Winter Tips & Safety

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Don't eat the yellow snow, and more you need to know how to Aspen in the winter!


How to avoid slipping while crossing icy streets:
  • Add stabilizers to your shoes, such as Yaktrax, to give you more traction.
  • Take your hands out of your pocket to catch yourself in case you fall.
  • Leave the stilettos with no tread at home. 
  • Give cars extra time to stop on icy roads before you step into the crosswalk.
  • Avoid taking photos while standing in the middle of a street. We know it can seem like a perfect shot, but those cars driving down the road may not be able to stop quickly on the icy streets.  
Clean the snow off your car before driving:
  • Make sure all the windows are clear of snow and ice. Keep two scrapers in your car so your passenger can help out.
  • Don’t miss the roof! When your car warms up and you hit the brakes that heavy hunk of snow will slide onto your windshield blocking visibility.
Frequent avalanche control bombings as well as occasional fireworks eco through town and frighten pets. Sign up for Pitkin Alerts for notifications so you know when to keep your pet inside.  
Know your ability:
  • Don’t attempt a double black diamond run if you’re just starting out.
  • Ride in a controlled manner so you don’t endanger yourself or others.
  • Follow these tips for beginner skiers
  • Consider a lesson at any ability. 

Right of way:

  • Downhill riders always have the right of way. 
  • When overtaking, leave space for the person in front of you - no one has eyes in the back of their head. 
  • To help avoid a crash when passing on catwalks, it’s helpful to shout “on your left” or “on your right” to the person ahead of you.
  • If there is a crash or accident offer your assistance. Everyone appreciates when someone skis down with the pole or ski they lost a few turns up rather than having to hike back up the hill to retrieve their yard sale of equipment. 

How to carry your skis: 

  • Place your skis together with the brakes interlacing to hold them together.
  • Put your skis over one shoulder and hold your poles in your hand. 
  • Watch your surroundings - take your skis off your shoulder around low ceilings and crowded areas. 

Gondola courtesies: 

  • Take your skis off your shoulder and keep your poles pointing towards the ground in order to avoid hitting someone. 
  • The loading area can be busy and moves quickly so be prepared. The silver queen gondolas fit six people each.
  • Put your skis and boards in the racks – don’t bring them inside. 
  • Open the windows if you’ve been working up a sweat – riding is a sport but fresh air for 15 minutes can be a game changer.
  • If it’s a quiet day, no need to squeeze six people per gondola – let someone enjoy a solo ride up and grab the next bucket with your group of friends.
  • The red gondolas play music. Get to know your fellow gondola riders to pick music you all like. If you're not so into music skip the red gondolas.
  • Save your phone calls for when you have a bucket to yourself. 

Lift Loading

  • Alternate! When the lines converge make sure to alternate.
  • If it’s a powder day or holiday weekend, the lift lines can be busy. Take the singles line which moves a bit faster and meet new people on the chair. Pay attention to the line waiting for an unfilled chair. Don’t miss your chance to jump in line – an empty chair on a powder day will earn some glares.
Respect the out-of-bounds signage and fencing.
For more winter sports safety tips check out this guide.
Mountain Transportation/Parking
  • Take advantage of the FREE bus system between all four mountains. 
  • Many hotels have shuttle services. Check with your hotel about their radius restrictions. 
  • There is FREE parking at Buttermilk. 
  • Parking for Aspen Mountain is in the downtown core. We recommend using the Rio Grande parking garage and taking  the free Galena Street shuttle if skiing all day.
  • Daily parking at Aspen Highlands varies in price, but is free after 12pm. 
  • Snowmass has free parking at the Town Park Station where you can catch a free shuttle to the mountain. Paid lots include Two Creeks and the Base Village parking garage. 
UPHILLING - Earn Your Turns:
Getting started:
  • West Buttermilk is great for beginners. Work your way up to Tiehack and Snowmass. Aspen Mountain is the most challenging.
  • The Ute Mountaineer offers free uphill rentals for Friday uphill socials! Friday morning uphill breakfast on Buttermilk is a great way to start.
  • If you’re going off resort, contact a guide to make sure you’re avalanche aware and have the appropriate gear.
  • Carry a backpack with water, dry gloves and room for your skins on the way down. If you’re going at night, remember a head lamp. 
  • When going up a steep section, don’t lean forward on your toes as you would hiking, push into your heels to keep the highest surface area pressure with the snow.

