It's not just Americans who opt for Aspen in Colorado for their ski holidays - Europeans, especially the British love Aspen enough to make the effort to go there for their ski holidays.
Between them, the ski resorts in Aspen have something to offer everyone from beginners to experienced skiers. They offer ski or snowboard lessons and equipment rentals for the convenience of its visitors who may be considering learning to ski. Skiing and snowboarding lessons include lessons in safety and skier responsibility. Trail maps, videos and photos are readily available. For your convenience, or just for laughs, they also offer on-mountain photos and live cams.
A slow start to winter last year in 2007 caused some initial worry for Aspen as well as ski areas around the world. But December brought nearly 30 inches of snow in Aspen. Aspen's most skied mountains are Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. Each mountain has something new and exciting to offer its skiers. Most lifts are open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Sky Cab opens at 8 a.m., Cirque lift opens at 10 a.m., the Village Express and Big Burn lifts open at 8:30 a.m.
Buttermilk is probably most famous for its role in the ESPN Winter X Games. Its 470 acres offer 21 miles of terrain with the longest run being 3 miles. It also offers forty-four gently rolling trails for beginners and family skiing. Buttermilk offers a lot of versatility and wide open slopes for its skiers. On average, there are only 4 people per acre at a time on Buttermilk's slopes and trails. This provides an excellent atmosphere for beginners and intermediate skiers who may not be ready for the more crowded slopes.
Buttermilk's base elevation is 7,870 feet above sea level with a summit elevation of 9,900 feet and vertical rise of 2,030 feet. When skiing Buttermilk you may see Winter X Games champions, Olympians or families just learning to ski.
Mountain has been a top ski destination for skiers since 1947. More difficult than Buttermilk, Aspen Mountain has steep, bump runs that run directly into the town. The mountain offers many well-known, well-traveled trails as well as less populated trails. Some of Aspen Mountain's best kept secrets are its black and double-black-diamond tracks that venture off the beaten path into a much less traveled terrain. On average, Aspen Mountain isn't very crowded at only three skiers per acre.
Mountain's base elevation is 7,945 feet with a staggering vertical rise of 3,267 feet and summit of 11,212 feet above sea level.
Highlands is a favorite among the local skiing populous. The highlands offer simply breathtaking views of the surrounding Maroon Bells. Of course, there is a lift that delivers passengers to the summit or you may choose to hike the 12,392 foot trail. Aspen Highlands is probably best known for its steep, big mountain ski areas like Steeplechase, Highland Bowl and Olympic Bowl. It also offers a test of stamina in the form of the newly extended Mushroom trail and Child's Play in the Highland Bowl. Aspen Highlands has added an additional stunning 220 acres over the last two seasons.
Aspen Highlands base elevation is 8,040 feet with a summit elevation of 12,392 feet at the top of Highland Bowl. There are 125 exciting trails in the 1,010 acres that range in difficulty from easy to expert.
Snowmass is Aspen's largest ski mountain at 3,132 acres. It offers something for everyone from beginners to expert skiers and snowboarders. Best known for her wide open cruising paths and family friendly activities, Snowmass has been rated one of the best family ski areas in North America. The sheer size of Snowmass nearly guarantees fewer skiers per acre. On average there are only two people per acre skiing Snowmass.
Colorado looks forward to greeting new and returning skiers for their 2009 holidays.
For skiing in Europe, yourandorra.com produce a guide for both Andorra and France.