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A's For All-Around Aspen
By Mike Thiel

I've never been a diehard skier (and Gail has never made it past the bunny slope), but when our New England coast takes on the dreary, brown-gray mantle of late winter/early spring, we often find ourselves craving a snowy mountain setting and a final fix of real winter. Over the years, we've explored an alphabet soup of the world's top winter destinations—from A-Basin to Zurs, with Breckenridge, Davos, Killington, Park City, Sundance, Whistler, and more in-between. Along the way, however, we'd missed the "Big A"—Aspen. Subconsciously, we may have imagined it to be a bit hoity-toity, but we weren't deliberately avoiding the place.

Aspen offers incredible skiing diversity. Each of its four local ski areas—Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass—has a distinct personality and appeal. All four are owned by the Aspen Ski Company; all but Snowmass are within the town limits. I didn't sample every one, however, because we wanted to experience the full scope of winter offerings.

Fall/Winter 1999

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