Finally a dose of winter weather rolled through Colorado Sunday and Monday, allowing Aspen Skiing Company to crank up its snow guns for the first time this season.
There’s a long way to go before opening day at both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27, but the 5 to 9 inches of new snow that fell on both mountains certainly won’t hurt.
“All of our systems are tested and ready and you should hear the Zen-like murmur of snowmaking on the streets of Aspen. Summer projects are buttoned-up, the lifts are inspected and licensed and the excitement of the new season is palpable,” Rich Burkley, vice president of mountain operations for Aspen Skiing Company said in a press release Monday morning.
Snowmaking operations began on Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands with focus on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup course as well as Deer Park, Spar Gulch and Little Nell trails and the Aspen Highlands AVSC (Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club) training venue.
Operations are scheduled at Snowmass for Monday night (temperatures permitting) with the focus on Fanny Hill, Scooper and Hal’s Hollow trails. Snowmaking at Buttermilk is scheduled to begin Nov. 15. Both Highlands and Buttermilk open for the season on Dec. 13.
Aspen Mountain will host the 2014 Audi FIS Ski World Cup at the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational on opening weekend, Nov. 29-30. The best female racers in the world gather to compete on Aspen’s world renowned racing venue as spectators near and far are invited to the base of Lift 1A for free prime viewing.
Giant Slalom racing will take place on Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by the finals at 1 p.m. On Sunday, the Slalom races will begin at 10 a.m. with the finals starting at 1 p.m. As always, the races are surrounded by a host of free community events and activities.
Also part of opening weekend, Aspen Snowmass will officially kick-off the Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series with a free concert featuring Reel Big Fish, Saturday, Nov. 29 at the base of Aspen Mountain in the Upper Gondola Plaza. World Cup giant slalom awards will take place on the stage following the concert at 8 p.m. A fireworks display will follow at 8:15 p.m.
Opening weekend at Snowmass will feature Thanksjibbing, an invite-only rail jam that will take place Friday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. in the Snowmass Base Village. Guests are welcome to come watch skiers and snowboarders throw down for cash prizing as well as enjoy other post-Thanksgiving action in the Base Village such as kid’s activities, bouncy castle, turkey bowling, a restaurant leftover challenge, live DJ and more.
For a detailed schedule visit www.aspensnowmass.com/events-and-activities/events/thanksjibbing. For more information about Aspen Snowmass, visit www.aspensnowmass.com or call (800) 525-6200.