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Aspen: Insider Ski & Snowboard Tips
Aspen has a reputation for attracting celebrities and the rich and famous, and no doubt it does. However, that is a superficial perspective on the place and Aspen is much, much more. It has everything, whether you are a core skier or snowboarder looking for great terrain and snow or a family on a long-awaited for holiday.
With over 335 trails spanning more than 5,300 acres of the Rocky Mountains, the four ski areas have terrain to suit all abilities and you would be hard-pressed to get bored skiing the same runs. Ski mountaineer Christy Mahon, who was the first woman to climb and ski the 100 highest peaks in Colorado, favours Aspen for this reason. “After skiing the mountain for 17 years, I am still finding new secret stashes and treasures,” says Mahon. “At Aspen, challenging yourself is always an option no matter what level you ski.”
For advanced skiers look for a challenge, Aspen has some of the meanest mogul fields in the world (think a football field of moguls, each one the size of a small car). Backcountry skiers will also delight in hiking up the 3813 metre-high Highlands Bowl, to ski its legendary steeps in untracked powder.
You can fly into Aspen with connections from LA, San Francisco or Denver. Or fly to Denver and rent a car or catch a bus to Aspen. It’s an easy drive down the I70 highway.
There is something to suit all budgets. You can five-star it with the best, but from a family or budget traveller perspective, there is an affordable array of comfortable accommodation all within an easy walk to the middle of town, transport and the Aspen Gondola.
Frias Properties are great to deal with and manage a number of different properties to suit all budgets. They also have added extras like complimentary Aspen airport transport, free Wi-Fi, health and fitness club access and a concierge service for booking restaurants, baby sitters, transport. www.friasproperties.com
Limelight Hotel: A great hotel just a few blocks from the aspen Gondola and close to everything in town. Fun bar for après with live music and hospitable and friendly staff who go the extra mile.
Aspen: Restaurants & Apres
Aspen is a town known for its lively nightlife and dining scene. Forget overpriced American ski cafeterias – this is where Nobu opened his first restaurant outside Beverley Hills. His sushi restaurant, Matsuhisa, is a top pick for cashed-up visitors, while the White House Tavern and J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome offer excellent pub-style food for those on a tighter holiday budget. For more casual dining try Venga Venga Cantina food truck in Snowmass village (for some of the world’s best burritos) and the Big Wrap in Aspen town (fresh and filling lunch for less than $8). For après antics in a swanky setting, grab a cocktail by the pool at the 39 Degrees bar at the Sky Hotel. The ski parties here are legendary.
Aspen: Non-Skiing Activities
While Aspen in winter is all about the snow and the mountains, the town was founded in 1879 and has different layers you don’t find in a purpose-built ski resort. It has a year-round population who live and work in the area and there is a palpable sense of community. Aspen has a well-deserved reputation as a happening, vibrant place and it offers plenty of entertainment with live music, cool bars and diverse food options.
It took me a day to adjust to the altitude change, but once acclimatized, I realized the beauty of the place with all the hikes I could do. The place is just serene, peaceful, calm and fresh. With very few people around, it gives you some excellent time to introspect, get away and explore the nature.
Certain places like the Maroon Bells, are even more beautiful as they disconnect you from tbe rest of the world, especially the digital world. It ensures you become an integral part of nature once you step onto its path.