Posted on April 8, 2022 by Chris Klug
Closing day weekends are always a bittersweet transition from winter to spring as we look back and celebrate a ski season well-spent. With four mountains all throwing their own farewell parties there is no shortage of festivities to enjoy. The lifts might be stopping, but the ski and après cultures stay alive and well throughout April. Use this post as a guide to pick which closing day festivities you and your family/friends should attend. Maybe it’s all four!
Buttermilk Closing Day – April 3, 2022
If a family friendly day full of enough bacon to hold you over until next ski season sounds like your speed, you won’t want to miss Buttermilk’s closing day. Buttermilk likes to celebrate Bacon Appreciation Day by having savory, salty and sweet snacks all over the mountain from the Cliffhouse down to Bumps, almost all of them including bacon! They also host an uphill race starting at 8am if you feel like you need to earn not just your turns but also your bacon. Buttermilk is always the first mountain to close.
Highlands Closing Day – April 10, 2022
Undoubtedly the most popular of the closing day ceremonies. Highlands closing day is a must-go for those wishing to send winter off like a true Aspen local. Start the day by hiking the bowl one last time to be met by ski patrollers barbecuing at the top. After enjoying a hotdog and a bowl lap, head over to Cloud Nine where you can say goodbye to the hottest après scene in Colorado until next season. On your way down from Cloud Nine, stop by ‘Picnic Point’ just below the Cloud Nine lift where plenty of skiers/riders enjoy camaraderie and the views towards Pyramid Peak and Maroon Bells. Finally, and most notably, make your way to the Alehouse at the base to dance the winter away at one of the most iconic annual parties in Aspen. This portion of Highlands closing day is recommended for those 21 and up as the scene always gets rowdy with a live DJ and drinks all around. Be sure to where a costume! This year is 80’s themed and awards will be given to those sporting the best get-ups.
Snowmass Closing Day – April 17, 2022
Originally, Snowmass and Aspen Mountain were both set to close on April 17th, but with the late snowfall in March, Aspen Mountain will be staying open a week later than planned meaning you can attend both Snowmass and Ajax closing parties. What a treat! Snowmass will be hosting events all weekend from Elk Camp down to Base Village. You’ll be able to enjoy snow volleyball, DJ’s all over the mountain and a swimwear themed top-to-bottom run to close out the day on the 17th. The whole family can enjoy closing weekend at Snowmass!
Ajax Closing Day – April 24, 2022
As previously mentioned, and thanks to the extra snowfall this spring, Aspen Mountain will be closing on the 24th, one week later than planned. Hooray for an extra week of skiing! If you want to close out your season in the most ‘Aspen’ way possible, you must attend the Ajax closing party at the birthplace of Aspen skiing. Don’t miss the hilarious and sometimes dangerous “Bump Off” as locals gather at Ridge of Bell at 1 pm for an all-out race down the mogul field under the gondola. You can either join in on the race yourself or watch from Gent’s Ridge as skiers/riders hurl themselves down the bumps. Some make it, some yard sale trying – either way it is a spectacle to behold! DJ’s will be present at the Sundeck and at both Chica’s and Ajax Tavern at the base. Don’t throw away your costumes from Highlands, as there will be a contest at the Sundeck as well.
If you manage to make it to all four closing parties, good for you! A small percentage of locals have the stamina to do so. However you choose to celebrate the mountains closing, we hope you have a blast and stay safe doing so. Here’s to a great summer ahead!
Posted on March 17, 2022 by Chris Klug
Happy springtime from Klug Properties! Don’t let the sunny days and slushy streets fool you, we still have a few more weeks of great skiing/riding ahead of us. Having the luxury of four mountains at our fingertips means you can ski any terrain your heart desires but knowing where that terrain is can be tricky. Let us help you navigate Aspen Snowmass with this succinct guide to choosing the right mountain for you and your family or friends.
We of course start with the famed Ajax, also known as Aspen, Mountain. Ajax is located right in town about a 5-minute or less walk from any major hotel. This mountain features some of the most beautiful views and steepest terrain in Colorado, and its biggest perk is the top-to-bottom gondola (great for warming up on a chilly day). It’s location plus the gondola make it a highly desirable mountain, but beginners beware! There are no greens or bunny hills to practice on. Just blues, blacks and double blacks. As long as you aren’t a beginner, this is an amazing, convenient and cozy option being right in town and the best mountain for participating in the Après scene.
