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 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.
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!