Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk open for the season Saturday, joining Snowmass and Aspen Mountain and bringing the total available skiable acreage to more than 4,600 — the most in the country.
Prodigious early season snowfall allowed both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass to open early, and Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk will open Saturday with more than 90 percent of their terrain available to snow riders.
“An opening like this comes along once in a generation. Get out and enjoy it so you have something to tell your grandkids about,” said Rich Burkley, vice president mountain operations, Aspen Skiing Company. “There really is no better place anywhere to be skiing and riding this weekend.”
Aspen Highlands will open with almost all of Highland Bowl, all runs on the lower mountain, all the runs mid- and upper-mountain and all the runs in Steeplechase. Both the Merry Go Round and the Cloud 9 Bistro will open for the season.
Golden Horn and Thunderbowl terrain will be open; however the Thunderbowl lift will not open this weekend. Paid parking is in effect at Highlands. The new shuttle is running from Buttermilk to Highlands beginning Saturday morning.
Buttermilk will open with 454 of its 470 total acres accessible to snow riders. The mountain will be open wall-to-wall with just a few runs closed for the superpipe and Terrain Park build. There will be terrain park features on Red’s, Teaser and Uncle Chuck’s.
Bumps and Cliffhouse will open with full services including the Mongolian Grill and Bumps’ famous pasta station. Powder Pandas and the entire Ski & Snowboard School will be in full operation.
At Snowmass, the Two Creeks lift will open as will Burnt Mountain and Longshot. Snowmass will jump to more than 2,500 acres and the upper Banzai section of the terrain park will open. The Shadow Mountain lift will open on Aspen Mountain with Corkscrew, Super 8, Strawpile, 5th Avenue, Norway and Normandy opening for the season. Aspen Mountain will be 99 percent open.
All on-mountain restaurants are open with full service, the Ski & Snowboards Schools are up and running and all rental/retail shops are ready to go.
To see current conditions and an up-to-date view of Aspen/Snowmass check out the newly installed Roundshot panoramic cameras: www.aspensnowmass.com/the-power-of-four/roundshot.
Opensnow.com is predicting a chance of light snow this weekend and then a warming and drying trend until Thursday of next week, when a much more significant storm is poised to strike right before the holidays.