Very near town, about a 7-minute drive, is many locals’ favorite Aspen Highlands. This mountain has a wide array of options from some of the best groomers in the valley to the legendary Highlands Bowl, which is best enjoyed on a powder day if you have the determination to make the 45-minute hike with your skis/board strapped to your back. Beginners should also beware of Highlands, as it is almost as steep as Ajax with very few green runs.
Buttermilk is also near town, about a 10-minute drive, and is ideal for a wide array of ski enthusiasts from children to beginners to park enthusiasts to uphillers. This is the best mountain to learn how to ski if you never have before. It is also home to the Aspen Winter X Games, making it a park lover’s dream once the games are over and the features stick around. Finally, the fastest growing ski trend in the valley is uphilling and Buttermilk is one of the best mountains for it. Don’t miss out on Friday breakfast at the Cliffhouse every week. A great reward for earning your turns in the morning.
Last but certainly not least is Snowmass Mountain. This mountain truly has something for everyone and is the most family friendly of them all for multiple reasons including the European-style base village, multiple restaurants on the mountain, plenty of runs from greens to double blacks and several parks for those trying to push their limits. Hiking up longshot, about a 10 to 15-minute hike, is a great alternative for those who want untouched powder but aren’t willing to make the 45-minute trek on Highlands Bowl. This is also the largest mountain by a ‘long shot’ (see what we did there?) with over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain. You could spend a whole week in Snowmass without touching Aspen and experience new runs, restaurants and views everyday.
However you choose to enjoy our four world-class mountains, we hope you have a blast and make plenty of unforgettable memories along the way. We would love to make some turns with you. Reach out to us and we can show you some of our favorite ways to experience Aspen Snowmass from a local’s perspective.
Posted on December 10, 2021 by Chris Klug
Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and stress-free! However, for the seasoned skier/snowboarder looking to crush the best terrain possible at a new resort, finding it can be a hassle. Given that we got over a foot of snow in the last 24 hours, we would love to help you get the most out of your time on our incredible mountains in Aspen Snowmass. We asked some of our dear friends and long-time locals to give their two cents on where they ski and why. Here is what they wrote:
“By far my favorite runs on Ajax are Blazing Star and Buckhorn. I like Blazing Star because it goes right under the lift and there are multiple jumps in a row that everyone can see from the lift, so it is the perfect time to have some fun and strut your step in front of a crowd. I love Buckhorn because it is on the far skiers left side allowing beautiful views of Highlands ski area and it’s a great place to soak up the sun.”
-Alex Ferreira, 2-Time X-Games Gold Medalist, Olympic Silver Medalist, Life-long Aspen Local
"Although peak snow conditions are necessary for optimal riding, my all-time favorite run, Kessler’s, is found off the Deep Temerity lift on Aspen Highlands. The lengthy run gives a humbling perspective of fitness and offers such a diverse set of natural features for the most creative of skiers and riders to express themselves. When I’m not tearing up leftover pow on Kessler’s, you can find me laying trenches on Aspen’s classic downhill, Ruthie’s, on Ajax. Nothing better than starting your day with a high-speed groomer and an espresso from Gorsuch’s.”
- Erik Wehse, Expert Skier, Aspen Snowmass Ski Instructor, Long-time Aspen Local
“For me, on a powder day, first tracks on Kessler’s to Deep Temerity is as good as it gets but it is best super early. I agree with the above summation. It features a variety of varying pitches that will work every level of your expert skiing ability. For cut up powder, or crud, Sheer Bliss is amazing and stays solid for hours. It is good for the advanced skier and the intermediate advanced. Groomer skiing is best on Golden Horn and Thunderbowl. It is fast and much less crowded than other great groomers like Ruthies. The Highland Bowl is fantastic for powder/crud skiing. Lastly, Aspen Mountain on a powder day, Bell, Dumps, Walsh’s, it is hard not to find amazing snow.”
- David Bach, Expert Skier, KNFO Radio Host, Long-time Aspen Local
Talk about some incredible advice from trusted sources. How often do you get hometown skiing advice from a 2-Time X-Games Gold Medalist? We hope you take what you read here and tear it up on the mountains! See you out there!