We deliberately didn't put away our ski gear yet, because we had a feeling last week's storm cycle was going to get the gondi spinning again. After 18 inches of snow dropped, Aspen Skiing Company has decided to reopen 130 acres at the top of Aspen Mountain just in time for the holiday weekend ahead. From May 27–29, the Silver Queen Gondola will operate from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. for sightseeing, and the Ajax Express chairlift will run from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. for laps on Ajax’s upper blue runs as well as black runs like Summit and Blondie’s.
“With a pleasant spring squall dropping additional snow on the top of Aspen Mountain last week, we are excited to kick off our summer season with skiing/riding,” said Rich Burkley, SkiCo's vice president of mountain operations in a press release. “The weekend will offer classic conditions for a Colorado multi-sport weekend with town green and the mountain white.”
In addition to skiing—for the second year in a row—summer operations were already set to launch, with access to sightseeing, lunch, and bar service at the Sundeck restaurant.
Aspen Snowmass 2016–17 Premier passes are valid for both summer operations and skiing, with extension days available for Flex, Double Flex, Classic, Club Escape, School, AVSC, and Mountain Collective passholders ($21 for skiing; $12 for sightseeing). Lift tickets for skiing are $42 a day for adults, children (ages four and up), teens, and seniors. Sightseeing tickets are $21. The SkiCo-owned-and-operated Limelight Hotel is also offering a special discounted rate of $145/night for Colorado locals—perfect for those looking for a last-minute holiday weekend escape.
And for backcountry enthusiasts who haven't even stopped skiing yet, the Colorado Department of Transportation plans to open the gate to Independence Pass this Thursday, May 25; you'll find even more fresh powder on runs like Mountain Boy and Fourth of July Bowl, and on tours up Blue Peak or the Geisslers.
For a complete summer schedule and lift tickets, visit aspensnowmass.com.