Author Archives: Tucker Vest Burton

Aspen Snowmass offers an amazing inter-connected trail system in and around the surrounding peaks and valleys that provides a platform for exploring the abundant wilderness through hiking, running, biking or horseback riding.

In the final installment of the summer video series PLAY Aspen Snowmass, host Nicole Birkhold takes viewers on a trail running adventure with the first stop being at the head of the Snowmass Creek trail system where a group of Roaring Fork Valley volunteers are hard at work improving the trail. Here we see the back-end of what goes in to making our trails great.

Many volunteers help maintain and build the wonderful trail systems in and around the Roaring Fork Valley, including Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) employees who are granted 16 hours of paid volunteer time each year. Every summer, numerous ASC volunteers choose to help build the trails that we all love to explore and recreate on.

Next, Nicole heads to Smuggler Mountain where she meets up with two local professional runners, Amy and Jarid Rollins who speak about some of their favorite trails. Then the group hits the trails in the Hunter Creek Valley where they enjoy the last rays of the setting sun on yet another excellent day in the high-country.


That’s a wrap on the summer video series. Before you know it the snow will be flying and the lifts will be turning for another winter ski and ride season at Aspen Snowmass.

Cheers to an awesome summer in the mountains and thanks for PLAYing with us!

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In the next PLAY Aspen Snowmass video, host Nicole Birkhold walks us through the new the Farm to Table Tuesday Dinners at Elk Camp restaurant as well as the background of where a lot of Aspen Skiing Company’s on-mountain food derives from.

On a glorious morning in the Roaring Fork Valley, Nicole heads to Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ (ACES) Rock Bottom Ranch located outside Basalt, Colo. to meet with Jason Smith, the Ranch’s Director, as well as explore the abundance of wildlife and green goodness at the Ranch.

Rock Bottom Ranch is alive with sheep, chickens, goats and a large garden filled with plenty of greens such as kale, chard and tomatoes. Nicole explores the Ranch’s rich abundance of environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture and finds beautiful brown eggs hatched by the chickens, tastes sweet tomatoes right off the vine and feeds the goats their favorite dark green grass.

Over the past eight years Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) has spent almost $3.9 million with local small scale ranchers and farmers, including Rock Bottom Ranch, in an effort to garner a market approach to shopping for food as well as support and drive value to local food sellers.

A great example of the partnership between ASC and local farmers is the new Farm to Table Tuesdays that take place every Tuesday evening throughout the month of August at Elk Camp restaurant located mid-mountain at Snowmass. The new event celebrates the bountiful harvest the month of August produces as well as offers a fresh farmers market approach (with local producers on-hand) as well as an open dinner/tasting approach that truly showcases the farms and the food.

Nicole heads to Snowmass to enjoy an evening at the new Farm to Table Tuesday Dinners. Watch as she enjoys a free gondola ride to the event, live music by Rich Ganson & Randall Utterback, plays lawn games with the kids, tastes delicious pork and a kale salad (from Rock Bottom Ranch) and tops off the evening with a tasty ice cream cone.

Now that’s a day to savor!


As the summer season sizzles, so does the Aspen Snowmass live music scene. From funk bands taking the stage at the summer-long Snowmass Free Concert Series to Bach and Beethoven flowing through the Benedict Music Tent, the rhythm and soul of live music can be heard throughout the summer months in Aspen Snowmass.

Host Nicole Birkhold introduces the next PLAY Aspen Snowmass video at one of Snowmass’ Free Concert series featuring the Jaden Carlson Band, a funk, soul, dance trio out of Boulder, Colo.

Nicole then takes us through the eclectic beats of other live music venues such as the Benedict Music Tent, home to the Aspen Music Festival, Bluegrass Concerts that take place every Sunday on top of Aspen Mountain and the infamous Belly Up, a local music venue that is known to feature big names in an intimate atmosphere.

At the end of the episode, we find Nicole downtown Aspen enjoying an ice cream cone while listening to a performance by the Aspen Music Festival students.

Press PLAY on the summer-time rhythms of Aspen Snowmass!

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Lift accessed downhill mountain biking across 50 miles of flowing singletrack—look no further than Bike Snowmass, a network of bike trails that offers a mecca of playful wall rides and drops to low-key meandering trails through Aspen groves and fields of wildflowers.

