I need to find better maps, and do a more careful estimate, but it looks like Highlands is 5 or 6 times most of my list and 2 or maybe 3 times Jackson.
That's the comparison I'm looking for.
I think I can do it, but it will be a big investment of time and energy.
An accurate list is still something I will put on my "to do" list.
Uh... yeah you can totally do it. Obviously skill wise skiing you can do it. There is no doubt. It's worth the investment of time and energy but I recommemd finding a partner or small group. Makes it more enjoyable . One of the great runs in the country. Worth half a day. Even a day. You will remember it for a long time, more than six runs down whatever trails
If you want to convince yourself you can hike - practice at Snowmass hiking next to the poma at the top. It's not as steep but the altitude is as much or more. Can always click in and ski down. Even get off the poma half way and hike.
I strongly encourage you to spend a whole day at Highlands. As @SHREDHEAD
said, transit time will be considerably longer mid-day. I believe that there is a Highlands Direct bus which leaves Snowmass Village at 9:00 and 10:00 (with direct returns to Snowmass at 3:00 and 4:00 from Highlands). The "direct" routes do not mean the buses won't make their usual stops along the way, it just means that they do not return to the main bus depot in town, which saves about 15-30 minutes on the normal bus time getting from Snowmass to Highlands.
Good to know about the direct bus, thanks. I'm sure it will be a near game time decision. We'll have kids in ski school at Snowmass so I wouldn't want my wife and I both away at another mountain all day and I doubt I'd want to spend a full day away on my own either. That's why I was thinking a half day, but the bus logistics may make that decision for me.
I strongly encourage you to go to Aspen Highlands and Ajax. Maybe put the kids in school over there? The mountains become different. They are less high desert rounded peaks type as in Snowmass. They become steeper rocky peaks that one associates with "mountains". Top of Aspen Highlands Bowl is one of the best views in ski land and is unique. But so is the top of Aspen which you can reach by gondola and eat at a decent cafeteria style restaurant. Top of Ajax, Aspen Mt, is alao one of the best views in the country. Certainly of the views that's easy to obtain by lift and you can stay inside to eat at.
Honestly, going to Snowmass without going to Aspen is missing out on a lot. Especially for your kids. It really is spectacular. And sonaccessible by bus and lifts. Snowmass is nice, but you should see the difference in geology. Mountains are not all the same.
If you're only going to do one, and you're not skiing AH bowl, then go to Aspen. Though I'd encourage both. Go to ski patrol hut at AH, buy the straps learn how to use them, take the cat and don't hike but ski back. That's totally worth it. Don't get trapped at Snowmass!
You could also show the kids where the x games are on the way as the bus passes the half pipe. Of course there's Buttermilk....that's why it's such a great place to ski. 4 mountains.