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Announcement thread bookmark - 2016 Aspen Gathering  

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Groups provide mechanisms to manage related threads and to provide bulk private message announcements to their members. This is a bookmark thread to the "real" announcement thread, which also contains extensive discussions posted before we broke topics out into related threads.


The announcement thread can be found here:



post #2 of 10
post #3 of 10
Quote: Post #127 in general Gathering thread (green arrow icon is a link to the original post)
Originally Posted by Gathermeister View Post
I'm planning on spending one day (probably the 2nd Snowmass day) with intermediates who want to push out of their comfort zone. Hopefully I can find a volunteer to go with us, so one can lead and the other can sweep (pick up any discarded skis and suchwhat).

The last Gathermeister was a superb instructor. That is not me. In fact, I'm not an instructor at all. I do have one groomer trick, one tree trick, and maybe 1/2 of a mogul trick. If you happen to be at a place in your development where they apply to you, great! Otherwise, well, maybe we can figure something out together, or maybe we will just have fun skiing without worrying about improving.

But what I can, and will, do, is help you judge where you can push yourself on terrain, and provide some support and some laughs while you do it.

Some other intermediats may choose to tag along at hte tail end of the advanced group spectrum. From past experience, many (maybe even most) of the groups ski the same terrain, but at different speeds, choosing different lines, and with different levels of nervousness.

Some other intermediates may want to stay in their comfort zones. (We usuatlly have a few accompanying spouses, partners, or friends who feel this way.) I hope we have a big enough turnout that they can have a great time skiing with each other. If I could find a local who is a happy intermediate and would like to show them around, that would be ideal!
post #4 of 10
Quote: Post #128 in general Gathering thread
Originally Posted by Gathermeister View Post

Mixing it up
I have friends that I met by chance at one Gathering and have skied with at several Gatherings since then. Iam looking forward to seeing them, and skiing with them, again at Aspen. But I also want to meet new people. I want to find ways to help the different groups skiing together mix things up.

Just by chance, at Jacksson Hole we developed a lunch pattern -- a time and place where you would have improved odds of running into someone you know. People who got a late start, or spent the morning skiing with a spouse, or just got separated were able to find other bears there. Sometimes we mixed up the groups after lunch just because there was someone else we wanted to ski with.

At Aspen I would like to designate a preferred lunch spot at the mountain of the day. Nothing mandatory, just somewhere you have better chances of finding other people. (And, those of us buying lunch provide cover for those who bring a sandwich.)

Apres Ski
Let's designate an apres ski spot each day. Again, nothing mandatory (except the vote day!), just somewhere (and a rough time window) with improved chances of running into someone and maybe making dinner plans.

Since virtually everyone either has a cell phone or is skiing with someone who does, I think we can set the place on the fly, posting the venue sometime during the day.

There were two impromptu condo/house parties at Jackson. One was pot-luck, and the other the hosts provided pizza and cold-cuts and the guests brought way too much beer. I am planning to host something at my condo (subject to seeing it in person before I commit). Maybe someone else will feel like hosting another night.

I am not a fan of big group dinners. I think 8 people is about the most that can usefully have dinnder toghether, and 6 is better. Beyond that you can't hear, you can't see everyone, and the restaurant cannot get the food to the table very well.

We are better off having ad hoc groupings of a manageable size.
post #5 of 10

Here's how the Roll Call looked as of early Nov 2015.  If you are ready to commit, go to the Roll Call thread, copy and paste the complete list, and add to the bottom.  Please try to keep the auto-numbering intact.  Green arrow icon is a link to the original post.




This thread is locked because it's meant to be reference only.  The discussion threads are elsewhere.  It's helpful if folks join the Aspen Gathering Group (click on Join on Group Overview webpage), it's not required.  Note can only join a Group when using Desktop mode if using a mobile device.


