Picking the Right Mountain in Aspen Snowmass

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.

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Why March Might Be the Best Month to Ski in Aspen Snowmass

Posted on March 4, 2022 by Chris Klug

It is no secret that January and February are the most sought-after months for ski vacationers looking to experience heavy snowfall after the holiday season ends. March can sometimes be slept on, but we are here to tell you why March is just as viable a month, if not better depending on what you’re looking for, to make some unforgettable days on the slopes!

Historically, Aspen experiences the most snowfall from late December through late February, but March isn’t too far behind with an average of 29 inches in Aspen according to US Climate Data. What March has that the other months don’t, however, is spring powder. It’s hard to beat floating on a fresh coat of powder knowing you won’t be freezing your toes off as you head back up on the chairlift. The sunny days of March also allow for better visibility when skiing steep and deep powder, as opposed to some of the more overcast days in the preceding months.

If deep snow and sun-drenched days aren’t enough to get you excited for March skiing, maybe extended lift operating times will be. Longer days and an extra hour of sunshine during daylight savings means more time to shred! Lifts have already extended run times until 4:00pm or 4:15pm, giving everyone plenty of time to enjoy those long spring powder days.

March in Aspen also marks the official start to après season, which continues until the mountains close for good. If you need recommendations on where to après, check out our recent blog post on the après scene in Aspen Snowmass. Not included in that post is the new instillation at the top of Ajax called Snow Beach from Aspen X and Gray Malin. Check out our Tik Tok video from opening weekend in February for what to expect at the beach!

As the cherry on top, spring is one of the best times to get deals and discounts on all things ski/snowboard in Aspen Snowmass. Not only will you find deals on gear and passes, but many lodging options come down in price this time of year, making March an incredible opportunity to experience everything our little ski town and four mountains have to offer. We hope to see you on the slopes soon and, as always, reach out for any real estate or tourism questions big or small. We are happy to help make your time in the valley as special as possible.

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Staying Busy Through Presidents Day Weekend

Posted on February 4, 2022 by Chris Klug

With the craziness that comes with January in Aspen (new year celebrations, gay ski week, X Games, etc.) February can feel a bit slower until Presidents Day weekend hits. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to stay involved in community happenings. After all, this is Aspen Snowmass, we always have something to do! Keep reading for a few ideas on how to stay busy over the next two weeks.

Try your hand at an Olympic sport! Curling comes to Snowmass with the new Game of Stones curling series at the Base Village Ice Rink. Fridays and Thursdays through the next two months, teams of two will compete in a head-to-head elimination competition. The first team that reaches 10 points wins. This will take place from 3 pm - 5 pm, registration will occur at the ice-skating rink prior to the event. This could be great for both large groups or a fun family night in Base Village!

Also in Snowmass, connecting Base Village to the Snowmass Mall is Snowmass Luminescence. When the lifts close, things really brighten up. Snowmass Luminescence, an interactive art and light display, will immerse you and your family in a dazzling world of light and art. Skip the Skittles Gondola ride between the Snowmass Mall and Base Village and, instead, stroll through The Tunnel, an interactive series of LED illuminated walkways and arches that will ignite your senses. In addition, you can experience large-scale interactive LED installations by acclaimed artists, Wave by Squidsoup and Electric Dandelion by Liquid PLX.

Missed the high-flying action during X Games and wish you got to go? You won’t want to miss the Aspen Snowmass Open – Revolution Tour. The Rev Tour at the Aspen Snowmass Open is set to kick things off with halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air competitions February 12-17. Competitions will take place on the X Games Aspen courses, providing a taste of what it takes to compete at the pinnacle of freeski and snowboard competition. The Rev Tour is focused on athletes 13-19 years of age and awards top athletes an invite to compete in the U.S. Grand Prix, Junior Worlds, and participate in Project Gold camps.

