Sampling Some of Aspen Snowmass's Best Skiing

James Rivers

Back in December I flew out to Colorado for the opening of the brand new 5* Limelight Hotel Snowmass (read about my experience here). Obviously while I was there it would have been rude not to re-familiarise myself with some of my favourite ski areas too!

We only had time for two of the four mountains which make up Aspen Snowmass on this occasion, but we enjoyed two wonderfully sunny days, no wind, -2°C and perfect piste conditions.

We had a few hours to ski Aspen Mountain (still known locally as Ajax) from Aspen Town and enjoyed the views across to Highland Bowl in the distance. It's not a huge mountain, but it has a great pitch and an amazing amount of varied terrain in a seemingly small area. The Spar Gulch blue groomers feel like you're skiing down a barrel and are perfect to let loose with some fast turns.
James - View of Highland Bowl from Ajax

Highland Bowl from Aspen Mountain

The next morning we skied Snowmass, which I've done a number of times but not fully appreciated what an amazing mountain it is until now! It’s way bigger than it looks on the trail map, with really long high-speed lifts allowing for seemingly endless runs. We started at the Elk Camp Gondola in Snowmass for first lift, then onto the Elk Camp chair, the top of which offers a glorious view across to the Maroon Bell peaks, which must be one of the prettiest mountain views in Colorado.

James - Aspen Snowmass Top of Elk Camp View

View of Maroon Bell Peaks from Snowmass

You could ski this area all day, as the trails are just gorgeous! Amazingly wide with lots of rollers, dotted with fir trees and very few skiers. We lapped the chair many times, carving turns down Bear Bottom and Bull Run. Lots of fun, and I can only imagine how amazing this would be on a powder day!

James - Bear Bottom from Elk Camp at Aspen Snowmass

Sweeping down from the Elk Camp chair in Snowmass

From the Elk Camp chair, you can see across to the some of the more advanced terrain of Hanging Valley which looked really exciting. Again, the trail map does not do it justice. I had to leave that for another time as I think my Dad would have had kittens if I'd tried to take him there!

James - Aspen Snowmass Hanging Valley

Hanging Valley in Snowmass

We worked our way across the resort to a final ascent of the Sheer Bliss chair and looked across Dallas Freeway which, at the top, is probably one of the widest groomed runs I have seen in North America, before into it splits into four runs halfway down - so long it’s a proper thigh burner by alpine standards!

James - Aspen Snowmass Dallas Freeway

The Sheer Bliss chair at Snowmass

How Much?

A 10 night B&B stay at the 5* Limelight Hotel Snowmass starts from £895pp based on two adults and two children (under 12) travelling, including flights and transfers. For further details call me on 01273 224060 or email james@skisafari.com.

Price based in 8 April 2019 departure, saving 25% when you book by 31 March 2019.

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