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

Posts Tagged ‘Highland Bowl’

View From The Sundeck

The top of Aspen Mtn provides some grand vistas of the surrounding mountains.

The top of Aspen Mtn provides some grand vistas of the surrounding mountains.

This is (part of) the view from the top of Aspen Mountain (Ajax). The Highland Bowl is on the right, and Pyramid Peak is the darker peak in the distance, center of the frame. The restaurant here at the top of Ajax is aptly named The Sundeck.

On my first day of work with SkiCo today, we went up to get the computers there at The Sundeck (and at the adjoining Aspen Mountain Club) ready for opening day on Thursday. Well, the gondola is not running full time yet, and we got “stuck” up there, so I was forced to sit outside and eat lunch with this as my view… Not a bad first day at work!

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a pic of the cloudless, sunny view there today—and I don’t seem to have any good wider-angle shots since I’ve been here—so, this is from a shot taken on my visit out here in Feb 2006.

Taken 2/26/2006.


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.


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.