Lastly, take a look at the Belly Up Schedule as the next two weeks are packed with incredible performers! Presidents Day weekend itself is loaded with massive names in the EDM (electric dance music) world, such as Alesso, Chris Lake and Tiesto, who has been one of the biggest DJ’s worldwide for the last 20 years. It is truly special that our small-town venue regularly brings us artists of this caliber. We hope you and your friends and family have a great few weeks ahead! As always, feel free to reach out anytime with general or real-estate inspired questions. We are here to help!

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Hot Spots for Après in Aspen

Posted on January 28, 2022 by Chris Klug

If skiing is the first thing Aspen is known for, the second would certainly be the après ski and culinary scene. For some, après is of the utmost importance and a ski day is incomplete without it. It isn’t uncommon for locals and tourists alike to take a lap or two just to say they skied to have an excuse to take part. No judgement from us, though! With the array of options available in Aspen Snowmass, après is a must. Especially on a blue bird day. Keep reading for some of our top picks for enjoying a beverage and/or meal after a day on the slopes.

For The Energy

For those with energy left over from the slopes, a few places come to mind if you are looking to dance, mingle and be merry. Chica Aspen, just steps from the legendary Silver Queen Gondola, is always a high-energy, indoor/outdoor venue to carry over the good vibes from the mountain. On sunny days, they have a DJ stationed by the outside bar, where dancing might as well be a requirement for entry. We recommend their Hotty Toddy on colder days and a crisp Colorado Native beer on warmer days. Chica also has an incredible food menu featuring Peruvian inspired cuisine from celebrity chef Lorena Garcia, and although it is relatively new, Chica is already making a name for itself as an Aspen staple.

The Highlands Alehouse is another great spot for those looking to keep the energy high. With a wide assortment of beers, delicious food (you have to try the fried Oreos) and typically a younger crowd, the Alehouse is a well-trafficked après destination. If you are on Highlands and want an even higher-energy experience, try Cloud 9 on the mountain. What starts as a gourmet meal for the early Noon seating, soon turns into a proper Euro style champagne spraying, table dancing après party around 3 pm. Cloud 9 is one of the most iconic restaurants in Aspen and worth a reservation if you haven’t been.

For The Atmosphere

If sophisticated and chic speak more to your ideal après experience, you will want to frequent The Wine Bar at Little Nell, French Alpine Bistro and J-Bar at Hotel Jerome. New this season, The Wine Bar features an intimate seating area with an extensive list of wines to satisfy even the pickiest oenophile. French Alpine Bistro offers a refined après experience, serving up delicacies in a chalet setting. Enjoy hand-made cocktails, raclette and fondue for a European take on your typical après scene. Lastly, the J-Bar at Hotel Jerome is an iconic bar to enjoy vintage cocktails in a western setting. The history runs deep in this hotel as cowboys, miners, and Hunter S. Thompson used to regularly gather for drinks.

For The Food

While the places mentioned above all have incredible food, there are two après go-to’s that simply can’t be beat in the culinary field. If you ask a group of locals what the best après meal in town is, the majority will respond with the burger and truffle fries at Ajax Tavern. You simply will not find a more satisfying burger to replenish those calories burned on the slopes. The prime, sun-drenched location at the base of Ajax is the cherry on top!

If you are skiing Snowmass, you’ll want to try Aurum at Base Village. Every item on the menu is worth trying and the best part is they have some of the best happy hour prices in the Aspen Snowmass area! Sam’s Restaurant is some of the best Italian in the Roaring Fork Valley, but plan ahead as it is popular. The deck in springtime is a great outdoor venue as well.

Après is a massive part of the Aspen Snowmass ski culture! We hope this post helps you navigate it in a way that makes the most sense for you and your family/friends to have the greatest time on and off the mountain. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out for more recommendations or any real estate questions. This market is crazy right now, we can help you understand it! Happy après skiing!

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X Games 2022 - Schedule, Advice and Happenings

Posted on January 21, 2022 by Chris Klug

      X Games Aspen 2022 is officially underway and we couldn’t be more excited for this action packed weekend! Having so many people in town means there will be a lot to do, but it isn’t easy navigating this weekend without a little help. Continue reading for information on Covid safety, event scheduling, advice for attending the X Games, and some happenings in town.

