Aspen, February 19, 2013
ASPEN — All of the regular terrain at Aspen Skiing Co.’s four ski areas was finally open for the first time this season Monday when Snowmass received nine inches of snow and added the trails Baby Ruth 2, West 1 and 2, and Adios Bowl and Upper Ladder to the mix, the company reported.
Snowmass has all 3,362 acres open, including the 230 acres that was added on Burnt Mountain, according to spokesman Jeff Hanle.
The other three ski areas hit the 100 percent open mark slightly earlier in the year, Hanle said. Aspen Highlands reported 1,028 acres open on Monday, while Buttermilk/Tiehack has 470 acres.
Aspen Mountain reports 675 acres open, but there are additional shots, steeps and gullies that boost the amount even higher. Those trails aren’t included in the skiable acreage figure because they can’t regularly be opened, Hanle said. So, in a strict sense, Aspen Mountain is more than 100 percent open.
It’s been an uphill struggle to get all the terrain open. The snowpack at the headwaters of the Roaring Fork River east of Aspen is only 55 percent of average, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
While there are definitely still thin spots on the local slopes, conditions are better than the meager snowpack would suggest. Hanle said there was “just barely” average snowfall in December, but cold temperatures preserved the ski areas’ bases. Last winter saw little snow in December, so the bases never really materialized.