wilderness, mountains, and entertainment in the rocky mountain valhalla of Aspen, CO

Posts Tagged ‘Aspen Highlands’

Top Of The Bowl

Spectacular view from the top of the Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands (12,382 ft).

Spectacular view from the top of the Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands (12,382 ft).

It really feels more like the top of the world! The first time, it’s because you’re above everything around you, you have an amazing 360 view, and you’ve just completed a grueling climb; which perhaps made you question whether you’d complete it without oxygen or assistance! (Well, that was my experience, as an out-of-shape flatlander still acclimating to the altitude here.)

After doing it a few times, the hike is not as harrowing, and once in shape I was able to make it up in 30 minutes from getting off the lift (*without* taking the snowcat, of course–that’s for those hypocrites who say they’re environmentalists, but take the diesel-belching machine up, because they want to take the easy way out and save 10 minutes of hiking! ask me how I really feel sometime…)

The view is always just as impressive: looking at the Maroon Bells, Pyramid Peak, and other 14ers and high peaks–even though it may not have the same impact as the first time–you still get that “top of the world” exhilaration when you reach the summit, and take a look around as you catch your breath, before heading down the long steep pitches below.

Each time you’re bound to recognize another peak or valley, or catch the lighting or clouds differently from previous times. At least, that’s my experience… And, that’s why you’ll see me on top of the Highland Bowl as often as possible this year!!! (click that link for a cool video)

OH… and the occasion for this longer-than-usual monologue here… I just accepted an IT position with Aspen Ski Co! So, I’m even more psyched for this ski season to begin, because my pass is now covered, and I’ll be working mere steps from the gondola at Aspen Mountain. So, come visit, y’all!

Taken 1/26/2008.


Last Run Ravens

end of day at Highlands, sunlight through clouds, ravens in lone gnarled tree

end of day at Highlands, sunlight through clouds, ravens in lone gnarled tree

This lone, weathered tree really stands out, on “Deception” ski run at Aspen Highlands (double-black in Oly Bowl), and it’s usually a good spot for a breather after the first pitch of pretty steep moguls there. This was my last run on this particular day (happy bday, sis!), and the sun was breaking through the clouds and really lighting up the snow where I was skiing, contrasting the darker areas all around me. This pair of ravens up in the tree squawked when I first came down–and helped draw my attention to the scene–but then they seemed content to let me hang out too, and take it all in… another good day on the hill! (ski day #13 of 52)

Taken 1/19/2008.


Highland Bowl From Ajax

view of Highland Bowl from Aspen Mtn, at Buckhorn cabin

view of Highland Bowl from Aspen Mtn, at Buckhorn cabin

Since I’m chompin’ at the bit for ski season to start, thought I’d post a pic of where I’ll be skiing many days this year! The Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands (across the valley here) provides one of the best inbounds skiing experiences in Colorado. A 30-45 minute hike from the top of the lift-served area leaves you with a choice of numerous long, steep runs.

This shot was taken from Aspen Mtn near the Buckhorn hut, on one of my last ski days last year, when I hiked (skinned) to the top of Aspen Mountain (Ajax) after the lifts had closed. It was really cool having the whole mountain to myself!

Taken 5/4/2008.


Route To Highland Bowl

Ridge hike to the top of the Highland Bowl

Ridge hike to the top of the Highland Bowl

I can’t wait for ski season! So, here’s a photo of my favorite place to ski last season…

This is the start of the hike up to the top of the Highland Bowl (12,382 ft), from the top of the lift-served part of Aspen Highlands ski area. The hike up takes ~30-45 minutes (45 my first time, <30 on my last), if you don't take the snowcat (which I never do!).

This particular day featured fantastic skiing in deep powder, with cool but sunny weather, and some low clouds, which created the great lighting effects here.

Taken 1/13/2008.


For a video which gives a good flavor of the Bowl experience, check out Highlands Bowl- Colorado’s premier “mid country terrrain” on Brightcove.tv
Highlands Bowl on Aspen Highlands Mountain is the premier expert destination for expert skiers looking to challenge themselves.