News From Aspen Snowmass 2020

Submitted by Andy on Fri, 06/12/2020 - 10:42
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Aspen Snowmass Bike trail 

Aspen Snowmass officially kicks off the 2020 summer season this weekend with the opening of the Silver Queen Gondola on Aspen Mountain today, Friday, June 12 followed by summer operations at Snowmass beginning June 21. With strict adherence to state and county guidelines and the health and welfare of guests and employees given top priority, Aspen Snowmass looks forward to welcoming back guests thoughtfully. 

New this summer, Aspen Snowmass continues to expand the Snowmass Bike Park with additional trails giving even more options for bikers looking to ride in the Roaring Fork Valley, a newly designated IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center™. 

Snowmass adds to the calendar Snowmass Bonus Nights which allow evening access to the Lost Forest and the Snowmass Bike Park alongside food and beverage options at Elk Camp Restaurant. The Lost Forest will also open June 21 giving families the opportunity to be immersed in the outdoors. 

For events, the Audi Power of Four Trail Run returns as part of the US Skyrunner Series and the Audi Snowmass 50 Bike Race will encompass some of the best single track, mountain bike trails in Snowmass. 

“We could not be more excited to kick off this beautiful summer with the Aspen Mountain Gondola and the opening of the Sundeck with Snowmass summer operations coming soon,” says Katie Ertl, senior vice president of mountain operations. “Aspen Snowmass is committed to expanding and improving our summer experience for our guests and the local community while paying attention to the changes we have all been experiencing these past few months. Whether it be on the new trials in the Snowmass Bike Park, enjoying the view from the Sundeck or having a family getaway in the Lost Forest, we are looking forward to an incredible season with new fun activities, programming and most of all enjoying time spent outdoors.”

Below highlights what’s new and returning at Aspen Snowmass for the coming summer months. 

Snowmass Summer Operations

Snowmass Bike Park Expansion Continues 

The Snowmass Bike Park continues its multi-year expansion project with construction beginning on three more trails this summer, in collaboration with Gravity Logic, world-renowned trail builders. This summer’s trail build-out will bring the Snowmass Bike Park to over 25 miles of bike terrain across 14 trails containing a mix of beginner to expert flow and hybrid trails. The new trails will add close to three and a half miles of additional freeride bike terrain. Two of the new trails will be rated as most difficult while the third will be labeled as more difficult. 

Snowmass Bike Park also added three miles of new bike trails last summer. The first of those new trails, Gonzo, an experts-only freeride trail, extends .8 miles along bikers right of Valhalla and hosts the largest features in the bike park. The next trail, Valkyrie, covers close to a mile of terrain to bikers left of Valhalla and is classified as a more difficult freeride trail. The third trail, called Battle Axe, extends off Viking for a mile and is ranked as a more difficult single-track trail. Lastly, Gargamel, a more difficult technical trail begins halfway down the mountain off Verde and runs for a half-of-a-mile. 

Altogether, the Snowmass Bike Park offers a network of lift-served downhill mountain bike trails that range from Valhalla, a gravity-defying, world-class downhill trail complete with elements such as berms, jumps and tabletops, to Verde, a gentle single-track flow trail that helps new bikers gain important fundamentals. Spanning from the top of the Elk Camp chairlift to the bottom of Snowmass Base Village, the trail system currently offers 2,893 ft. of vertical descent that features over 22 miles of purpose-built gravity trails. 

For a map of the Snowmass Bike Park, visit: www.aspensnowmass.com/plan-your-stay/biking/mountain-bike-trails

A one-day Snowmass Bike Park ticket costs $49 or $124 for a three-day ticket. Snowmass Bike Park season passes cost $244 for non-winter Aspen Snowmass passholders or $134 for Aspen Snowmass winter passholders. 

This summer, all-mountain bikers will need to wear a facemask when loading the Elk Camp Gondola and chairlift. Bikers will line-up on marks for the lift or gondola to ensure physical distancing. Gondola rides will only be loaded with either family units or groups that are together or only one or two other people. 

Roaring Fork Valley Named IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center

This January, the Roaring Fork Valley, home to the towns of Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, and Snowmass Village, including the Snowmass Bike Park, was designated a Gold-Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). The Gold-Level IMBA Ride Center™ designation is the first in Colorado and the fifth in the United States. With more than 300 miles of high quality single-track to explore, the Roaring Fork Valley provides a wide-breadth of trails for both local and visiting riders. 

