The rest of this week will see unseasonably warm and dry weather continue until Saturday, according to forecasters, but a storm moving in midday Saturday through midday Sunday could bring up to 6 inches of new snow.
Colorado has been stuck in a high-pressure ridge that’s kept things balmy since up to 6 feet of snow fell between Nov. 10 and Nov. 21. That snow allowed Aspen Mountain to actually open five days early, followed by Snowmass on its regularly scheduled opening on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27.
Since then there’s been very little precipitation to talk about anywhere in the state. Now that pattern appears to be shifting somewhat.
“The next storm will first move ashore on Thursday, bringing multiple feet of snow to Tahoe,” Opensnow.com reported on Tuesday. “As it pushes east toward Colorado, it will split into two pieces, and the southern piece will be more dominant and should track over northern New Mexico through the weekend.
“This means that we won’t get a direct strike, but we will see enough moisture, lift, and cold air to create some snow.”
Then two more weak storms are on track to hit Colorado toward the end of next week.
Here are all the details on the openings of Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk from the Aspen Skiing Company:
Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk open for the 2014/15 winter ski and ride season Saturday, Dec. 13 joining Snowmass and Aspen Mountain with a total of 2,325 acres of terrain across all four peaks. Saturday, Dec. 13 will also be the grand opening of the new interactive Ski & Snowboard School facility called the Hideout at the base of Buttermilk from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
Rich Burkley, Vice President of Mountain Operations for Aspen Skiing Company states, “With all four mountains being operational this weekend, the ski season is in full swing and we are ready and looking forward to the Holidays.” He goes on to say, “We could see a spectacular weekend if this storm produces snow on Saturday.”
Aspen Highlands will kick-off the season with 700 acres of terrain owing to the excellent efforts of the mountain operations teams including most of Temerity, including A+, South Castle, Lucky Find and Hyde Park, all of the Steeplechase runs, most of the upper mountain including Boomerang, Kandahar and Heatherbedlam, all of the mid-mountain blue and green runs as well as Thunderbowl and Jerome Bowl. In addition, Highlands Bowl will be open with the runs B-Fore, Steep and Deep, White Kitchen, Be One, Ozone, Full Curl and all of the G Zones except 0 and 1. Skiers and riders on opening day will also be able to ride all lifts at Aspen Highlands as well as enjoy food and beverages at both Cloud 9 Bistro and the Merry-Go-Round restaurant.
Buttermilk will offer top-to-bottom skiing and riding across 125 acres of terrain served by the Summit Express lift that will access the open trails of Savio, No Problem, Ridge, Lover’s Lane, Midway and Columbine. The West Buttermilk Express lift will also be open from the mid-station accessing Westward Ho, Larkspur and Big Face Hollow. At the base of Buttermilk, the Panda Peak lift will be open for beginners and ski school. Both Bumps and Cliffhouse restaurants will be serving up hot food and drinks.
Also debuting at Buttermilk, the new children’s Ski & Snowboard School facility called the Hideout will open its doors for a grand opening from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday with an official dedication ceremony at 3:30 p.m. featuring Aspen Skiing Company Executives, City Officials and Project Managers. Party activities will include food, fun and games for kids such as Jammin Jim the juggling entertainer, live music, s’mores and more.
“We are excited to be opening this innovative new facility for our guests,” states Susan Cross, Buttermilk Mountain Manager. “The Hideout will foster the imagination of every child who visits, and seamlessly blend Buttermilk’s kid-friendly terrain with a variety of fun, indoor programs centered on mountain adventure.”
Cross continues, “Many skiers and snowboarders think of the 22-foot superpipe, the award-winning terrain park and the X Games when they think of Buttermilk,” Cross continued. “But for more than 50 years, this mountain has been the proving ground novice skiers and riders who are just learning the ropes. The Hideout will be an amazing facility to introduce the next generation of X Games athletes to the sport.”
In addition to the Hideout, designed by CCY Architects of Basalt, guests will notice other key improvements such as a revamped parking lot, bus and shuttle drop off and pedestrian plaza in front of Bumps, all part of the Phase I project for revamping Buttermilk. Phase II will include a new Skier Services building and renovations to the base area restaurant Bumps. Parking at Buttermilk will remain free.
On Aspen Mountain this weekend, guests will enjoy the opening of the Shadow Mountain Lift providing another access point to the over 400 acres of open terrain.
Alongside terrain openings, the Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen Snowmass will be entirely operational with children and adult group and private lessons available across Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands and adult group and private lessons available on Aspen Mountain.
Four Mountain Sport’s nine locations across all four peaks will be open offering rentals, ski/snowboard wear, free storage and complimentary transfer between mountains.
For lodging options and deals visit www.aspensnowmass.com/plan-