the gondola back down.

 

Highlands is a little better, but not much.  There are some nice easy blues, but the easiest way down to the bottom also gets narrow.  But there aren't many people, so you'd probably be OK.

 

Both of you will love Snowmass. It's cruiser heaven.

 

 

Buttermilk,  Snowmass then perhaps half day at each Highland and Ajax.  The bus ride is only 10 minutes between them.

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

I would highly recommend Buttermilk.  It's a really nice little hill with a good mix of easy terrain and hardly any people. You can find untracked groomed at three pm.

 

Aspen's not a very good choice for low intermediates. The biggest problem, there are only three narrow easy runs to egress the mountain and they can have a fair amount of high speed traffic late in the day.  The top has a few runs she could probably ski and then ride the gondola back down.

 

Highlands is a little better, but not much.  There are some nice easy blues, but the easiest way down to the bottom also gets narrow.  But there aren't many people, so you'd probably be OK.

 

Both of you will love Snowmass. It's cruiser heaven.

 

 

Buttermilk,  Snowmass then perhaps half day at each Highland and Ajax.  The bus ride is only 10 minutes between them.

 

Good advice.  If I was basing our plans on my wife's skiing preferences alone, there is no doubt we would start at Buttermilk and go from there.  I'm not concerned about the narrow runs at Aspen for my wife.  (She learned to ski at Taos which has the same "problem" and she had no problems there.)  If she feels like the blues at Snowmass are tough, then perhaps day 2 would be at Buttermilk, but right now I'd really like to spend day 2 at Highlands and day 3 at Ajax.

post #30 of 31

If you do decide to ski down Ajax.  I'd probably recommend going to the Ruthies side and taking Summer Road down. 

 

 

Have fun!

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