Aspen Mountain, the ski resort that abruptly rises right out of downtown Aspen, is renowned as a favorite resort among expert skiers who enjoy steep terrain. The resort is only 675 acres, but skis much larger especially because it’s possible to ski the resorts 3,200-plus vertical feet run after run via the Silver Queen Gondola. One of the best aspects of Aspen Mountain is that the resort is easy to navigate and only feature a handful of chairlifts.
Additionally, Aspen Highland and it’s famed high-alpine hike-to Highland Bowl are also popular among experts who like to earn their turns and appreciate backcountry-style skiing. The upper reaches of Snowmass provide daredevils with the opportunity to test their limits on cliffs, chutes, small drops and short steeps.
Aspen Mountain is an expert skier’s paradise with three ridge-lines featuring black and double-black diamond runs. Bell Mountain, the large mountain that the Silver Queen Gondola navigates directly over, is a great place to familiarize yourself with the resort if it’s your first time skiing there. You can experience 280 degrees of terrain down Bell Mountain. If you’d like to make your laps shorter you can ski Bell Mountain back to Chair 3, Ajax Express, rather than heading all the way back down to the Silver Queen Gondola.
The Dumps, accessed via Chair 6 or FIS, is where you want to be on a powder day. This area's aspect tends to attract the most snow, especially during a windy storm. The Dumps feature everything from perfectly spaced glades and wide-open powder fields to technical chokes through former mining zones.
If you’re looking to test your speed, ski the run, Aztec, where the annual World Cup Winternational Women’s Downhill is held.
During your Aspen ski vacation, it’s key that you make time to experience the ultimate expert skier adventure, a hike up Aspen Highland Bowl. The hike ascends 700 vertical feet and can take anywhere from 35 minutes to just under an hour depending on your level of fitness. The effort is well-worth it, especially once you’re standing atop the Bowl’s summit and looking out at Maroon Creek Valley, Castle Creek Valley, Independence Pass, the Gore Range and Sopris Mountain.
The best lines and softest snow are typically found in the “G” zone so be sure to make the hike to Bowl’s summit and the snake along the ridge towards the trees on skier’s right. From here you can head towards well-spaced, steep glades, and small powder fields in G-2 through 5, or head straight down the fall line on G-8. If it hasn’t snowed in a couple days, or you’re looking for a line that will make you feel like you’re starring in a ski movie, head down Ozone, the line that descends down the middle of the bowl. The snow remains soft and chalky here, days and even weeks after a storm.