The terrain at Snowmass, Colorado, is so vast that it would be hard to ski or snowboard every run more than once in a day. There are about 150 miles of trails spread over 3,332 acres of terrain. Even better? There are plenty of choices: 21 lifts move you around runs, glades, steeps, terrain parks and halfpipes.
Where to begin? We’ve been talking to John Kneiper, Manager of the Snowmass Ski & Snowboard School, about the best approach to planning a day on the slopes of Snowmass’ vast terrain. Together this is our take on intermediate Snowmass skiing and snowboarding. You’ll find these easy to follow on the resort’s excellent ski map.
Take the Village Express Ski Lift to mid-station for a warm-up lap down Velvet Falls. Then reload on the same lift and head to the top.
Take Ski Max Park to Lunch Line to Hal’s Hollow. Ride back to the top on the Village Express, and stop for hot cocoa or coffee at Sam’s Smokehouse.
Take Max Park to the Big Burn chair to enjoy blue trails, open glades and spectacular views. Or, continue past Big Burn onto Trestle to the Sheer Bliss lift.
Intermediate skiers cruise the Sheer Bliss Trail, while expert skiers might take a black-diamond run feeding off Sheer Bliss. (The neighboring High Alpine Lift is a playground for skiers and snowboarders comfortable on double-black diamond terrain.)
===> See the RELATED links below to explore itineraries.
After the warm-up run on Village Express, go in a completely different direction. From the Snowmass Base Village, head up the Elk Camp Gondola for long intermediate runs tucked between the gondola line and Two Creeks Express. (Be advised: these are flatter toward the bottom leading to the Two Elks chair.)
At the top of both lifts, Elk Camp chair leads to a pod of blue trails, open glades and Bull Run, which is often moguled. From the top, there’s a wonderful view of Maroon Bells.
Here’s a Snowmass trail map.
If you are a ‘first tracks’ skier or rider, take a run and stop at the Elk Camp Restaurant for breakfast. At lunchtime there paninis, chili and homemade soups. It’s popular apres-ski because you can download on a lift. Ullr Nights are fun winter evenings.
Gwyn’s High Alpine has been the most popular high-altitude restaurant for more than 30 years. Lunch reservations recommended.