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Recent Snowmass Trip

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Everyone was so helpful when we were planning our trip to Snowmass, I thought I should write and let you know how it went. I apologise in advance that it is a bit long-winded.

We ended up having a wonderful time after our initial dramas, which originally had us swearing we would "never visit this !!******!!!!!! God-forsaken country ever again". :

First, our skis missed the Qantas plane. Someone from Qantas met us off the plane in LA and told us that our skis would be on the next flight and should arrive in Aspen with us or shortly after us. We then went to catch our direct flight to Aspen to find that the flight had been cancelled, (apparently due to a mechanical problem) which meant we had to go via Denver. When going through security to get to our Denver flight, we were frisked and my handbag was searched by two very grimfaced security people. I was told that my handbag had set off the explosives detector and that was why they were doing this. I was given the third degree, and by the end of the ordeal I was in tears. Needless to say, I hadn't been in contact with any nitro-glycerine, which is what they said was cause of the problem. We made it to our plane and then had a fairly long wait in Denver for the flight to Aspen, so that we arrived at about 4.30 instead of the lunchtime arrival we originally planned. We then discovered our luggage had not arrived. Luckily we had taken our coats out of our suitcases in LA before rechecking them for the flight to Aspen, instead of leaving them there until Aspen as we had originally intended. Otherwise we would have been in our Australian summer clothes with nothing but a light cardigan to keep us warm. We were told that someone would ring us on our mobile when the luggage arrived, and it would be delivered to our apartment. We arrived at our apartment at about 6.00pm, and at about 8.00pm got a phone call on our mobile from a fellow at a hotel in Aspen who had picked up one of our suitcases by mistake, asking what to do with it. I told him to take it back to the airport - it was a bit far to come to Snowmass with it. I then tried to ring the United baggage claim desk in Aspen to let them know and to find out if the other bags had arrived. It was impossible. The local phone number for United in the Aspen phonebook was a fax number, and when I rang the central United number I spent ages before I could even get to speak to a real person instead of a machine, only to be told that she didn't have a number for the baggage claim desk in Aspen, but she could put me onto the Baggage Claim section, which turned out to be another machine, so I gave up. About 9.00pm, someone rang from United to say that our luggage had turned up and would be delivered. I made sure the man knew which apartment we were in, and then we sat and waited and waited and waited. The luggage hadn't arrived by 10.30pm, so we gave up and went to bed. All of our luggage turned up the next morning. It turned out it had been delivered to the Silvertree Hotel, which manages the apartments, the night before.

It took us a few days to forget about all the dramas, but after that we had a great time. The Lichenhearth apartment was great. I was concerned that being a one bedroom apartment, it might be a bit small, but it was quite big enough, with two queen size beds, 1 bathroom but 2 toilets, large fireplace and balcony, and a hairdryer. There was always heaps of towels, tissues, and toilet paper provided. The only thing lacking was a small dining table, although there were stools at the back of the kitchen bench. The location of the apartment was excellent - ski in from Fanny Hill, and just a 20 metre walk to the Fanny Hill lift (just a smidgen low to be ski out).

We found the facilities in Snowmass were excellent, with a free shuttle bus every few minutes from our door to take us to the shops or restaurants. The free shuttle to Aspen / Buttermilk left from the carpark, just a 100 metres walk down the hill.

The weather was just about perfect - mostly fine with a couple of snowy days to top things up.

Apart from Fanny Hill, we found the slopes were rarely crowded, especially the first week we were there (30th January onwards). Some days we thought we were the only ones there. The skiing was excellent. We could pick up a grooming report for Snowmass from downstairs each morning, and if we missed that there were signs at most lifts. We found the runs at Snowmass were so extensive, I don't think we skied them all in the 2 weeks we were there. Even so, it was good to have free travel to the other 3 mountains (Aspen, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk) which were included in the lift pass. Our pick of the others was Aspen Highlands, which we were told is the locals' favourite as well. We really did have some of those runs all to ourselves. Our pick of the areas at Snowmass was probably Elk Camp.

We didn't have a bad meal at any of the restaurants in Snowmass. We got a pleasant surprise to find that we could see the fireworks that were happening on Fanny Hill from our table at Le Provence, but I think we enjoyed Butch's Lobster Bar at the Timberline the most.

Snowmass was truly intermediate heaven, as it had been described to us. We would have no hesitation in recommending it to any US citizens. We spoke to one bloke on a chairlift, who has been travelling there from Florida for 45 years so there must be something special about it. Everyone else might have to take their chances with US security. A lot of people have said to me, if that's the way they treat their allies, what do they do to people from the Middle East? Having said all that, we had such a great time while we were there, I think we will have to go back.

(By the way, why can't I add a picture?)
post #2 of 4
That's it?

post #3 of 4
BTW, Snowmass has great off piste expert runs off Sheer Bliss and other chairs:

post #4 of 4
US citizens deal with airport security, flight delays and cancellations, and lost baggage on a regular basis. Your tale is commonplace. I'm glad you didn't let it ruin your trip, however. Snowmass is a great ski destination, and it sounds like you had a great trip notwithstanding a few minor travel inconveniences.
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