West of Aspen, the Snowmass ski area has 96 runs spread over 3,330 acres that are served by 19 lifts with a maximum descent of 4,400 feet. The Snowmass Mountain ski area is the largest of four Aspen ski areas and is known as an intermediate's paradise blessed by 300 inches of snowfall annually. The runs range in difficulty from 5% beginner to 50% intermediate to 45% difficult. Don't let the intermediate reputation fool you -- there's plenty of hidden expert terrain, including chutes like AMF, Gowdys and KT Gully off Big Burn Plateau. These lead into the gladed steeps of Hanging Valley and Hanging Cliff Glades.
One of the more popular snowboarding freeride routes is the Cirque Headwall. To reach the Cirque, head up the Sheer Bliss lift. At the top station, veer left and hike up the boot pack route for 10-15 minutes. From the ridge, there is a 1,500 foot descent back to the Sheer Bliss lift base. For a backcountry experience, check out the challenging West Willow route.
For the freestyle snowboarders in your crew, Snowmass has a growing reputation for its terrain parks and pipes. The Lowdown Park along the Village Express lift is known as the beginner terrain park. It has an entry level halfpipe along with beginner/intermediate features such as boxes and rails. The Makaha Park is also along the Village Express lift and had a range of intermediate features. There are 25 features and three lines of jumps ranging in size for progressive sessions. Snowmass Park has a 22-foot tall, Zaugg-cut superpipe along with 50 features ranging from advanced to pro-level such as rails, boxes and jibs. It is located below the Coney Glade lift.
For apres ski, try Venga Venga in Snowmass Village or the newer New Belgium Ranger Station. For nightlife, check out Shooters or Escobar for dancing, Double Diamond for live music or Club Chelsea for rave. Still need more, try Jimmys American Bar, La Cocina, Lava Room and Erics Bar.
To reach Snowmass by air, the nearest airports are Aspen, Grand Junction and of course, Denver International Airport. If you do drive from Denver, plan on five hours or more especially if traveling on Fridays or Sundays. There is a regular shuttle bus service between Snowmass Village and the town of Aspen. When you are choosing where to stay, keep in mind that Snowmass Village is a purpose-built base area that lacks any charm - it feels more like a strip-mall.
Overall, Snowmass Ski Resort is the 15th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 28 snowboarding resorts in Colorado. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Snowmass Ski Resort including Aspen Highlands Ski Area, Aspen Mountain and Buttermilk Ski Area.
Local Contacts: Snowmass Ski Resort (970) 925-1220; Ute Mountaineer (970) 925-2849; Aspen Expeditions (970) 925-7625; Aspen Avalanche Info (970) 920-1664.
Best Season: Dec. - Mar.
Average Difficulty: Moderate
Base Camp: Mountain Chalet (970) 925-7797; Hotel Aspen (970) 925-3441
Luxury Loding: Limelight Hotel, Aspen; Sky Hotel, Aspen; St. Regis, Aspen; Hotel Jerome, Aspen
Breakfast Restaurant: Fuel Cafe, Snowmass Village Mall
Reference Source: click here https://www.aspensnowmass.com/
GPS: 39.208079, -106.949174
Date Published: 12/31/2015
Date Updated: 3/1/2019
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