Originally Posted by Nemesis67 View Post
  1. Gathermeister | 2/3-2/9 | Expert | hike
  2. Drahtguy | 2/3-2/5 | Expert | Hike | Will have flask
  3. dbostedo | 2/3-2/9 | INT-cirque | Cirque tentative depending on how skills are improving next season!
  4. Old Boot | 2/2-2/9 | I try to stay level/not a chance on this planet im gunna hike (lungs will explode)
  5. Lady Salina | 2/2-2/9 | PRETTY good skier | I bet she will hike, shes nuts like that
  6. DanoT | 2/3-2/9 | Adv-very | slow hiker | Skiing Brighton, Alta the week before, Copper, Winter Park, Steamboat starting the week after the Gathering.
  7. Unpiste | 2/1-2/9 | Expert | hike
  8. Rainbow Jenny | 2/3-2/9 | Adv | HIKE w/new pack and cheerlead Gathermeister on the uphill | working on the +1
  9. Crank | 1/31 - 2/9 | Expert | Hike (slowly at altitude) Have +2, 6/31 - 2/6 | ints
  10. Robin | 1/31 - 2/6 | Adv | Hike
  11. kasuncion | 2/3-2/8 | INT - cirque | might want to HIKE if feeling good(ski-wise) that week...would be on the slower end of hiking
  12. friend of kasuncion (Peter) | 2/3-2/8| INT - cirque | might want to HIKE if feeling good(ski-wise) that week...would be on the slower end of hiking
  13. JohnL | 2/3 - 2/7 or 2/8 | UGLY skier taught by PRETTY good skier Lady Salina - cousin of MattL but he won't admit it in public | crawl (and expect Jenny to carry my beer up in her new pack)
  14. Garyskr | 2/3-2/8 | adv skier | - hike? | What! no lift ticket? OK, Ill do it. Friend of Old boot and Rainbow but not some others.
  15. tseeb | 2/4 - 2/7 | Expert | hike | Will be skiing one or two Vail resorts on way to Gathering and one on way back to DEN, +1 possible
  16. KevinF | Dates TBD | Advanced | Hiker
  17. Skier 31 | 1/31-3/8 | wedge turner | hike
  18. Pete No. Idaho, 2/3 until.....,OK skier, hikie sometimes, sometimes not
  19. mdskier | 2/3-2/8 | Expert | hike -slowly -ski fast | Can I be Garyskr's friend ?
  20. better half -Trish - of mdskier | INT | looking for Intermediates.
  21. markojp | put dates here | expert | hike | sheesh
  22. SKI-3PO | 2/3 -2/9 + | Advanced | hike
  23. Living Proof | 2/3 - 2/9| Not as advanced at top tier Gathering skiers, hike...maybe, maybe not
  24. bumpfreaq | 2/3 - 2/9| AE | prefer lifts...might hike a little =)
  25. Gmoney l 2/5-2/7 l Advanced l Hike l Possible +1 with same details
  26. qcanoe | 2/3 - 2/8 | expertish | hike (panting, at that elevation, but game) | note: plans for 2/1 & 2/2 tbd
  27. dchan | 2/7-2/8 | I can turn my feet | coming from steamboat, leaving to UT for other skiing
  28. neonorchid | 1/31 - 2/5 | AE | Love to Hike if my body lets me :\ | Possible + 1 (would extend stay if I find reasonable lodging for one from 2/6 on)
  29. Needham | 2/4 - 2/7 | Advanced | Hiker
  30. at_nyc|TBD| I normally say Advanced, but if KevinF and SKI-3PO are only rating themselves as Advanced, I'd say I'm "barely"-advanced | hike (panting, at that elevation, but game)
  31. Finndog I TBD I I am pretty comfortable most places but where I ski depends on how much fresh there is and where my group says I'm skiing ;)
  32. 50kVert | dates TBD | Advanced on skis, Expert on a snowboard | hike (sure, but not all day)
  33. TimGedney | 2/3 - 2/7...or longer | Expert | Hike   (Looking for roomies, too.  PM me if you have space or want to share)
  34. MarzNC | 2/3 - 2/6 | Advanced | slow hike if good weather and visibility
  35. OleCh | 2/3 - 2/6 | Low Advanced | slow hike, also will depend on conditions and visibility
  36. KingGrump | 2/4 - 2/7ish | Old & Slow | Will hike with personal sherpa
  37. Mrs. Grump | 2/4 - 2/7ish | Older & Slower | Will hike as personal sherpa 
  38. Magi | TBD | Expertish | hike
  39. Dryheat | 2/6-2/8 | Slow Expert | Hike |
  40. MattL (not related to JohnL) | 2/3 - 2/9 | Sucking at a semi high level - I just follow Lady Salina | Will hike for fresh tracks but hard to get motivated for week old snow - prefer to use most energy going downhill
  41. mattsmith | 2/3 - 2/8 | Advanced - game for most | will hike | 1st gathering - dates flexible on either end 
  42. Lofcaudio | 2/3 - 2/7 | INT-cirque | Hike
  43. Jamesj | 2/4 - 2/7 | adv wind sucker | possible hiker
  44. VinceK | 2/4 - 2/7 | expert | hiker 
  45. MichaelF | Considering 2/1-2/6. | [Adv. Int.]. Enthusiastic senior who loves the game.
  46. mdf |  | 2/3-2/9 | expertish | hike
  47. Matchsitx | 2/3 - ?, probably 2/9 | expertish | hike
  48. UGASkiDawg | 2/3 - 2/5? |  will ski anything | interested in the hike day only and will have an 11 YO in tow...she says she wants to show @Drahtguy how it's done
  49. Blue Streak| flexible dates | advanced | Will hike some as long as there is beer at the bottom!
  50. BillSavage | 2/3 - 2/6 | Advanced | hike if good weather and visibility
  51. JasonC (friend of MarzNC) | 2/3 - 2/6 | Low Advanced | slow hike, if good weather and visibility
  52. MC (Diva friend of MarzNC) | 2/3 - 2/6 | Advanced | slow hike, if good weather and visibility
  53.  CoSkiGirl | 2/3-2/5 | expert | hike | tentative until I determine work travel schedule (new job) but I want to ski with UGASkiDawg's 11yo, it's been too long. wink.gif
  54. Nemesis67 | 2/7 - 2/9 | Int/Adv | Tentative dependent on finishing project in CA in time but may sneak away if not | Hike.....perhaps, definitely want to ski Highland Bowl


