After a near-miss with the Big C I have a bit of money coming in from a critical illness insurance policy so I decided to splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime ski trip.
We usually ski Colorado because my wife has had bad experiences in Europe and loves the wide-open pistes and more consistent snow conditions. Mainly ski'ed Breckenridge but also been to Winter Park and Vail.
We've both always wanted to try Aspen so figured now is the time to do it. The issue is timing. We can't go in early 2014 as we have already booked a two week vacation to the Maldives scuba diving for my birthday in February and I can't get two two-week vacations from work so close to each other. Instead we are thinking of going December this year. Christmas looks like being incredibly busy and expensive so we were looking at the early season, more precisely the middle of December - 8th-22nd.
We were looking at staying at Snowmass for the first week for ski-in-ski-out and then moving to Aspen itself for the second week.
However, am now looking at the conditions and wondering whether there will be enough snow! No point spending a bucket of cash on a once-in-a-lifetime ski trip and then not skiing, right?
I hear that they have snow cannons which are active from Thanksgiving - so pretty much a week before we are aiming to get there - but how many runs will open with just snow cannons?
I'm a reasonable intermediate, my wife more an experienced beginner/early intermediate, so we won't be put off by a lack of black/double diamond runs opened, we are more looking for leisurely groomed runs to take and enjoy the scenery. We would just prefer the scenery to be snow rather than grass/mud/rock! :)
Are we going at the wrong time of year? If we have to we could put it back to Jan/Feb 2015 but that seems such a long way off and I haven't ski'ed in the last two years now!
Any advice / experience of skiing Aspen/Snowmass this early in the season would be much appreciated!