Your Perfect Day 

Snowboarding Aspen's Four Mountains

Is the forecast your focus? Here’s where to ride, when.

By Heather Hendricks January 9, 2020 Published in the Holiday 2019–2020 issue of Aspen Sojourner


Fresh pow and a bluebird day = perfect riding 

Cloudy with a Chance of Groomers: Aspen Mountain 
On a gray day, with another storm cycle set to swirl in, head here for high-speed groomers and fast, exhilarating laps on runs like Aztec and Spring Pitch. The corduroy on Aspen Mountain is the crème de la crème for riders, and it’s been that way since the mountain first allowed snowboarding (April 1, 2001, if you’re counting). For premium morning corduroy, rip down Ruthie’s Run. Then head over to Spar Gulch for satisfying side hits galore.

Faceshots and Powder Beards: Aspen Highlands 
Arrive early on a powder day, as the froth for first chair is real. Once you’re at the top of Loge Peak, a decision awaits: smash a couple of fast laps on the Deep Temerity chair or wait patiently for the Highland Bowl rope to drop? Take the laps, ideally arriving back at the top of the chair just when the route up Highland Peak opens up. (Just remember to pace yourself on the hike so you can last longer than one and done.) From the summit, head to the G Zones—steep, gladed runs that are perfect to slash all day. 

Sunny Skies and Park Laps: Snowmass
Bus it here for the tantalizing buffet of intermediate runs off the Elk Camp, Alpine Springs, and Big Burn chairs. The Lowdown, Makaha, and Snowmass parks—for beginner to seasoned riders, respectively—feature expertly crafted booters, rails, and jibs, plus a pristine superpipe, to bolster your bag of tricks. Keep an eye out for local rider Mark Pintar and the rest of the Knuckle Draggers, a respected local snowboard crew that frequents the ’Mass, who’ll be taking the most impressive lines through the parks. 

When You Drank It Blue the Night Before: Buttermilk
For those slower-paced days, Buttermilk provides the perfect combo of bacon Bloody Marys and BBQ—at Home Team at the base—and boarding. Perfect for cruising: Lover’s Lane to Bear to Columbine. During X Games, lap the Summit Express for some of the best views of the competitors in action. And where else can you find a series of parks that runs for 2 miles down the mountain, culminating in the famed X Park, with more than two dozen features and a 22-foot superpipe?

Burton's Family Tree Story Board

Pro Tip

“Ride a wide, cambered, and tapered board, and you’ll be able to lay down the best carves all over any of Aspen’s mountains,” says Zak Ferrara, manager at Radio Boardshop. “Taper gives you fluidity in your turns, making them effortless, especially in deep snow. Width makes it so you never drag your toes or heels, and camber creates responsiveness, stability, and control with every turn.”

The Board

Burton’s Family Tree Story Board, a female-friendly deck, has directional camber, torsional flex, and 10 millimeters of taper so that it arcs on groomers and floats through pow. $550, Radio Boardshop, 400 E Hopkins Ave


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