Originally Posted by Gathermeister View Post

From the Roll Call Thread


Originally Posted by Gathermeister View Post

Where are we so far?  Seven people with TBD dates.  The other dates line up as

and just looking at the INT-cirque gang we have


post #6 of 10

It's official, here are the planned locations for the Aspen Gathering Feb. 3-9, 2016, as posted in the discussion thread on 12/17/15.




Wed 2/3  Ajax

Th    2/4 Snowmass.  I'll check conditions in the morning (and ski Possible) and do the INT-cirque adventure in the afternoon

Fri    2/5 Highlands with Bowl hike, subject to visibility

Sat   2/6 Ajax

Sun  2/7 Highlands, weather alternate for Bowl hike.  If we did the hike on the primary day, we will ski the other 

                                great (non-hiking) terrain there.

Mon 2/8 Snowmass

Tue  2/9 TBD


See Post #2 of this thread for the other related threads (roll call, lodging, discount lift tickets, etc.)

post #7 of 10

Details for Day 1, Wed, Feb. 2


Originally Posted by Gathermeister View Post

First Day Meetup


Our first day, Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016 will be at Aspen Mountain (Ajax).

Meet at the Silver Queen Gondola Plaza, ready to load when they open at 9 am.


Part-time local @SHREDHEAD will show a group of hard-chargers around the mountain.  Unfortunately, he has an afternoon appointment, so he is only available until lunch. So lets be prompt!   He is going to meet us at the Guest Services Kiosk at the top of the gondola.  

Start skiing at 9:30 sharp.

If you happen to be staying near the Shadow Mountain lift (or sign up for First Tracks) you can meet us at the top.


Everybody else, collect at the Silver Queen Gondola plaza.  The bus drop off is a short block away.  Ink! coffee (which is excellent) is on the way.


The plaza is the area below the big stairs.

There is a ticket office with a bathroom and a small amount of space to stash shoes in the far left corner of the plaza.