Covid Safety

      X Games Aspen 2022 will welcome spectators back to competition viewing and X Fest areas with proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, and masks must be worn in all indoor X Games event areas except when eating or drinking. Fans 11 years old and under may attend without vaccination if accompanied by a vaccinated adult and must wear a form-fitting facemask at all times except when eating and drinking. For additional information, please visit the X Games COVID Policies Page. Buttermilk Mountain will be open to the public operating under Aspen Skiing Company guidelines and will not require proof of vaccination for skiing and snowboarding. 

Event Schedule

      Please visit the X Games Schedule Page for a full breakdown of events and results once the events happen.

Attendance Advice

      Attending the X Games, especially at night, is not for the faint of heart. If you think you are wearing enough layers, bring one more! You’ll want to dress warmer than if you were hitting the slopes yourself, as a lot of time spent at the events will be standing still in snow. Insulation on the upper body is a must! Think anything puffy. Thick wool socks, snow boots, and gloves will be your best friends. If you don’t have any of those, check out Ute Mountaineer in downtown for a great selection. They also carry hand and foot warmers, which are always helpful. You may want to bring a camelback with water if you plan on getting to the front row for the big events and don’t want to leave your spot for hydration. Overall, be sure to dress as warm as you can and be mindful of the attendees around you. Everyone is there to have a good time and witness some of the best athletes in the world compete. Let’s create an environment that will have visitors feeling warm and welcomed!

Happenings

      First off, no trip to Aspen is complete without some time on the slopes. Spend the first half of the day eating up some of the immense snowfall we experienced in late-December, early-February before attending the games or spending time in town. Want to ski Aspen Snowmass like a local? Try “The Dumps” on Ajax for steep trees and glades. The Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands offers some of the best inbounds, big-mountain terrain in North America. The bootpack up Highland Bowl is worth the effort! Find the “G Zones” off the summit or cut the hike short and drop in at “Fun Deck.” And if you venture past the roundabout and head to Snowmass look for “Sheer Bliss,” “Long Shot,” and “Sneaky’s” for long runs without crowds.

      Want to experience what outdoor activities Aspen has to offer other than skiing/riding? Try ice climbing with Aspen Expeditions. Snowmobiling with T-Lazy 7 Ranch or Blazing Adventures. Or snow/fat bike rentals with Ute City Cycles. There is no shortage of ways to get engaged with the beautiful landscape around us. We highly recommend these excursions as you will get to see a side of this unique ski town that not many people get to witness.

      When it comes to eating out and nightlife this weekend, it will be a challenge to find restaurants and clubs as open as they usually are. Reservations are almost a must if you want to experience Aspen in full form during X Games. However, there are still some restaurants and bars/clubs that you’ll be able to attend. As for quick eats in town that never require reservations, try: Silverpeak Grill (hamburgers, soups, salads), Big Wrap (burritos), CP Burger (gourmet burgers and ice skating), Grateful Deli (subs, paninis, salads), Highlands Taqueria (Mexican), and New York Pizza (by-the-slice pizza, subs, salads). For less exclusive bars/clubs in town where reservations aren’t essential, try: Eric’s Bar (billiards and cigar bar), Aspen Tap (local brewery with TVs), Escobar and/or 7908 (both dance clubs right across the street from one another), and Silver City Mountain Saloon (old-west themed bar with live music).

      However you decide to do it, we hope you enjoy one of the biggest weekends of the year in Aspen! As always, reach out to us with any questions, real estate or non-real estate related. We are always happy to help improve your Aspen Snowmass experience.

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Unforgettable Winter Activities in Aspen Snowmass

Posted on January 7, 2022 by Chris Klug

        Happy New Year from Klug Properties in Aspen, Colorado! We hope you had a fantastic holiday and got to enjoy some of the 100 inches of snow we received in December. With that much snowfall, all winter activities are in full-swing. We would like to share some of our favorite ways to experience the world-renowned beauty that is winter in Aspen.

