or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Heading to Snowmass for the first time
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Heading to Snowmass for the first time

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

So my wife and I are going to be heading to Snowmass for the first time this season - always been east coast skiiers doing a few days in PA and the getting up to Killington for the majority of the season.  Any recommendations or things to think about going as a first timer out west?  I am planning on bringing my Fischer Motive 88's to ski on, but didn't think my wife's K2 Superfree's would cut it too well at a 76mm underfoot.  What kind of things should I be on the look out for or remember or do?

 

Mod note: moved to Resorts, Conditions and Travel

post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin29311 View Post
 

So my wife and I are going to be heading to Snowmass for the first time this season - always been east coast skiiers doing a few days in PA and the getting up to Killington for the majority of the season.  Any recommendations or things to think about going as a first timer out west?  I am planning on bringing my Fischer Motive 88's to ski on, but didn't think my wife's K2 Superfree's would cut it too well at a 76mm underfoot.  What kind of things should I be on the look out for or remember or do?

 

Mod note: moved to Resorts, Conditions and Travel


If your wife likes to ski on groomers, nothing wrong with her Superfrees.  If you have a case that hold two pairs of skis, I'd bring them any way.  I used to being my Rossi Attraxion 8s (75 underfoot) to Alta and would use them 2/3 of the days.  There are advantages to having skis you are used to available.

 

When are you going?  How many ski days?  Have you slept at high altitude before (over 6000 ft)?

post #3 of 20
You'll like Snowmass, it's really nice and the skiings great this year.
Check some of the other hills out, spend some nights in town and spluge a little.
I'd bring the skis and rent something else if appropriate.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Going for a week the first week of March.  Saturday to Saturday trip for us.  I am looking to ski probably 4-5 days - don't want to wear myself out with the altitude change, but definitely want to make the most out of the trip and ski as much as possible.

 

Never slept over 6000 feet before - most would probably be in the 3-4000 range I would estimate.  The altitude change is something I've been reading up on a lot and getting a lot of feedback from coworkers and friends about.  Big thing would be to take it easy the first few days and really make sure to stay hydrated - anything else I'm missing?

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin29311 View Post
 

Going for a week the first week of March.  Saturday to Saturday trip for us.  I am looking to ski probably 4-5 days - don't want to wear myself out with the altitude change, but definitely want to make the most out of the trip and ski as much as possible.

 

Never slept over 6000 feet before - most would probably be in the 3-4000 range I would estimate.  The altitude change is something I've been reading up on a lot and getting a lot of feedback from coworkers and friends about.  Big thing would be to take it easy the first few days and really make sure to stay hydrated - anything else I'm missing?


If you are in decent shape, should be able to ski most of the week with perhaps a day off mid-week.  That's assuming you don't mind paying for a lift ticket and leaving mid-afternoon if you are starting to feel tired.  I usually only need a day or two to adjust to the high altitude but if I ski more on groomers in the afternoons, I don't have much trouble getting in full days.  I'm over 55 by the way.

 

Take a look at the EpicSki Article about altitude:

http://www.epicski.com/a/altitude-adaptation-and-acute-mountain-sickness

 

To find relevant threads and info about Aspen/Snowmass/Aspen Highlands, go to the Resort Pages.  Scroll down to the bottom for a list of threads.  You can use the tags I added under Topics Discussed (right hand column).

 

Every situation is different, so feel free to ask specific questions for your trip.

 

Hope you'll do a trip report.  I'm headed to Aspen for the first time in late March.  Taking advantage of the MCP before I head to Alta for my annual stay with friends at Alta Lodge in April.

post #6 of 20
You'll need good sunglasses or goggles. In the east a very light lens is all you need. It is much brighter in Colo at altitude. You learn the Sun is actually visible in winter and it's bright. So sunblock also.

You have to ski Ajax, (Aspen) at least one day. If not, then go there for lunch at the top if it's sunny on the day off. One of the best views at a ski area and a good lunch to boot.
If you want intermediate groomers you might consider Buttermilk but someone else will have to give you tbe scoop. I've never been.

A goggle thread:
http://www.epicski.com/t/106729/goggles-and-what-are-my-options
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


If you are in decent shape, should be able to ski most of the week with perhaps a day off mid-week.  That's assuming you don't mind paying for a lift ticket and leaving mid-afternoon if you are starting to feel tired.  I usually only need a day or two to adjust to the high altitude but if I ski more on groomers in the afternoons, I don't have much trouble getting in full days.  I'm over 55 by the way.

 

Take a look at the EpicSki Article about altitude:

http://www.epicski.com/a/altitude-adaptation-and-acute-mountain-sickness

 

To find relevant threads and info about Aspen/Snowmass/Aspen Highlands, go to the Resort Pages.  Scroll down to the bottom for a list of threads.  You can use the tags I added under Topics Discussed (right hand column).

 

Every situation is different, so feel free to ask specific questions for your trip.

 

Hope you'll do a trip report.  I'm headed to Aspen for the first time in late March.  Taking advantage of the MCP before I head to Alta for my annual stay with friends at Alta Lodge in April.

This is awesome information - thank you so much for this!  I will definitely check out the resort page for the Aspen mountains.  MY wife and I are in great shape - running/working out 4-5 days a week.  We'll definitely take it easier the first few days and listen to our bodies.  That article is fantastic to discuss altitude issues.

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin29311 View Post

This is awesome information - thank you so much for this!  I will definitely check out the resort page for the Aspen mountains.  MY wife and I are in great shape - running/working out 4-5 days a week.  We'll definitely take it easier the first few days and listen to our bodies.  That article is fantastic to discuss altitude issues.