When you plan your morning, please allow time for the bus (see the next posting, or http://www.rfta.com/routes/4-mountain-connector/ ),

the walk from the bus stop (about 800 feet), grabbing a cup at Ink! on the way, changing from shoes to boots (if you didn't arrive in them) and getting your lift ticket or activating your Mountain Collective Pass (if it is your first day).


Aspen ticketing is very efficient, but they need a waiver and photo for the MCP, so if there are a lot of us it will still take awhile.


We want to start loading the gondola when it opens at 9 am.


While SHRED takes the prompt hard chargers around, a couple of other volunteers and I will show the rest around.


That includes the Intermediates, anyone who needs a gradual introduction to altitude, and Easterners who haven't had enough days on snow.

(While Ajax has no Green runs, it has some nice wide blues, so I don't think our intermediates should be nervous about it.)

We will take it easy for the morning, and maybe even include a warm-your-toes break.


Suggested lunch is at the Sundeck at the top of the mountain.  The food there is fantastic!  And you can even get a massage.

We usually eat pretty early, starting around 11:30.  I'm not sure when SHRED has to leave, so they may lunch a little later.


Group lunch is not mandatory (obviously) but that is where you should go to improve your chances of connecting with other skiers you were not with in the morning.  Any slowpokes should look for us there, too.  Those of us buying lunch will provide cover for those of you sneaking in a sandwich.  And I might even bring chocolate again.


After lunch I am going to go looking for bumps (Blondies and lower Silver Queen had great ones last year) and maybe see how the woods are doing.

@marznc has volunteered to take the intermediates over to Buttermilk -- a short bus ride away.  @Tog is probably going over to Buttermilk to check out the superpipe -- any park skiers should go with him.  (The X-Games will have just ended a few days before, so I'm guessing the general public can use at least some of the features built for them.)


Apres Ski?  Maybe the Ajax Tavern, right at the base of the Gondola ($6 beer, $11-23 wine, expensive food), or the lounge at the Limelight Hotel a few blocks away  (https://www.limelighthotel.com/dining-and-entertainment/The-Lounge). Even though I couldn't even afford to breathe on a hotel room at the Limelight, they have a happy hour that's cheaper than my home town:  ($10 cheese and/or pepperoni pizzas, $3 Bud Light, $4 draft beer, $6.50 house wine and $8 specialty cocktails). 


(All images: google maps and streetview)

post #8 of 10

Operating Hours




8:15 am - 4:45 pm




8:15 am - 4:30 pm



Is it really worth having them be 15 minutes different?



Aspen is an early mountain.  Lifts close at 3:30 pm rather than the traditional 4 pm.  Some upper lifts close earlier.



 all lifts 9 am - 3:30 pm  (except F.I.S. goes 15 minutes longer.  Again, huh?)



 most lifts 9 am - 3:30 pm, but Village Express starts at 8:30 am.  

 The Cirque Poma hours are not published (says "variable") but I seem to remember it shuts down at 2 pm or something similar.

Campground lift shuts at 3 pm.

 The "Sky Cab" mini-gondola between the base area and the mall area runs 8 am to 9 pm.



all lifts 9 am - 3:30 pm,

except Thunderbowl says noon to 3:30.  I think when I was there it was for race training only, maybe that is only mornings now?



all lifts 9 am - 3:30 pm

post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by Gathermeister View Post

Gathering Day 2 (Thursday) Meetup -- Snowmass


This is the day we are going to do the Intermediate adventure in the afternoon.  In the morning the Expertish skiers are going explore the Cirque and Hanging Valley while scouting this year's conditions on the pitches I have in mind.  Oh, and I hope to hit Possible, the chute I chickened out of last year, as we go by.


The Cirque Poma only runs about 10-2:30, so we need to keep that in mind.


The Assay Hill lift and the Village Express Lift starts run 8:30 am and the rest  start at 9 am.


We will meet on the plaza next to the Village Express lift at 8:25 am.

We will ski a couple warm-ups on the blues and blacks of Big Burn and / or Sam's Knob, followed by a bathroom break at Sam's Smokehouse, and then go exploring.

