…Still snowing! , Please Mr. Sun, stay on vacation!

I was so tired after yesterday’s powder day that I could only muster the energy for a four finger  Martini for dinner with a marathon of Gilligan’s Island thrown in for the evening’s entertainment.  My body and brain hurt from so many top to bottom laps.  It snowed throughout the day and the sun finally tried to peek out around 2pm.  I started my day with the usual zero lift line 8:55am jump on an empty gondola car to get to the top of Aspen Mountain.

My M.O. today was to try and ski some of the lesser known spots around the hill to keep it interesting.  In addition, I thought I would see if some of the areas that need larger amounts of snow are ready to ski yet.  Here is my tale of the three hour tour.

DSCN0304First run, a tree stash that I must have skied by 1000 times over the years before I peeked in one day and found that’s it’s really fun in here.  I don’t even know what this is called but it’s located to the skiers left of Midnight at the bottom of Buckhorn.  Here is a shot of the entrance.  Notice it follows the power lines for a bit.  You can break off at any point in here and take it all the way down to Pump House.

DSCN0305Here is the spacing of the trees.  Of note, NO TRACKS!  The pitch is real gentle as well.  You really can’t get into too much trouble in here.


Hey, what are those tracks leading to?  Check it out.

DSCN0326Why it’s this little chute in the trees.  It’s a tad narrow and steep, but how are you going to get better if you don’t give it a whirl?

DSCN0319Here is another tree run on the Ruthies side.  This entrance is located just skiers right of Aztec.  It’s a cut in the trees three feet wide and now that you’re reading this, you may be able to find it.

DSCN0315Third run of the day.  A newer area to the skiers left of the upper entrance to Kristies.  The entrance is called Hidden Treasure but once inside you’ll find runs named Black Mamba and Cobra.  I tried to capture the very steep pitch but was unable to.

DSCN0314Here is a side shot in Cobra. 

DSCN0318Fourth top to bottom took me down Jackpot.  That’s the Dumps in the background.

DSCN0330I can’t forget about showing you Cone Dump.  Once again, rarely opened but some of the best skiing in the valley when patrol drops the rope in here.  The sign says it’s only opened on the best days for a backcountry like experience. Keep in mind once it’s been chewed up, the patrol shuts it down.  Keep your eyes peeled on the board up top for openings.

DSCN0329Another shot of lower Cone 2.  That’s the bottom of Nose of Bell in the background.


Now I’m off to bed to dream about Mary Ann….or maybe Ginger….stay tuned.







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About Bobby Schafer

My first introduction to skiing was at a little mom and pop ski area tucked into a small corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. This was my second year of college. After graduation with a couple of bachelor degrees firmly in hand, I would regularly find myself daydreaming at work of being the next Scot Schmidt or Glen Plake. After a year of working a 'real job', I had had enough and decided to pull the pin and find a ski resort where I could ski every day. I sold everything I owned, loaded my favorite K2 TNC's on the roof rack and started driving my old Cherokee towards the Rockies. I had no idea where I would end up and after a month of driving around, I found Aspen. I've now surpassed my 20th year here in the Roaring Fork Valley and still love this place as much as I did on day 1. I had a good run as I was able to figure out how to ski 5 to 6 days a week by working evenings. I did that for 17 years. Things have changed a bit now as I have a family and priorities change. I'm currently on the mountain a few days a week with one of them dedicated to skiing with my five year old son. With so much time on our four mountains in the last 20 years, I would like to share my knowledge and insight with you as you plan your ski trip to our mountains. I hope you can ski vicariously through my camera lens and enjoy Aspen/Snowmass as much as I do.