Aspen Mountain, the mothership, rises above Aspen and anchors the town as an alpine skiing village. It was the first mountain developed, putting Aspen on the map as a ski resort, and perhaps the most notorious of Colorado ski resorts. Commonly referred to as Ajax, Aspen Mountain does not have any green circle or beginner runs. The Silver Queen Gondola is a 15 to 20-minute ride from the Gondola Plaza (located on Durant Street) to the top of the mountain at 11,212 feet. More experienced skiers on Aspen Mountain may have the luck to come across one of the famed shrines hidden in the trees throughout the mountain, or enjoy the “Dumps”, double black, gladed Mine Dumps located on the skiers right of the mountain. Ruthie’s Run is another famous ski run located on Aspen Mountain and provides sweeping vistas of the Roaring Fork Valley.
Restaurants on the mountain include the Sundeck, located at the peak, or Bonnie’s which is located at the base of intermediate run, North American. Ajax Tavern and Schlomo’s are fun dining options at the base of the mountain.
Historical Highlights - Courtesy Aspen Historical Society
- The first ski race was held on Aspen Mountain in 1937, it was hosted by The Roaring Fork Winter Sports Club, which was later renamed Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club.
- The 10th Mountain Division trained around Aspen, Hunter Creek and Ashcroft during World War II which brought the discovery of Aspen as a potential ski town.
- Friedl Pfeifer started the first ski school on Aspen mountain in December of 1945 and Lift #1 was dedicated as the World’s Longest Chairlift in 1947.
- The Silver Queen Gondola began operating in January 1987 and the cabins were replaced July 1, 2006.
- Snowboarding was allowed on Aspen Mountain April 1, 2001, which was the last of the four Aspen Skiing Company Mountains to allow the sport. Spring Jam, the annual spring festival, is held in celebration of this event.
In the Know
- First tracks, the first run of the day with Aspen Skiing company staff, is offered daily for free, but reservations are required, and space is limited. Skiers and Riders need to be a ta Level 7 or above. Call 970-920-0755 the day before for reservations and meet at the gondola at 8am.
- Ambassador tours are free and offered daily at 10:30am and 1:30pm. Tours leave from the Guest Services Center at the top of the mountain.
- Aspen Center for Environmental Studies offers show shoe tours every day at 10am and 1pm from the top of the Gondola. Tickets are available for purchase at any lift ticket office and prices are $65/adults, and $45 Youth (7-17) and Seniors (over 65).
- Aspen Mountain History Ski Tour are offered at 11am and 1pm on Fridays only (12/1-4/6). The tour originates at the top of the mountain, at the Guest Services Cabin below the Gondola.
- Aspen Mountain Uphill Policy mandates that you must be at the top of the mountain by 9am or you must turn around.