Tag Archives: Snowmass Mountain

The Return of Valhalla Nights

Valhalla Nights at Snowmass

This past Friday, Aspen Snowmass kept the Elk Camp Gondola running until sunset as a mix of locals and vacationers, families and couples, foodies and revelers headed up to Elk Camp for the first of 10 Valhalla Nights this summer.

Rock climbing wall at Valhalla Nights, SnowmassHeld every Friday through the end of August (as well as select Tuesdays), this evening party serves up delicious food, drinks on the Elk Camp patio, live music, and classic summer pastimes from s’mores to hula hooping to mountain biking to badminton. It’s the summer rendition of the popular Ullr Nights, which is held at the same locale in winter.

I came up with my wife and two daughters — ages 4 and 5 months — and I’m convinced it was the mellow vibe that kept the kiddos tantrum-free well-past their bedtime. The event offers up several kid-friendly activities that appeal across a spectrum of ages. So while the older kids tackled the climbing wall (or could enjoy Bike Snowmass’ mountain biking trails), our oldest played in the giant sandbox, explored wildflowers on a nearby nature trail, and danced a jig to the live music.

But most of all, she enjoyed the gondola ride — her first since she was a baby. The views of the forest as the sun set, the promise of a playground at the top … she was downright giddy with anticipation. (And here I was, thinking that s’mores or the Strider bikes would be her favorite part).

roast chicken, golden beets, mac and cheese, Elk Camp RestaurantAs for my wife and I, we are foodies, so the roast chicken with golden beet salad and asparagus, and creamy mac-and-cheese was an immediate dose of comfort.  And it was especially cool to see a few selections of Colorado wine (yes, Colorado makes excellent wine) on the wine list.

Valhalla Nights will be held this upcoming Friday (July 18) from 4pm to 8:30pm. For more information on future dates and other details, check out the official page for Valhalla Nights.

Lynn Britt Cabin, Aspen/Snowmass
Lynn Britt Cabin, Snowmass Mtn

© Paul Morrison/Aspen-Snowmass

On a recent powder day, my wife and I, along with some friends, enjoyed a late lunch at Lynn Britt Cabin. We’d spent the first four-and-a-half hours of our day covering Snowmass from top to bottom — blasting down runs in the Elk Camp, Two Creeks, Alpine Springs, Big Burn and Sam’s Knob sections of the mountain.

By 1:30pm, we were famished, and yet — to be totally honest with you —it took some convincing for me to stop and have lunch at Lynn Britt Cabin. It had nothing to do with the restaurant … and everything to do with just “sitting down” for lunch.

You see, ever since I learned to ski, lunch has always been a grab-and-go affair. Load up, refresh, resume. If its warm and ready now, I’m there. Finger foods? Even better. Until this day, that was just how it was done for me.

But 90 minutes after we ducked into the small cabin set against a small grove of aspens, I was rethinking what “on-mountain dining” could be. Heck: I was rethinking what defined a great day on the mountain.

Here are a few quick reasons to love this gem of a restaurant.

    1. The Colorado Twist to the Cuisine – This being Colorado, it only makes sense that Chef de Cuisine Robert C. McConnell would emphasize game and locally sourced ingredients on his menu. As it snowed outside, we all opted for the three-course prix fixe menu. My main course was a toss-up between two dishes: Butternut Squash Agnolotti or the Tuesday special, Bison Meatloaf. At the last second, I changed my mind, going for the Elk Stroganoff. No regrets: it was divine.
Cuisine at Lynn Britt Cabin

©Dan Bayer / Aspen/Snowmass

  1. The Cozy, Ranch Cookhouse Feel – Intimate only begins to describe the interior of Lynn Britt Cabin. Vaulted wood ceilings and rustic log-backed chairs are nicely contrasted with white-linen tablecloths and elegant place settings. Western memorabilia and art lines the walls, and picture windows bring the beauty of Snowmass Mountain indoors. The cozy setting was enough to make me linger: “Sure, we’ll stay for a hot chocolate.”
  2. The Backstory – Lynn Britt Cabin is inspired by the homesteaders’ cabins that dotted Snowmass Mountain in the early 1900s (one of these homes — Burlingame Cabin — is now another popular restaurant on the mountain). It is named after a popular Snowmass ski instructor who lost his battle with cancer in the 1980s.
  3. The Encore: Snowcat Dinners – We breezed out of Lynn Britt Cabin and squeezed in a few more runs before the lifts closed. However, you can enjoy this charming little spot afterhours with a snowcat-chartered dinner, every Tuesday and Thursday night in winter. Live entertainment, a special four-course meal, undisturbed views of the stars, and the unique thrill of a snowcat ride up the mountain make it a stand-out highlight for many skiers’ vacations.