Aspen Mountain is without doubt one of the best ski areas in the United States, the combination of being right in town, a gondola the runs from the bottom to the top in one direct shot, and the fewest skiers per acre of any major resort in Colorado combine to make this a truly special place to ski.
You need to be a good skier to ski on Aspen Mountain, or “AJAX” as the locals refer to it, as there is not one single green run on the entire mountain. Aspen is the only ski area in the United States that is so steep to not accommodate a single beginner ski run. If you are up for long Expert, Black and Double Black runs then Aspen is where you belong. Aspen is also famous for its mogul or “bump” skiing. This is due to a few things, first the consistent lines that allow skiers to get into a rhythm, and also to the fact that expert skiers are the ones making the lines. With no beginners on the runs to slide the bumps of or mess up the lines, and with the fact that a larger percentage than on other ski areas of skiers laying down the lines are locals and expert skiers, results in perfectly shaped and spaced bumps for athletic invigorating skiing.
Another great thing about skiing Aspen is that it is rises right out of the heart of downtown; the vast majority of the towns’ tourist lodging can walk to the Gondola in their ski boots. You know how precious this is when you have tried to load a family of four into a car, scrape of the snow, overheat in the car as you are dressed to be skiing not driving, then paying for parking and still having to walk a mile to the area. Not in Aspen, many beds are literally steps away from the Silver Queen Gondola, something that has resulted with being at the bar in your ski boots at one in the morning for more than a few tourists.
Aspen receives a bountiful 300+ inches of snowfall a year, this is typical for Colorado ski resorts but there is one drastic difference in how this snow is skied. Due to their proximity to Denver and surrounding metro area, Boulder, Colorado Springs and the rest of the sprawling Front Range of Colorado, the Summit County ski resorts (Vail, Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone, etc) see up to 10 times the traffic as Aspen. What this means is on the Summit County resorts the powder is literally skied of in less than an hour, while on Aspen can find untracked snow all day long. Seeing as how almost everyone’s favorite type of skiing is powder skiing this makes Aspen Mountain stand out considerably from the rest.
Legs burning from skiing 3,000 plus feet vertical “gondy laps” in one shot, ready for a break, then pop into “The Sundeck” and treat yourself to a bowl of chili or a cheeseburger and soak in the amazing views of Hayden Peak and Highlands Bowl. The Sundeck sits at over 11,000 feet and offers unparalleled views up the Castle Creek Valley and is conveniently located steps from the gondola and Chair 3.
Aspen Mountain truly is a special place to ski, long steep runs, a state of the art lift system, great food and amazing views all rising from the heart of downtown. So if you have not skied Aspen make it your next ski vacation.