Posted by: citizenski | June 10, 2008

Aspen Mountain re-opens!


With many of the European glaciers opening this coming couple of weeks Euro-land skiers are looking forwards to strapping back-on their “blades” for the summer. Meanwhile over the pond in Colorado’s Aspen Mountain they are re-opening this weekend with a healthy meter base and no glacier.

Freeskier magazine’s Tom Winter explained that – “With Arapahoe Basin shutting down last weekend, it looked like the only skiing left in the state would be done by those willing to hike for their turns. With plenty of snow left off of Loveland Pass and on Colorado’s high mountains, that seemed like a good plan, although perhaps not so attractive to the couch potatoes among us.

However, for those who prefer lift-accessed turns to the sweat and blister fueled descents off of high peaks, salvation is here.

The Aspen Skiing Company has announced that Aspen Mountain will re-open for three days this coming weekend, June 13 – 15.

According to resort officials, the decision was a no-brainer, given the fact that there’s still a three-foot base on top of the hill.

“We are a skiing company,” explains President and CEO, Mike Kaplan, of the Aspen Skiing Company. “We have the unique opportunity to offer skiing and riding as we open for our summer season, and we thought it would be a great way to have some fun.”

The management of other resorts in the state – particularly Eagle County – would be well advised to heed those words, as many CEOs of other Colorado resorts seem to think that they’re real estate companies with a bit of skiing and golf thrown in on the side. And while we’re doubtful that they will follow Aspen’s lead, Kaplan and the rest of Aspen’s top management’s focus on the sport and their attitude towards it is refreshing.

“It’s your typical early summer conditions,” quipped Rich Burkley, vice president mountain operations, “better than a glacier, but not as good as a powder day. It will certainly be fun and is the perfect excuse for having a beer or two at the Sundeck. If you’ve got it, ski it.”4:30 p.m.”

So if you’re lucky enough to be within shooting distance of Aspen then I’d certainly be heading up for a slide.

“The mountain will be open to the 11,212-foot summit with uploading and downloading on the Silver Queen Gondola. Skiing and riding will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Ajax Express chairlift. The Sundeck restaurant will be open serving barbecue lunch and beverages on the outdoor deck. Nonskiing gondola hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily with the last ride down at 4.30pm.

Not bad for mid-June!

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