Aspen Snowmass shifts into summer with weekend operations to begin Memorial Day Weekend and daily operations on both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass to begin June 20. Additionally, Aspen Snowmass is scheduled to debut new summer enhancements and offerings. The top of Aspen Mountain is slated to undergo a summer landscape and activities improvement project while Snowmass will continue to improve Bike Snowmass trails including the Vapor Trail as well as add new farm dinners at Elk Camp restaurant. The on-mountain event calendar introduces a new event called Red Bull Rise, the Audi Power of Four Trail Race inserts a new Vertical K race and the events signature 50K trail race now holds the designation of US Skyrunner Series North American Continental Championships. Lastly, the Audi Power of Four Mountain Bike Race adds a shorter course option.
Aspen Mountain begins weekend summer operations on the Silver Queen Gondola Memorial Day Weekend May 23-25 as well as the weekends of May 30-31, Jun. 6-7 and Jun. 13-14. Daily summer operations will officially kick-off Jun. 20-Sept. 7 with fall weekend operations continuing Sept. 12-13, 19-20, 26-27 and Oct. 3-4. Silver Queen Gondola operation hours will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with the last ride down at 4:30 p.m.
Snowmass summer operations on both the Elk Camp Gondola and Elk Camp Chairlift will take place daily Jun. 20-Sept. 7 and then continue on weekends throughout September. Elk Camp Gondola operation hours will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with the last ride down at 4:15 p.m. and the Elk Camp Chairlift will operate from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. with the last ride down at 3:15 p.m.
Scheduled to be a multi-phase project beginning this summer, Aspen Skiing Company plans to enhance the top of Aspen Mountain for visitors and locals to enjoy the surrounding beauty and outdoors year-round. This summer, Phase I will consist of a landscaping project including Rocky Mountain flower gardens, picnic areas, new signage and kids play features including hay bales, sand and water play, bean bag toss, a tree house, lawn games and more. Also part of Phase I, and to begin this fall, a complete renovation of the welcome plaza in between the Gondola Building and the Sundeck will take place and include an expanded observation deck for viewing the Elk Mountain Range. Phase II will consist of future enhancements meant to inspire mind, body and spirit in the great outdoors
With over 50 miles of trails, Bike Snowmass offers everything from a gravity-defying rush along a world-class downhill trail to gentle single-track through meadows bursting with wildflowers. New as of the end of last summer, more trails were created or enhanced at Bike Snowmass including the brand new Verde Beginner Trail and the improved Viking Trail (formerly Easy Rider). This spring, the Vapor Trail is scheduled for further improvements with a tentative completion timeframe of early summer
The new Verde beginner flow trail, designed by Gravity Logic, is perfect for new riders as well as intermediates who are working on cornering and fundamental skills. The trail offers 3.5 miles of fun, flowing terrain.
Viking Trail is the perfect next step after tackling the Verde Trail for downhill mountain bikers to continue progressing forward. Running for 2.7 miles, the trail takes riders from the top of Elk Camp Gondola down to Snowmass Base Village through evergreen forests, aspen trees and wide-open meadows for a scenic experience. The trail was rerouted into the woods and offers intermediate features that are aimed at skills progression to prepare riders for Valhalla Trail.
The Vapor Trail serves up 2.9 miles of downhill terrain and 1,400 feet of vertical drop. It begins at the top of the Elk Camp Lift and descends through a wide-open meadow, over bridges and berms and through groves of aspen and evergreen trees. It eventually ends at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola, where riders can connect to the rest of the Bike Snowmass trail network. With berms up to six feet high and other natural features, Vapor Trail challenges various levels of riders, from intermediate to advanced. This summer, the trail will continue to be re-routed to improve flow.
On-mountain at Snowmass, the Elk Camp restaurant is introducing new farm-to-table dinners that will take place Tuesday evenings throughout the month of August. Guests will enjoy a free gondola ride to the restaurant, live entertainment, family friendly activities as well as a farm fresh dinner highlighted with local produce and organic meats.
The inaugural Red Bull Rise, a 12 hour endurance running event, will take place on Aspen Mountain Aug. 2, 2015. Runners from around the world will compete in solo, duo and team divisions. Competitors will run up the Vertical K course with 3,000 vertical feet of elevation gain in three miles and then take the gondola down. At the end of the 12 hours, the runner/runners with the most number of completed laps will win. The total prize purse for the event will be $6,000 with first place taking home $1,250, second place $750, third place $500, fourth place $300 and fifth place $200 in the both the men’s and women’s solo divisions. All racers will receive a finishing medal and custom event gift.To register now visit www.aspensnowmass.com/events-and-activities/events/red-bull-rise.
The events signature race is a challenging 50K Ultra that has been named the US Skyrunner Series North American Continental Championships this year and covers the four Aspen Snowmass mountains (Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain) utilizing a mix of single track and dirt road.The event also offers a 22K race along the famed Government Trail that covers the mountains of Buttermilk and Snowmass as well as a new Vertical K race up Aspen Mountain that is also part of the US Skyrunner Series. The Vertical K race will be held on Saturday, Jul. 18 with the 50K and 22K races scheduled for Sunday, Jul. 19. To register, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/events-and-activities/events/power-of-four-trail.
This unique 33-mile point-to-point mountain bike race combines single and double track trails across the four ski areas of Aspen Snowmass (Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain) into one amazing course with almost 9,000 ft. of vertical gain/loss. New for 2015, participants will have the option of racing a shorter course (17-miles) that covers the first two mountains of the full route, Snowmass and Buttermilk, including the famed Government Trail. The 2015 Audi Power of Four Mountain Bike will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1. To register, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/events-and-activities/events/audi-power-of-four-mountain-bike.