Watch as host Nicole Birkhold drops (with, of course, all the necessary protective gear) into the world of bikes, dirt, berms, and singletrack with Bike Snowmass Ride Pros Megan Hartmann and Tyler Lindsay for a day of learning the ins-and-outs of downhill mountain biking. Megan and Tyler make it easy for Nicole as she goes through her progression of the ABCs—action stance, braking and cornering.

After a thrilling day on the mountain, Nicole heads into Aspen to enjoy the laidback side of the sport—cruiser biking. Hop on and watch as she joins the infamous Tuesday Cruiseday, an event that takes place Tuesday evenings and leads bikers around the town of Aspen to various parks while enjoying the company of fellow bike enthusiasts.

Whether getting after it at Bike Snowmass or cruising around town, Aspen Snowmass is proud to be a bike friendly community.

Ready, set, bike!

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The livin’ is easy when it comes to the summer long kid’s program called Camp Aspen Snowmass. Based out of the Treehouse children’s center located at the base of Snowmass Mountain, the camp runs Monday-Friday from Jun. 8-Sept. 4 and offers a range of children activities from rocket camp to fishing and everything in between.

Host Nicole Birkhold jumps into the fun world of Camp in the next episode of PLAY Aspen Snowmass. Watch as she joins the younger generation enjoy the great outdoors through activities such downhill mountain biking, mountain boarding and mud day.

Who’s ready to PLAY?

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What better way to start your day than on top of Aspen Mountain enjoying a morning yoga class surrounded by wildflowers and the powerful beauty of the surrounding mountain peaks?

Host Nicole Birkhold begins the next PLAY Aspen Snowmass episode atop Aspen Mountain enjoying a yoga flow class taught by Jayne Gottlieb, yoga instructor extraordinaire and owner of the local studio—Shakti Shala. Free to guests with purchase of a gondola ticket, Aspen Mountain yoga is offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. throughout the summer months.

Next, Nicole joins famous pro snowboarder, meditation teacher and all around inspirational Aspen local, Gretchen Bleiler, at the annual Wanderlust Festival that takes place at Snowmass and features an array of music, workshops, lectures and every type of yoga and meditation ever imagined.

Whether enjoying an asana atop a mountain peak or learning a new type of yoga practice at the Wanderlust Festival, yoga, and it’s intention of creating a community of well-being, brings guests and locals alike together for a connected experience that invigorates mind, body and spirit in the most beautiful place—Aspen Snowmass.


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In the next PLAY Aspen Snowmass episode, Host Nicole Birkhold joins Charlie MacArthur on the river at the North Star Nature Preserve for a morning of stand up paddle boarding (SUP).

In conjunction with the downtown Aspen Limelight Hotel, Charlie teaches guests how to stand up paddleboard for free as part of the properties new adventure programming.

Charlie runs the SUPers through the ins-and-outs of the best way to tackle the river while maintaining his fun-loving demeanor through the instruction. Longtime Aspen Local, Charlie emanates a life that is driven by his passion for sports—the first time Charlie stood up on a SUP, it was 1973 and he was 13. It wasn’t until 2003 that Charlie tried stand up paddle boarding again, which led him to be the first person in Colorado to stand up paddle board through river rapids. Charlie now runs the Aspen Kayak & SUP Academy in the summers and is an Aspen Snowmass Ski and Snowboard School trainer in the winters.

After a morning of cruising down the river, Nicole joins some girlfriends for happy hour at the Limelight Hotel enjoying the new sangria bar that features a trio flight of red, white and rosè sangria.

Now that’s a day to cheers to!

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Summertime in Aspen Snowmass means an abundance of ‘must-dos’ including free live concerts at Snowmass to flowing through a morning yoga class atop Aspen Mountain and stand up paddle boarding at the North Star Nature Preserve to mountain biking down the new Verde Beginner Trail at Bike Snowmass.

This summer, Aspen Snowmass introduces a new video series titled PLAY Aspen Snowmass with host Nicole Birkhold who will take you through endless summer days while meeting plenty of locals along the way. Follow her as she unfolds the many activities and happenings that make this Valley a special place to explore.

The mountains are calling—let’s go play!