Uphill Policies:

  • You can uphill all day on Buttermilk & Snowmass but dogs are only allowed before 7:45am or after 4:45pm.
  • Uphilling is also allowed all day up to Merry-Go-Round restaurant on Aspen Highlands. To continue up from there, you must be past the restaurant by 9am. Dogs are allowed before 7:45am or after 4:45pm.
  • You must complete your uphilling by 9am on Aspen Mountain or wait to begin after 4:45pm. Reward your hard work with breakfast at Bonnie’s – pancakes are a must try!
  • Stick to the side of the trail to stay out of the way. Leave the middle for downhill and maintenance traffic. If you see a snow cat or ski patrol snowmobile, move as far to the side of the trail as possible. 
  • Stick to the designated route, which is outlined on all trail maps and marked by orange signs on the way up.

4th of July Parade Waiver


PARADE STARTING/STAGING: The parade will begin at 11:00am. Parade positioning is “first come, first serve” and line up begins no earlier than 10:00am. There is no entry fee and the parade is open to the public. All 5 lanes of Main Street, from Aspen Street to 2nd Street, will be closed to all traffic & designated for parade staging only. Power is not provided in staging area and remember generators do need gas.

PARADE ROUTE: The parade will start East on Main Street. It will turn South onto Hunter Street, then West onto Cooper Avenue. The parade will continue West on Cooper Avenue to Galena Street. At Galena it heads North for 2 blocks before turning West onto Hopkins Avenue. The parade will continue South on Mill then West on Hyman Avenue. Parade participants will be directed to disperse at Hyman and Monarch Street.  PARADE JUDGING: Parade judging will take place in front of the Hotel Jerome. Participants will be limited to 1 minute or less for any performances in front of the judges. Security will be onsite monitoring all entries to help prevent gaps in the parade route. Recognition will be awarded to the best entries in the following categories: 

Most Patriotic | Most Humorous | Best Animal | Best Music | Most Outrageous | Best Children’s  


  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during the parade.
  • Candy, favors, etc. should not be thrown from your float/vehicle during the parade. This is for the safety of the spectators and to prevent children from running out into the street. 
  • Water balloons will not be permitted. According to city ordinances, those caught throwing balloons will be removed from the parade and could face citations and/or arrests. 
  • All parade entries must be in “good taste” and will be allowed in the parade per the director’s discretion. 
  • Maximum height restriction for any float entry is 13’5”.


The undersigned organization has elected to participate in the Fourth of July parade sponsored by the City of Aspen and Aspen Chamber Resort Association (“ACRA”). In consideration for City of Aspen and ACRA allowing the undersigned to participate in the festivities, the undersigned has read, understood, and willingly agreed to the terms of this INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT (collectively referred to herein as “RELEASE”).


                                    Participants are required to carry insurance adequate to cover any liability for damage, injury, economic loss, or other liability that may be incurred by individuals and/or organizations during the Fourth of July parade. All participants agree to carry such insurance, and also agree not to submit any claim against the insurance of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, or anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade.


                                         The undersigned understands the potential dangers that could be encountered in participating in the Fourth of July parade. The dangers include, among other things, dangers relating to vehicular and pedestrian traffic; crowds of persons in close proximity to such traffic; animals that may react unpredictably in a parade environment; celebration and recreational activities; loud and unexpected noise; items that may be thrown to and from the crowd in connection with the parade; and other dangers traditionally associated with parades.  Understanding those risks, the undersigned for itself and for all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade with the undersigned, does hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and release City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade from any and all liability, claims, demands, actions, or rights of action (including attorneys’ fees and costs) that are related to or are in any way connected with the undersigned’s participation in the parade. By signing this RELEASE, the undersigned intends to extinguish any and all liability and to indemnify against any loss on the part of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade for any injury or damage of any nature (without regard to negligence or fault) to the undersigned and to all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

                                      The undersigned warrants and represents that it will not invite or allow any person to participate in the parade unless such person is bound to the terms of this RELEASE. To that end, the undersigned agrees that it shall take any steps necessary to secure agreement of such persons to the terms of this RELEASE, and that it shall be deemed a responsible person within the meaning of C.R.S. § 13-22-107 and § 19-1103(94) for all children who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.


   I am the official representative of the undersigned organization. On behalf of the organization, I acknowledge our responsibilities as set forth above. I also accept on behalf of the organization all of the terms and conditions of this



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