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Aspen or Snowmass?

Cambridge, England
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49 posts
24 reviews
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Aspen or Snowmass?

Thanks in advance to all the people who give their time freely to answer questions here. We are planning a trip to the Aspen ski area in early March. My husband likes black runs and off-piste, and if possible to ski in/out (if not, at least not to have a long walk to the lifts as we live at sea level and the first few days are hard!). I don't ski - I'll spend most of my time writing - and would like to be somewhere good for shopping, etc. We also like to walk out to bars in the evening. He is happy to be based in Aspen for my sake, but would he spend most of his time traveling to the other three areas? Would Snowmass be better for him? Many thanks. Annyo

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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1. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

You can't go too wrong either way. But I suspect your husband will love Aspen Mountain. Ski in/ski out is a bit limited there, but it's easy to get someplace with just minutes walk to the lifts. I like Sky Lodge. The Jerome is nice, too, but it's a 10 minute walk to lifts.

But I think you'll find more to do for shopping, walking to diverse restaurants bars, etc. staying right in Aspen as opposed to Snowmass.

But you can't go wrong either way.

Aspen, Colorado
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2. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

Actually snowmass would be better. Much more back country access to get to. Ski in/out as well. Also look into Highlands. One great thing about Aspen is the bus system.

Aspen, CO
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980 posts
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3. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

Be careful with your definition of off piste. In Europe anything off piste is simply what's not groomed such as your average mogul run as well as everything back country. Off piste in the US is more commonly defined as backcountry. He will find masses of terrain safely in bounds in the US resorts that is similar to what you'd experience off piste in Europe.

Stay in Aspen for your lodging and for you to enjoy town, and then he can explore Aspen, Highlands, and Snowmass for more skiing that interests him than he'll know what to do with.

Your husband really shouldn't venture into the back country here without partners and avy equipment. Don't stay in Snowmass for that benefit.

Cambridge, England
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49 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

Many thanks, but given what the other posts have said, I think we'll plum for Aspen.

Annie

Boulder, Colorado
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2,070 posts
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5. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

if you want back country experience contact Aspen Expeditions. Very good outfit. Hayden Peak off back of Snowmass is really nice especially after a dump. If conditions are better in March they also do Highlands back country too. $500 solo or $280 with a partner.

Aspen Powder Tours runs on the backside of Aspen Mountain for $390. Their advantage is they cat you back up and provide lunch. AE is a little more work.

http://www.aspenexpeditions.com/ 970-925-7625

aspensnowmass.com/onmountain/…powdertours.cfm

If interested make sure you call in advance.

Cambridge, England
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49 posts
24 reviews
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6. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

Thanks for the info about 'off-piste'. I think he's aware, as he's skied Breckenridge and A Basin for several years - I'm the one who knows very little about the business! It's kind of you to reply, though, as I think sometimes Brits do get misled by the sheer scale of things in the U.S. Once set off on a two-day hike that turned into three with no provisions by the end!!

All the best

Annie

Cambridge, England
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49 posts
24 reviews
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7. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

Thanks for the company info. He doesn't usually like these things - fiercely independent! - but I'll pass the details on.

Annie

Boulder, Colorado
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2,070 posts
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8. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

Just don't let his independence get him killed. Avalanches are a real threat and the best reason to go with a trained guide if you do back country. A body was recovered yesterday in Vail of a solo boarder who went out -of-bounds and got caught in a slide.

In addition, once you go through a gate you need to know where to come back in at the bottom or you can lose your lift pass.

Cambridge, England
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49 posts
24 reviews
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9. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

Thanks - but I think I've given the wrong impression! He won't go back country on his own, but - because he hates being 'herded' - he doesn't like guides. We do get stubborn as we get older, don't we? (he's 58!) The outcome is that he stays within the ski area bounds, but that won't be a problem with a new resort to explore. He does go 'off-piste' in Europe, but it's a different picture there.

All the best

Annie

10. Re: Aspen or Snowmass?

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