I ride bikes 150-200 miles a week with a pretty sporty crew, so would assume I'm in decent aerobic shape, through early Dec - sometimes,I'm fine sometimes, I get headaches and can't sleep. What I have found works is lots of water and Excedrin Migrane - it's totally random, as to when I feel the impact of altitude.

YMMV
post #9 of 20
I agree, it's mostly luck on altitude effects. Good news is that most people have mild cases at those altitudes, usually just sleep disruption or loss of appetite, and it resolves in a day or two. Severe cases are rare.

And some get lucky and have zero effect.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin29311 View Post

Going for a week the first week of March.  Saturday to Saturday trip for us.  I am looking to ski probably 4-5 days - don't want to wear myself out with the altitude change, but definitely want to make the most out of the trip and ski as much as possible.

Never slept over 6000 feet before - most would probably be in the 3-4000 range I would estimate.  The altitude change is something I've been reading up on a lot and getting a lot of feedback from coworkers and friends about.  Big thing would be to take it easy the first few days and really make sure to stay hydrated - anything else I'm missing?

I spend a few weeks skiing out west each year and come from sea level in VA. It is random though - there is no silver bullet. Some things I keep in mind:

- Good cardio fitness reduces fatigue and enables me to ski longer. Start running/swimming/elliptical/whatever as soon as you can.

- If you can spare one night in Denver (around 5,000 ft), that will make the transition to higher altitudes easier.

- The air is dry up there. Fill your bathtub with 1/2" of water at night - it will evaporate and introduce some moisture into the air.

- Go easy on booze.

- Drink more water than you think you need. Drinks with sodium, like Gatorade, are great for you - helps your body retain water.

Have fun up there! I've never skied Snowmass but hope to get there this year on the MCP.
post #11 of 20

Naked Lady off the Alpine Springs Lift is as much fun as the name implies.  Elk Camp has great cruisers and you have to make the hike to Long Shot.  The view of Maroon Bells from the top is fantastic and that run is great time.  Snowmass is awesome.

post #12 of 20
Get the room humidifier from the hotel for sleeping. They charge a small fee or some just have it. It makes a difference since tbe air really is dry.
post #13 of 20

Skied Killington a ton and also skied Aspen a few times. Town has bus transportation between Snowmass and Aspen so you should easily be able to get between the mountains if you won't have a car. The town is a blast so it is definitely worth going in after a day skiing.

 

As far as the altitude. I got altitude sickness pretty bad in Aspen. We flew right into Aspen from sea level. I now take diamox on trips because of my experience there if sleeping above 6k...talk to your doc about it and read up on it online. Tons of info.

 

What type of skier level are you at Killington? That will kind of determine terrain choices out there...

 

If you are good skier I would say #1 on your list is hiking the Highlands Bowl. Pick a nice day in the middle to end of your trip to do the hike and you will not be disappointed. This will give you time to acclimate so you aren't sucking as much wind. The views are incredible. The snow was great the couple times I hiked it. Ask around for which aspects of the bowl will be best given the conditions. Generally people will point you in the right direction. Hiked up with ski patrol and he was more than willing to point out terrain.

 

I personally didn't ski Buttermilk. There's just so much to ski at the other three mountains that it was hard to justify it. Aspen and Aspen Highlands aren't as great for your first day out there. Hit up Snowmass and feel yourself out on the different terrain options there. There is a ton of blue terrain to get the legs under you. Plenty of options to work your way up too. I am a fan of working from the Big Burn area to the Cirque to the Hanging Valley.

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin29311 View Post
 

Going for a week the first week of March.  Saturday to Saturday trip for us.  I am looking to ski probably 4-5 days - don't want to wear myself out with the altitude change, but definitely want to make the most out of the trip and ski as much as possible.

 

Never slept over 6000 feet before - most would probably be in the 3-4000 range I would estimate.  The altitude change is something I've been reading up on a lot and getting a lot of feedback from coworkers and friends about.  Big thing would be to take it easy the first few days and really make sure to stay hydrated - anything else I'm missing?

You sound very fit and should be fine.

A tame, but very fun "side country" experience at Snowmass is to take the five minute hike above the Elk Camp lift to Burnt Mtn.   Great views up there and from the summit of Burnt Mtn there is an uninterrupted 3000'+ vertical run down a beautiful intermediate open glade aptly named Long Shot to the base of the Two Creeks lift.

 

 

post #15 of 20

come say hi!  Id be happy to show you around for a lap or two.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by billtro11 View Post

come say hi!  Id be happy to show you around for a lap or two.
Bill , I get the impression you are a local. I am in Aspen right now and am always interested in meeting as many people as possible.
post #17 of 20

+1 on Long Shot mdf.  You have to ski it!

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

+1 on Long Shot mdf.  You have to ski it!
I did today. Looking at the map I'm wondering if the glades past Longshot were open. I didn't notice them today.
post #19 of 20
Photo from the top just where Longshot starts.
post #20 of 20
Did you ski Big Burn?
That freaks me out at first cause it's so incredibly wide. Yet it's a trail not above tree line Almost like getting vertigo. Just be careful you'll find yourself going very fast and then there's a tree that approaches fast

Also there's a bit if a gully skier's right of the Burn that's fun. That goes off to another area more skier's right.
Also from Burn lift go way skier's left to boundary. There's a trail there that goes back down to main base lift top. Fantastic view. It's a cruiser.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Heading to Snowmass for the first time