Annual snow trip time! This year, the gang headed to Aspen, CO to partake in the epically, pillowy-fresh snow of the Rocky Mountains. We found time to hit up 3 parks in 3 days, the quintessential: Aspen, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass. We stayed at a little VRBO in Woody Creek and threw ourselves down the mountain for an epic long weekend.

umphsWe splurged to see one of my favorite bands, Umphrey’s McGee at the iconic Belly Up in Aspen. Usually I see these guys with thousands in a crowd, but this venue held <450 people and the show was intimate and legendary. The show was on St. Patricks Day, and it’s hard to beat UM laying down a thick Irish jig only to drop in to Reelin’ in the Years.

The peak of the trip (pun intended) was our plunge in to the Highlands Bowl, which required a snowcat ride halfway and a grueling hike to the top. This let us take advantage of a wild 4300 ft. descent back to the resort (admittedly, I spent plenty of time sliding down the first 400’… that bowl is double-black for a reason). Though in retrospect, the ascent climb was the most dangerous part of the trip; a misstep to the west would have set us to our certain deaths. Ski at your own risk, kids.

It’s hard to pick our favorite resort of the three. The Highlands are aggressive and the most thrilling, but we loved the open terrain of Snowmass (the park is just huge!). Aspen itself is very ski-centric and narrow, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t find plenty of fun to have there!

We also caught a sunset Nahko concert at Snowmass; drinking a beer listening to a world music collective after having a lifetime-best run down Snowmass; that’s a sublime moment I’ll savor for a while.

nahko

We love Colorado snowboarding for the perfect powder, the diversity of terrain, the really cool people (especially the ones you bring with you), and the incomparable sunshine. We have a grand tradition brewing in our snow trips, and I don’t anticipate it stopping anytime soon. See you next year, beautiful CO!

thegang