The IMBA Gold-Level evaluation criteria is comprised of a variety of trail types, overall trail mileage, quality of trail experiences, destination best practices, and local services. The Roaring Fork Valley’s system of trails scored high marks in each of these categories, contributing to the IMBA Gold-Level designation. With the growth of mountain biking and its evolution into a broadly appealing sport, the communities of the Roaring Fork Valley have developed single-track trails to satisfy user demands while increasing sustainability. The Roaring Fork Valley’s public and private land managers, including Aspen Snowmass, have each studied, approved, and built additional mileage and made countless improvements to the Valley’s single-track trail system in order to achieve this award. 

For more information, visit https://www.aspensnowmass.com/inside-aspen-snowmass/stories/mountain-biking-in-the-roaring-fork-valley.

Lost Forest

Lost Forest 

On Snowmass, the Lost Forest provides immersive outdoor experiences for guests of all ages to enjoy the outdoors at their own pace. Activities in the Lost Forest include the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, Treeline Trial Challenge Course, Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall, Aerial Approach Disc Golf, Trout Hook Fishing and Elevated Journey Hiking Trails. Midway through last summer, a children’s play net/feature was added to the Treeline Trial Challenge Course. The new feature is free and available for children under 48 inches tall.  

A Lost Forest Base ticket costs $64 for adults and $49 for children 12 and under, and includes lift, coaster, climbing wall, hiking trails, disc golf and fishing pond access. The Lost Forest Treeline ticket costs $94 for adults and $69 for children 12 and under and includes lift, challenge course, coaster, and climbing wall. For those looking to access the Lost Forest all summer long, a season pass is available for $339 and includes lift access, challenge course, coaster, climbing wall, hiking trails, disc golf and fishing pond access. Lost Forest activities are open daily 10:30 a.m to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/plan-your-stay/lost-forest

This summer, the teams at Aspen Snowmass are implementing multiple social distancing and sanitation initiatives in the Lost Forest to keep guests and employees safe. This will include face coverings worn when in close proximity to other guests and employees, spacing intervals when waiting for a ride on the Breathtaker Coaster, sanitizing of coaster cars between use, daily cleaning of the climbing wall, and sanitizing of all Lost Forest gear including harnesses and helmets between participant use. The Canopy Run Zipline tour will not operate this summer due to social distancing requirements. 

Aspen Mountain Summer Operations 

Sundeck Roof Construction Project Almost Complete 
The Sundeck restaurant, located at the top of Aspen Mountain, has recently undergone a roof maintenance project that has moved quickly allowing the Sundeck to open for guests opening weekend June 12. While Construction on the roof continues, access to the Sundeck restaurant, retail store and Aspen Mountain summer activities such as sightseeing from the viewing platform, disc golf, lawn games, children’s activities, hiking, walking paths and nature programs with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies will be available.

Yoga on Aspen Mountain Returns

Yoga on top of Aspen Mountain will take place July 1 to Aug. 31 in the concert meadow, a short walk from the top of the Aspen Mountain Gondola. The class will be offered Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m. The open-air hatha yoga class is taught be the expert instructor’s from the local yoga studio Aspen Shakti. Class costs $10 with the purchase of a sightseeing ticket and all guests must bring their own yoga mat. 

Operating Hours

Expanded Weekends in the Fall Continue, Operating Hours Bumped Back by an Hour at Snowmass 

Fall 2020 operating weekends will again include Fridays on Aspen Mountain and Snowmass. Additionally, Snowmass will be shifting summer operating hours in the evenings with a 5 p.m. closing time. Operating hours will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Elk Camp Gondola with the last ride down at 5:15 p.m., and the Elk Camp chairlift will operate from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the last ride down at 4:15 p.m. Please see below for a detailed chart with operating dates and hours. 

For the safety of guests and employees, all gondolas will be loaded with family units and/or groups that are together or with only one or two other people. Empty gondolas will be disinfected at the top of the line at least once an hour. Guests will line-up on marks to ensure physical distancing and will be required to wear face coverings when loading both the gondola and chairlift. 

Deals

Summer of Passholder Perks

All valid 2019-20 winter pass holders, including Premier, Flex, Double Flex, Classic, School, Mountain Collective and Ikon will receive one free Lost Forest Base ticket, which includes the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster and Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall, as well as one free Snowmass Bike Park ticket. Passholders will also receive 50% off one full-day downhill bike rental, 50% off one Intro to Downhill Clinic and 50% off one Downhill Skills Clinic. Passholders can redeem Lost Forest, Bike Park, and clinic offers by stopping into the Base Village Gondola Ticket Office or by calling 844-865-7105. Bike rental offers will begin June 21 at the Four Mountain Sports store in Base Village. 

