There are 4 ski hills around the Aspen, Colorado area. Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Ajax (or "Aspen Mountain"), and Buttermilk. On 3/26/99 I skied Snowmass in the morning, and then Aspen Highlands in the afternoon. These are the pictures from Aspen Highlands in the afternoon.
The Aspen Highlands ski area is about 2 miles outside of Aspen. It is a wickedly tough, advanced mountain, and is the "local's mountain" for the great skiers in the Aspen area. Please check out the lift map. It isn't nearly as upscale as the other 3 hills in the Aspen area, and you won't see any movie stars, but I did find a white table cloth lunch room. :-) Here are some pictures from my afternoon there...
On my 3 mile drive from Snowmass to Aspen Highlands around noon, I passed the Aspen airport. Here are a few Lear jets. I couldn't get a better angle to see the entire row, but there were at least 20 private jets parked out there (with even more pretty nice private propellor planes):
These are the current facilities at the bottom of the lifts at the only entry point to Aspen Highlands. It's a complete dive! All they need is a an idiot playing banjo out front to complete the trailor park image:
This picture was taken from the same spot as the previous, but pointing up at the hill. This is the only access to the Aspen Highlands ski area. You can't really tell, but that's some pretty mean terrain under both the lifts there:
Random view from the top:
Another random view:
Well, here are the white table cloths and waiters sucking up to rich patrons. I guess this is Aspen after all. This is half way up the mountain, so if you're here, you skied here:
WaHOO!! Now with a name like "Soddbuster" and an invitation like this, how could I POSSIBLY refuse a nice run like this? Let's go for a little ride, shall we?
This is standing a little closer to the edge of "Soddbuster", and looking straight down. You can see it necks down and hooks around to the right (and gets steeper) down there. Well, let's give her a ride:
Here I am at the bottom, staring back up. I'm around the corner, and looking back up at the last stretch I just came down:
The only way out (after doing "Soddbuster") is to shoot down this black diamond traverse called "Grand Traverse". To the right-> trip to the hospital by a fast rocky descent:
At the end of the day, you get "free" juice and cookies at the bottom of all the Aspen ski hills. I put "free" in quotes, because I paid $63 for the lift ticket, and you couldn't possibly eat more than 50 cents worth of cookies. This kid is trying his best though, he has a full cup jammed with 20 cookies. Greedy little sot:
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