         If skiing untouched powder is at the top of your priority list during your time here, then you won’t want to miss out on booking an Aspen Mountain Powder Tour via snowcat. These tours allow pow-seekers to indulge in some of the best stashes in Colorado on the backside of Aspen Mountain as well as a gourmet lunch with breathtaking views. The tours are meant for experienced skiers/riders who are ready to tackle the backcountry, so make sure you and your crew are prepared! Both SkiCo and the Little Nell offer tours starting early in the morning. SkiCo tours fit 10 individuals at a rate of $625/person and Little Nell tours fit 12 individuals at a rate of $750/person. Both options offer group packages for a discounted rate. To book your tour, see contact information and websites below.

SkiCo Tour: PowderTours@aspensnowmass.com or 970.920.0720

https://www.aspensnowmass.com/visit/activities/winter/aspen-powder-tours

Little Nell Tour: SkiConcierge@thelittlenell.com or 970.920.6315

https://www.thelittlenell.com/experience/adventures/skiing-and-winter-adventures/snowcat-powder-tours

        If you are looking for more of a family-friendly outing that will have all ages entertained for a full day, look no further than the snowmobile tours at T-Lazy 7 Ranch! They do offer a half-day tour, which takes you to a scenic view of the Maroon Bells after winding through mature Aspen groves, but the real magic is in the full-day lunch tours. Choose from exploring either Independence Pass or even more terrain below Maroon Bells on the Klondike Cabin tour with an expert guide who will point out impressive features in the landscape and wildlife romping through the snow. Elk sightings are very common out there! Our favorite part of the excursion has to be enjoying a T-Lazy 7 raised, grass-fed burger in the Klondike Cabin tucked away in the trees with views of 14,000 ft. Pyramid Peak. For more information, see contact information and website below.

Reservations@tlazy7.com

https://www.tlazy7.com/snowmobile-tours/

        Looking for more of a romantic experience with your significant other? Aspen Carriage and Sleigh can take care of that! You have the option of booking three different types of tours including the Town Tour, West End Tour, or Historic Tour. In each tour, the carriage driver will provide fun and/or historic facts about our beloved mountain town that you won’t be privy to outside of this experience. The tours always start right across the street from the legendary Paradise Bakery, allowing riders to enjoy a warm beverage during the tour. Aspen Carriage and Sleigh can also be booked for private events such as engagements, weddings, birthdays, portrait backdrops, and many more. For more information, see contact info and website below.

970.925.3394

https://www.aspencarriage.com/carriagerides.htm

        Finally, if entertaining the kids is of the upmost importance, these two options at Elk Camp on Snowmass Mountain will have them reminiscing for years to come! The “Breathtaker Alpine Coaster” and tubing carved into The Meadows at Elk Camp. On the coaster, riders will wind their way through over a mile of forest on an elevated track at speeds of up to 28mph. Located adjacent to the Elk Camp Restaurant, riders and passengers will be able to experience the thrilling ride during the day and during special “Ullr Nights”. For tubing, the multiple lanes are lift-served and offer endless fun for children, with lighting facilities to illuminate the runs at night during Ullr Nights festivities. For booking information, see contact information and websites below.

Alpine Coaster: 866.857.8769

https://www.aspensnowmass.com/visit/activities/summer/lost-forest/breathtaker-alpine-coaster/winter

Tubing: 866.857.8769

https://www.aspensnowmass.com/visit/activities/winter/tubing

Whatever you decide to do with your time in this one-of-a-kind valley, we sincerely hope you have some of the most memorable experiences to look back on for years to come! Please feel free to reach out for more recommendations or if you have any sort of real estate questions, big or small. We would be happy to help! Hope to see you on the slopes.

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A Local Take on Skiing Aspen Snowmass

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!

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