Sightseeing Package 

The Sightseeing Package comprises of access to both Snowmass and Aspen Mountain. It includes up to three days of gondola and chairlift rides, on-mountain activities including live music, hiking, kid’s activities, disc golf, 10% off Lost Forest products, 20% off bike rentals at Four Mountain Sports (does not include e-bikes or mountain bikes), 20% off Intro to Downhill and Downhill Skills Clinics, a $10 lunch credit for use at Elk Camp restaurant located on Snowmass, Ajax Tavern located at the base of Aspen Mountain and the Sundeck at the top of Aspen Mountain, and one free glass of house wine or draft beer with purchase of a pizza in the Limelight Lounge Aspen or Snowmass. The Sightseeing package costs $39. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/plan-your-stay/tickets-and-passes/sightseeing-and-tickets

To help maintain adequate social distancing and mitigate ticket office congestion, all summer activities can be purchased online or by phone ahead of time whether a guest is at home or in the resort. Purchase at least 72 hours in advance and tickets will be delivered to a guest’s hotel. Summer activities will be available online beginning June 10.

Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells Basecamp 

Last summer, Aspen Snowmass opened the Maroon Bells Basecamp visitor center at the base of Aspen Highlands. The Four Mountain Sports store and Aspen Highlands lobby are now in likeness to a national park visitor center and serve as the gateway to the Maroon Bells. The center features Maroon Bells history, a topography map, custom merchandise, a water bottle refill station to reduce single-use plastic and a lounge area to wait for the bus. Food and beverage options are available for purchase with grab-and-go snacks. The center also offers e-bikes for rent as an alternative to taking the bus to the Maroon Bells. 

New this year, reservations will be required to access the Maroon Bells scenic area by vehicle or RFTA (Roaring Fork Transportation Authority) bus. A reservation system will provide efficient visitor transportation while protecting the scenic area and following guidelines to stay in-line with social distancing requirements. Limited automobile access will begin on June 8 and a reservation will be required for parking at the Maroon Lake, West Maroon or East Maroon lots. Parking fees will be $10 per vehicle. Starting June 28, visitors will be required to use the RFTA shuttle service between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. When buses are not in operation, vehicles may access the parking areas with a reservation. The fare will cost $15.95 for all reservations. All vehicle and shuttle reservations must be obtained from www.aspenchamber.org

All guests and employees are required to wear a mask in the Maroon Bells Basecamp and the number of people in the store is limited to 10. Other safety measures will be in place including employees signing guests in, contactless bike rentals with bikes being set up and placed outside for guest pick-up, and all rental gear sanitized before and after each rental. Lastly, no returns will be accepted for retail items that cannot be sanitized. The Maroon Bells Basecamp is scheduled to open June 28. 

Events

Snowmass Bonus Nights 

Snowmass Bonus Nights will take place every Tuesday from June 30 to Aug. 11 and will include Lost Forest activities, evening access to the Snowmass Bike Park and food and beverage options in the Elk Camp Restaurant. After 5 p.m. on Tuesday evenings, access on the Elk Camp Gondola is free. Guests can take the scenic ride up the gondola to the Elk Camp restaurant where food and beverage options will be available until 7:30 p.m. Both the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster and the Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Lost Forest with a combined access ticket costing $47. All Snowmass Bike Park trails will be open until dusk with a late arrival bike park ticket priced at $37 and available after 3 p.m. The last lift ride up the Elk Camp Gondola will be at 7:30 p.m. with the last ride down at 8:30 p.m.

Snowmass Bike Park (SBP) Race Series Returns

Now in its third year, the Snowmass Bike Park’s Local Race Series expands to seven events for 2020. The SBP Race Series will take place Tuesdays June 30 to Aug. 11. Join local and visiting riders in a downhill sprint on a different course each week. Courses will be announced on Aspen Snowmass social media and website. Registration will only be available online and will be $75 for the series of seven races or $20 per race. Check-in will be located at the base of the Elk Camp gondola from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Participants will be able to register using their personal mobile devices until 6 p.m. Racing will begin at 4 p.m. and start times will be on a first-come-first-serve basis. The race entry fee does not include a Bike Park ticket. Racers can purchase a late arrival ticket for just $37, valid 3 p.m. until dusk or a Snowmass Bike Park season pass for $244. This event is being held in conjunction with the Snowmass Bonus Nights. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/while-you-are-here/events/sbp-race-series

Details including race format and check-in process are subject to change based on the public health guidelines at the time of the event. Please check the event website for the most up to date information.

