After remaining faithful for years to an early season trip to Vail (an Epic resort), this year’s really successful trip was to the Ikon resort of Aspen. The group size was 14 - 8 members and 6 guests.
We stayed in two bedroom condos in the Gant Condominiums just a few blocks from the center of town and the gondola base of Ajax Mountain. The condos are spacious and comfortable and the staff super helpful and accommodating. There’s a frequent shuttle service to and from the town center and the gondola and is available upon request to/from the airport and restaurants. It couldn’t be more convenient. Although early season, the town, and particularly restaurants, were busy, probably due to many “covid transplants” who are now able to ski and work from home. The town was twinkling with seasonal decorations made especially pretty during frequent snowfalls. The biggest inconvenience was the near impossibility of securing restaurant reservations for groups although we were able to enjoy a group dinner in The Hickory House.
Aspen offers skiing on four mountains - Ajax, The Highlands, Snowmass, and Buttermilk - all of which are covered on the Aspen or Ikon lift pass. Buttermilk, which is a perfect beginner area, plus the site of the X Games, was not open during our visit. Aspen town is located at the base of Ajax whereas the other ski areas require a bus, which are frequent and free. Furthermost and largest is Snowmass although the transfer time is only 20-30 minutes.
For those renting equipment through the Aspen/Snowmass group site, they were delighted to be able to have pickup/dropoff slope side service from and to any of the mountains. No need to carry equipment! The early season snow levels meant that all mountains were well covered and we had daily powder skiing. Unlike the restaurants, there were no queues on the ski lifts and we had the slopes to ourselves, even on fresh powder days. As the week progressed the temperatures descended causing us to make more hot chocolate stops.
What an excellent start to the season!