Open terrain at Snowmass Ski Area is about to increase eight-fold, thanks to cold temperatures that have aided snowmaking and 11 inches of snow in the last 48 hours.
Skiing at the largest valley ski area was limited to 60 acres off the midway point of the Village Express chair since the mountain opened for the season on Saturday, five days early. Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said additional openings were on hold while crews filled in enough snow making to connect the top of Village Express to the Big Burn lift, which is now complete, allowing skiers to access the plentiful natural snow at the top of the Burn and the Village Express. Snowmass was reporting a 27-inch base on Wednesday.
Beginning on Thanksgiving Day, which was the originally scheduled opening day, Snowmass will open the Big Burn chairlift accessing Sneaky’s, Mick’s Gully, Dallas Freeway, Wineskin and Whispering Jesse trails. Elk Camp chair will also open with skiing and riding on Bull Run and Grey Wolf. This brings terrain to 489 acres across 20 trails. With the added terrain, Snowmass will open the Ullrhof and Up 4 Pizza restaurants as well as the new Sam’s restaurant, at the top of Sam’s Knob.
The new snow has already expanded terrain offerings at Aspen Mountain, including upper east side expert runs Walsh’s and Kristi, as well as most of Bell Mountain. Copper Bowl has also opened for the season. Additional openings planned for Thursday, including the Gent’s Ridge chairlift and the F.I.S. trail, will bring total open terrain up to 454 acres, which is a majority of the mountain. Crews are still making snow before the west side of the mountain, accessed by the F.I.S., Ruthie’s and 1A chairlift, can start to open up.
Aspen Mountain has a 23-inch base.
The area has received up to 25 inches of new snow in the last seven days. Snowmass and Aspen Mountain will have a total of 943 acres of terrain open on Thanksgiving Day
Aspen Mountain lifts run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. On Snowmass, the Village Express lift is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with all other lifts operating from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are scheduled to open Saturday, Dec. 7.
As conditions allow and weather permitting, terrain will be added on both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass. For the most up-to-date terrain openings, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/our-mountains/mountain-announcements.