It's official – Aspen will be opening up two of its four mountains on Thanksgiving Day, but don't expect much skiable terrain.
According to the Aspen Snowmass Facebook page, Aspen Mountain and Snowmass will each have snow-covered trails open to slopegoers come November 25, with Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk set to open later, on December 11.
According to a report from the Post Independent, 50 acres of terrain will open at Aspen Mountain and seven acres of terrain will open at Snowmass. Uploading and downloading for access will be required at each resort due to a lack of snow coverage on lower trails.
Combined, the 57 acres is roughly one percent of the total skiable terrain at the four Aspen resorts. Between Snowmass (3,362 acres), Aspen Mountain (673 acres), Buttermilk (470 acres), and Highlands (1,010 acres), 5,515 total acres of skiable terrain is available for those headed to the area.
Last year, Aspen Mountain and Snowmass opened the day before Thanksgiving, on November 25 with 100 acres and 86 acres, respectively. Panda Peak at Buttermilk opened on Thanksgiving, staying open through that Saturday, and Thunder Bowl at Aspen Highlands was open with 50 acres for Thanksgiving only.
Strictly looking at Aspen and Snowmass, the 57 acres set to open this year is a 69 percent decrease from the 186 that opened at these spots on the first day of the season last year.
The Roaring Fork Watershed, where Aspen is located, is part of the greater Colorado River Basin. This river basin is currently at about 74 percent of the median to-date snowpack, which is actually ahead of the statewide 64 percent of the to-date median. Last year, snowpack in this part of the state was slightly higher, though not in a very notable way. Distribution of the snow may have varied.
It's been a slow start to the ski season in Colorado thanks to limited natural snow. A round of widespread snow is expected to hit the state this week, but it probably won't add too much to the overall snowpack.
STAY INFORMED: Sign-up for the daily OutThere Colorado newsletter here