The intermediates can do the early warm-ups with the group, or do their own thing in the morning.


I will meet the adventurous intermediates at Gwen's High Alpine Restaurant at the top of the Alpine Springs lift.  Be ready to leave at 12:00.  We will spend the afternoon together.


Gwen's will be our preferred lunch meeting place, starting around 11:30.

Apres ski is the pugski party at Zane's Tavern in the Snowmass Mall.

The hill between the base and snowmass mall is lined with ski-in-ski-out properties.  The Snowmass Inn is next to the Mall.  If you are staying in one of those, the best way to get to the meetup is to ski down.


Note that the Snowmass Village Shuttle and the RFTA bus "4 Mountain Connector" do not stop in the same place.  One is on the downhill side of the mall and the other is on the end.


 If for some reason your stuff is at the bottom and you aren't, the "Sky Cab" -- cute toy gondolas -- run between the Mall and base.  That is more practical than using the Shuttle.  (It also runs into the early evening for dinner access to the Mall area, and lets you walk downhill to the places in between.)


The 4 Mountain Connector (RFTA bus) stops in the transit center in the underground garage under the base.  The arrow is pointing to the driving entrance where the buses go in.  There is an escalator up to the plaza -- I don't know where it comes out.  The 4 Mountain Connector also stops at the end of the Mall.

post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by Gathermeister View Post

Day 3 Meetup -- Aspen Highlands

The bus stops right outside the ticket office.  There are lockers, bathrooms, and cubbies in this building as well.

Lifts run 9 - 3:30.



We will meet at the base area, either the plaza outside the ticket office or the adjacent patch of snow near the Exhibition lift ten minutes before the lifts open.

The recommended lunch spot is the Merry-Go-Round restaurant and mid-mountain.


We will ski warm ups, and maybe a few interesting things, but not too long.  We will start the hike around between 10 and 11, so we can finish in time for a late lunch.  (Doing it after lunch would be rushed for time, and have to fight the food-sleepies.)  Let's form hiking groups of 2 to 6 people, primarily by hiking speed.  Each group can decide when it wants to start.


I suggest the faster groups could start a little later so we have a chance to see people at the top.  (Getting everyone together at once is not practical, as cool as it would be.)


Each hiking cluster should form up at the bottom of the Loge Peak chair.  At the top, you ski forward to the left of the patrol building.  After a short ski with a little level skating, you get to the cat loading area.  The cat will take you a little ways, then you hike.

The following are screen grabs from a you tube of the whole hike.

Near the beginning there is a stretch along a narrow ridge line.  It feels narrower than it really is.

About twenty minutes in, you come to a blue rope below the bamboo marking rope.  It is there for you to hold onto as you go around the rocks.  The footing here can sometimes be trecherous.

After that, the path widens out.

For those of you who did the Jackson Hole Headwall hike last year, the Bowl is a little over twice as much altitude gain, but it is less steep and does not have anything like that mad wall scramble that JH starts with.


A few practical recommendations for new hikers:


- a ski carry system helps a lot - a pack or the bowl strap patrol sells at the top of Loge Peak.  

- you will get warm.  Even if you start chilly.  I am going to remove a layer, and you probably want to also.

- don't be too proud to rest.  The young and fit will tell you "slow and steady".  Well, I think sometimes an actual pause is needed.  Ragged heavy mouth-breathing of the cold air is not good for your lungs (your nose warms and humidifies the air before it gets to your lungs.)  If you are gasping, slow down.

- But don't block the trail.  Look for a pull-off where you can let people pass you.  There will be several.   Do NOT step off the bootpack into loose snow without making sure it is going to support you first.

-  sometimes the bootpack steps get a bit worn-out.  It is OK to re-kick them (in the same spot) to improve their definition.

- take a little water -- not too much, it is heavy -- and a small snack.

- hiking times will probably range between one-half hour and slightly over an hour. 

- first timers will want to go to the summit, even if the earlier B-zones might be as good skiing.  When it is warm (it won't be) going past the summit to the G-zones gets better snow.

-  Smile!  This is fun!  And the skiing is amazing.

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