Mother Nature has come through enough for Aspen Skiing Co. to start the season 12 days earlier than scheduled. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has more.
Although there was trepidation Wednesday morning from SkiCo to announce an early opening, on-mountain crews assessed the conditions on Aspen Mountain and determined it’s primed enough for skiing and riding this weekend. But what’s open is limited.
Skiers will upload and download on the Silver Queen Gondola to access the Ajax Express and Gentleman’s Ridge chairlifts, serving more than 100 acres of terrain.
Jeff Hanle is the spokesman for SkiCo.
“We’ve certainly been looking at this cold weather pattern, the snow we have been getting and in this storm that was coming through last night, and saying you know if that thing delivers, let’s seriously look at getting the mountain open early," he says.
The season will begin in earnest on Saturday, Nov. 21 when Aspen Mountain and Snowmass open daily.
Every year eager riders and skiers speculate whether there will be an early opening. Factor in social media and the rhetoric intensifies. On Wednesday, a memory post on Facebook from two years ago that says Ajax was opening on Nov. 16 got enough people excited that they reposted and retweeted without seeing it was dated information. Hanle says that just shows the stoke factor is high.
"The rumor mill in Aspen and in any ski town, really, is a thing to behold. It’s like people are convinced they know, they know we are opening, before we know we are opening or if we are opening," he says.
Apparently they were right this time. Carolyn Sackariason, Aspen Public Radio news.