Audi Snowmass 50 Mountain Bike Race

Last summer, Aspen Snowmass completely reimagined the Audi Power of Four Mountain Bike Race and implemented an entirely new course that utilizes some of the best single track in the valley. Taking place Saturday, July 25, the new, diverse Audi Snowmass 50 Mountain Bike Racecourse travels along a 25-mile loop that will start and finish in Snowmass Base Village. One 25-mile loop ascends approximately 5,000 vertical feet as bikers race along the Rim Trail to Seven Star, then transition to the Sky Mountain Park trail system, connect over to Tom Blake trail, utilize various trails on Snowmass such as Expresso and Cross Mountain and then head down Village Bound to end in Snowmass Base Village. Divisions are broken into 50-mile solo racer (two loops), 25-mile solo racer (one loop) and a 50-mile team of two where each rider completes one, 25-mile lap. Registration is open online and a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association. For more information and to register, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/while-you-are-here/events/audi-power-of-four-mountain-bike. 

Details including race format and check-in process are subject to change based on the public health guidelines at the time of the event. Please check the event website for the most up to date information.

Audi Power of Four Trail Run Race

Aspen Snowmass presents the 2020 Audi Power of Four Trail Race scheduled to take place Saturday, Aug. 1. The event’s signature race is a challenging 50K Ultra, once again a part of the US Skyrunner Series, that 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 25K race along the famed Government Trail that covers the mountains of Buttermilk and Snowmass as well as a 10K race at Snowmass. For the 50K race, the prize purse consists of $1,750 and will be divvied up amongst the top three men and women, for the 25K $500 and for the 10K $250. For more information and to register now, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/while-you-are-here/events/audi-power-of-four-trail-run/race-information

Details including race format and check-in process are subject to change based on the public health guidelines at the time of the event. Please check the event website for the most up to date information.

Safety

COVID-19 Safety Measures

In alignment with state and county recommendations and guidelines, Aspen Snowmass is implementing a range of health procedures to keep both guests and employees safe this summer. All employees will wear facemasks as well as disposable gloves where appropriate. Indoor and outdoor signage will be put up in key locations that indicate social distancing and max persons in a given space. Hand sanitizer stations will be conveniently located for guests to use at all times and the teams are implementing stringent plans for increased cleaning and sanitizing in all public spaces. 

Aspen Snowmass is committed to following all state and local health orders and will be continuously adjusting operations and safety protocols to protect our employees and guests.

For specific COVID-19 safety information in effect for each summer activity, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/changes.

Summer Operations

 

Aspen Mountain Silver Queen Gondola

Daily: June 12 – Sept. 7 

Weekends (Friday – Sunday): Sept. 11-13, 18-20, 25-27 and Oct. 2-4

Gondola Hours: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (last ride down at 4:30 p.m.)

 

Snowmass Elk Camp Gondola and Chairlift 

Daily: June 21 – Sept. 7  

Weekends (Friday – Sunday): Sept. 11-13, 18-20, 25-27 and Oct. 2-4

Gondola Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (last ride down at 5:15 p.m.)

Chairlift Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (last ride down at 4:15 p.m.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass, based in Aspen, Colo., operates the four mountains in the Aspen Snowmass area - Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. In addition, Aspen Snowmass owns and operates the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen Snowmass, a collection of rental and retail shops titled Four Mountain Sports and a hospitality division that includes the five-star, five-diamond property, The Little Nell and three contemporary Limelight Hotels, one based in the core of Aspen, one at the base of Snowmass Mountain, and the other in Ketchum, Idaho. In its current form, Aspen Snowmass is a values-driven company that is grounded within the core values of: Live Passionately, Awaken the Spirit, Elevate Community and Honor Place. Aspen Snowmass is accessible by one of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) (3 miles from Aspen). For more information about Aspen Snowmass, visit www.aspensnowmass.com or call (800) 525-6200. Follow Aspen Snowmass @aspensnowmass on Twitter and Instagram or at www.facebook.com/aspensnowmass.

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