NEWS FROM ASPEN SKIING COMPANY SUMMER 2018
Snowmass Summer Expansion—The Lost Forest
Debuting summer of 2018, Aspen Snowmass greatly enhanced Snowmass mountain’s summer operations with a new alpine coaster, a canopy zipline tour, a challenge course, a climbing wall, multiuse gathering sites as well as expanded hiking and biking trails. The over $10 million expansion project is branded as ‘The Lost Forest’ and provides guests with the opportunity to be more immersed in the mountain’s alpine environment.
The Lost Forest will officially open for the summer season Jun. 22 and will operate daily until Sept. 3. Throughout the month of September, the Lost Forest will be open weekends. Operations will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Lost Forest daily access costs $84 which includes Snowmass lift access and unlimited admittance to the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, the Treeline Trial Challenge Course and the Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall (opening in August). Canopy Run Zipline Tour costs $184 and includes free daily Lost Forest access.
- Breathtaker Coaster
New for the 2017/18 winter season, the coaster debuted Dec. 2017 featuring a 5,700 foot-long track with a total ride time of seven-to-nine minutes. The coaster spans 410 vertical feet with the speed controlled by the rider, and a tandem option for small children. The Breathtaker is open for both summer and winter operations and winds through the trees between Gunner’s View and Sandy Park ski trails. The coaster is the most accessible activity in the Lost Forest.
- Treeline Trial Challenge Course
Located in the trees above the Meadows Carpet lift, the new high ropes challenge course includes five separate paths of varying difficulty across multiple levels. Levels include a very easy introductory path, as well as one easy, two medium and one difficult course.The various courses test participant’s strength, balance and coordination. Each guest is secured on a constant belay system for safety.
- Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall (Opening August 2018)
A permanent climbing wall is being installed at Elk Camp to introduce guests to rock climbing in an approachable and safe way. The climbing wall is approximately 40-feet tall and 60-feet wide and includes 14 lanes equipped with auto belay devices and features REALRock™ construction to make the rock wall look authentic.
- Canopy Run Zipline Tour
Canopy Run is a two-and-a-half to three hour guided experience for the adventurous guest. Two guides will lead guests, in groups of up to eight per tour, across eight zip lines and three sky bridges spanning tree-based and pole-based platforms (the tree-based design is unique in Colorado).
- Multiuse Gathering Sites
Multiuse gathering sites include Rayburn’s Pond, located at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola, and Maroon Vista, located at the top of Elk Camp chairlift. Rayburn’s Pond is for smaller groups and naturalist talks. The Maroon Vista site is a viewpoint and prime location for photo opportunities and naturalist talks. Both sites are designed to fit in with the surrounding landscape and include flagstone, wood and crusher fine paths.
- Hiking Trails
Lastly, Snowmass is expanding its network of hiking trails in order to increase mountain accessibility. The expansion includes 2.4 miles of trail reroutes on the Vista Trail, Sierra Loop and Rabbit Run hiking trails which reduces the number of intersections with bike trails in order to provide a more exclusive experience for each activity.
NEW Free Spirit Adventures
New this summer, Aspen Snowmass introduces Free Spirit Adventures, a customizable, private guided experience for families and friends looking to build their own style adventure with the freedom to set the agenda. Free Spirit Adventures include the options of Mountainboarding Guided Experience, also known as dirt-boarding, a summer twist on snowboarding ($500 full-day/$300 half-day for up to four people), Road Biking Guided Experience ($500 full-day/$300 half-day for up to four people), Skateboarding Guided Experience ($500 full-day/$300 half-day for up to four people), Mountain Guide Guided Experience with the option to mountain bike or hike ($500 full-day/$300 half-day for up to four people), Timber Territory Paintball ($650 for a group of up to 10 people or $144 drop-in), Mountain Fishing Adventure (three-hour adventure for up to 4 people, $305) or private Overnight Campout on Snowmass Mountain ($875 for six people).
Snowmass Bike Park
Snowmass Bike Park Expansion
The Snowmass Bike Park is currently undergoing a multi-year expansion in which the final product will include 14.4 miles of new bike trails ranging from a mix of beginner to expert flow and hybrid trails. Further improvements will also be made to the Meadows Skills Park. The Snowmass Bike Park aims to create a world-class trail system with a variety of options that will be built out over a two-three year period and total nine new trails.
This year, Aspen Snowmass is once again working with Gravity Logic, world-renowned trail builders, on two new bike trails that are scheduled to debut this summer. These will include a new 4.8 mile intermediate trail from the top of the Elk Camp Chair, along with a new expert jump trail on the lower section of the mountain. In addition, the expert Valhalla Trail will see a refresh.
Last summer, a new section was added to the start of the Verde trail, adding over a half a mile of easier terrain to the park. For advanced riders, the Animal Crackers trail was added in the upper zone of the park accessed via the Elk Camp Chairlift. Animal Crackers is a technical trail that challenges riders with tight turns, rocks and off-camber as well as steep trail sections.
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 table tops, 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 offers 2,893 ft. of vertical descent that features over 14 miles of purpose-built gravity trails.
Snowmass Demo Days returns Jun. 23-24 for a two-day sponsored bike event in Snowmass Base Village. Bike enthusiasts are encouraged to come out and demo the latest bike equipment provided by featured exhibitors. Demo mountain bikes, road bikes, downhill bikes, fat bikes, or try the latest in components and equipment on the Snowmass Bike Park trails, the over 50 miles of cross country trails, or the paths connecting to Aspen and the Rio Grande trail.
