The town/resort of Aspen sits in the valley of 4 world class snowboarding mountains - Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Up until April 2001, only 3 of the 4 mountains (which are all accessible on the one ticket) were available to snowboarders to ride at. Since then, all areas have been opened up and thankfully so because each offers a unique appeal ranging from the steeps of Aspen and Aspen Highlands to the park of Buttermilk to the variety and laid back nature of Snowmass.
As Lloyd Christmas put it in Dumb and Dumber, "Assspen...where the beer flows like wine." Traditionally the ski getaway destination for the rich and famous, Aspen epitomizes glitz and glamour. A walk through the town center will expose you to the very best in designer labels and Manhattan styled restaurants. With a traditional Colorado "Western" type feel, the town is way more attractive than many other North American ski resorts.
But celebrities and pretty architecture is not why snowboarders come to Aspen. Whilst its true that Aspen posses a unique appeal for those interested in the after riding activities that a good Title town can offer, the terrain and man made facilities are what really draw snowboarders to this place.
At the moment, Aspen is North America's best kept secret. It doesn't yet carry the notoriety amongst snowboarders that fellow Colorado resorts like Vail and Breckenridge. Read on to find out why we rate Aspen amongst the best snowboarding resorts.
If your after freeriding terrain in Aspen the places to head to are either Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands.
Aspen Highlands has some of the steepest terrain in Aspen/Snowmass. From it's peak known as Loge Peak at 11,675 feet there are numerous double black diamond runs with names such as Temerity and Steeplechase. Highlands has over a kilometre of vertical and some 720 acres of terrain. There are 3 high-speed quad chairs and 1 triple chair.
Behind Loge Peak lies Highland Bowl which is a favourite hiking haunt for the locals. The hike from Loge Peak to Highland Peak takes you up to 12,382 feet and offers some sick steep chutes, gullies and open powder runs. Unfortunately today with the heavy snow falling we could not access the Aspen Highlands back bowls but had to settle for the inbounds terrain.
Halfpipes: Your lift ticket at Aspen will give you access to two of the worlds best Superpipes. One is located at Buttermilk and the other at Snowmass. Both pipes are shaped by the Bombadier Half Pipe Grinder 17 (designed to create 17 foot walls). Each pipe is perfectly manicured a few times a week and neither get trashed because they are so infrequently used by local riders. These pipes are a great place to ride without feeling intimidated by local "pros".
Snowboard Parks: Buttermilk boasts the world longest snowboard park and at over 2 miles, they aren't talking crap. The park is accessed by a high speed detachable quad chair. The first half of the park is very tame with about 15 to 20 basic rails and a handful of very small table tops. Once you finish this park you are lead straight into the X games standard Superpark which comprises of about 15 pro-rails mounted on the top of table-top styles booters. These rails are not for the faint hearted and the park is climaxed with a sex change rail located on the top of a 15 foot spine. Jump-wise, the superpark offers at least 5 table tops ranging between 40 to 55 foot in length, each of them well built and positioned with long steep landings and sharp takeoffs.
Aspen is the vacation destination of USA's wealthier ski market and consequently, accommodation in the valley is geared more towards the upper-class. Affordable accommodation is rare (much like the rest of Colorado's "big" resorts), but not unavailable.
Check out the Aspen Website for lodging details.
Aspen has a good range of places to go out ranging from the cool and funky to the grungy to the too-cool-for-school style. For a mellow lounge styled bar with good DJ's and a tight dance floor, check out "Harry's". If you want a down to earth pub styled venue with live music, check out Tim and his crew at The Grottos Bar and Restaurant. If you want the coolest Manhattan styled club feel, go to The NXT bar.
If you are interested in the world's best food, particularly the most amazing steak, go to "Jimmy's" where your wallet will get a beating but your stomach will feel like heaven.
By Car: Head either East or West along the Interstate 70. Take the Aspen turnoff at Glenwood Springs and you'll get straight there.
By Air: There are a bunch of Airports near to Aspen. The closest is the Aspen airport which is practically right in town.
Check out the Aspen website for a heap of info on getting there at www.aspensnowmass.com
Last updated on 05 November 2004.
|24 Hour Snowfall||No new snow|
|Lifts Open||Not reported|
|Nearby Ski Areas||Alpine Meadows, Aspen Snowmass, Bear Mountain, Beaver Creek, Big Mountain, Big Sky, Bolton Valley, Boreal, Breckenridge, Brighton, Copper Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Grand Targhee, Grizzly Gulch, Jackson Hole, Killington, Kirkwood, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain, Mountain Creek, Mt Baker, Mt Snow, Okemo, Park City, Powder Mountain, Salt Lake City, Snow Summit, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Squaw Valley, Steamboat Springs, Stowe, Stratton, Sugar Bowl, The Canyons, Vail, Wachusett, Waterville Valley, Winter Park|
|Report Time||4/13/08 12:00 AM MST|
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