Snowmass Bonus Bike Nights
In conjunction with the Farm to Table Dinners at Elk Camp restaurant, the Snowmass Bike Park will extend the park hours to stay open until dusk every Tuesday from Jul. 10-Aug. 21. Riders can purchase a late arrival ticket for just $29 that is valid 2 p.m. until dusk.
ENHANCED Passholder Week at Snowmass
During the first week of daily summer operations, Jun. 22-28, Aspen Snowmass is offering all valid 2017-18 winter passholders, including Premier, Flex, Double Flex, Classic, School and Mountain Collective, specialty offers. The offers include one free Lost Forest daily admission, which includes the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster and the Treeline Trial Challenge Course, as well as one free Snowmass Bike Park lift haul ticket, 50% off the Canopy Run Zipline Tour, 50% off downhill bike rentals and $10 off Park Ready clinics. Passholders can redeem by stopping into the Base Village Gondola Ticket Office for Lost Forest and lift access, and the Four Mountain Sports in Base Village for clinic reservations and rentals starting Jun. 22. In addition, the week will include a specialty dinner at Elk Camp restaurant Jun. 26 as well as extended operating hours for both The Lost Forest and Snowmass Bike Park. Bike haul will end at dusk and The Lost Forest will close at 8 p.m. Gondola access will be free for foot-passengers after 4 p.m. and specialty evening pricing will be in effect for both the Snowmass Bike Park ($29 late arrival ticket for use after 2 p.m.) and The Lost Forest ($59 unlimited Lost Forest Access, except the Canopy Run Zipline Tour).
NEW Big Mountain Enduro Finals
Aspen Snowmass will host the Big Mountain Enduro (BME) Mountain Bike Finals Aug. 4-5, 2018. The two-day event will blend high altitude riding mixed with some of the biggest descents and best riding in the area. The field of competitors is expected to have many professional racers and the competition course will see new trail integrations including last year’s Enduro World Series (EWS) round on the new Animal Crackers trail. The combination of the Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Bike Park terrain and the surrounding trails within the valley, offer some of the most diverse mountain biking in the country. Aspen Mountain and the Snowmass Bike Park are the only lift-served biking in the U.S. that can take riders on 4,000-foot descents, beginning above tree line and ending in the high mountain desert. Riders will see six stages over 15,000 feet of descent and 1,500 feet of climbing, with both lift-served and backcountry access to start lines across a wide variety of raw terrain. As a bonus, BME Aspen Snowmass will also be part of the EWS Continental Series, meaning the race will also count toward Enduro World Series qualification and global rankings.
Power of Four Triple Crown
The Power of Four Triple Crown prize package will be awarded to the athletes who compete in all three Power of Four races (Ski Mountaineering, Trail Run and Mountain Bike). Athletes must finish the full course in all three races to be eligible for the Triple Crown prize with the winner awarded to the top three combined finishing times for each race within the calendar year. A total prize purse of $5,000 will be divvied amongst the top three men and women finishers. The top three winners for both men and women will be awarded the following: first place, $1,500, second place, $700, third place, $300.
New Limelight Hotel Snowmass
Last spring, Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) renewed construction on the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass for a scheduled completion date of November 2018. The new hotel will feature 99 hotel rooms and 11 for-sale condominiums, plus a new restaurant, a children’s game area as well as a five-story climbing wall that will be open to the public and the largest of its kind in the state. Modeled after the company’s existing properties in Aspen, Colo. and Ketchum, Idaho, the hotel will be located adjacent to Snowmass Mountain’s Elk Camp Gondola providing ski-in/ski-out access. The new hotel property will remain consistent with the Limelight brand featuring amenities and extras such as an expanded continental breakfast, après ski deals in the Lounge, live music, adventure activities such as First Tracks and Inside Tracks, a ski concierge as well as pet-friendly rooms. Stonehill & Taylor, based out of New York City, have been selected to design the interior, with plans to continue the Limelight’s contemporary yet casual design theme. The hotel is pursuing an LEED certification.
The Sightseeing Package comprises of access to both Snowmass and Aspen Mountain with up to three days of gondola and chairlift rides, a Maroon Bells guided bus tour, on-mountain activities including live music, naturalist hikes, kids activities, disk golf, 20% off bike rentals at Four Mountain Sports, a $10 lunch credit for use at Elk Camp restaurant located on Snowmass or the Sundeck located on Aspen Mountain, and a $5 food or beverage credit for use in the Limelight Hotel’s lounge. The Sightseeing Package costs $35. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/plan-your-stay/tickets-and-passes/sightseeing-and-tickets.
Aspen Mountain Silver Queen Gondola
Daily: Jun. 16 – Sept. 3
Weekends: May 26-28; Jun. 2-3, 9-10; Sept. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 6-7
Gondola Hours: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (last ride down at 4:30 p.m.)
Snowmass Elk Camp Gondola and Chairlift
Daily: Jun. 22 – Sept. 3
Weekends: Sept. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30
Gondola Hours: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (last ride down at 4:15 p.m.)
Chairlift Hours: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (last ride down at 3:15 p.m.)
For a selection of Best of Summer 2018 photos, click here: https://aspensnowmass.imagerelay.com/sb/529e3934-cc6f-454a-a581-9333f0dea5f3/best-of-summer-2018
Photo credit goes to the photographer listed or Aspen Skiing Company.