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Snowmass, February 2016

A group of 30 Fund Bank Staff Ski Club members signed up for the Snowmass, CO, trip departing February 5 and returning on February 12, 2016. We stayed in The Mountain Chalet ski-in-ski-out place as well as at The Snowmass Inn next door. The sign-up was on first come first serve basis and for those who signed late lodging was offered at the Snowmass Inn, but they also shared breakfast and soup lunch with the rest of the group at the Mountain Chalet.

The weather cooperated with us: plenty of snow to ski all challenging slopes, but also warm and sunny. Four mountains (Snowmass, Aspen, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk) located near-by and included on our lift ticket offered great variety of different skiing terrain from extreme double diamond bowls where to get to you have to hike up the hill to easy long runs at the end of the day.

Lodging

The hotels were modest, but conveniently located right on the slopes, “all you can eat” breakfasts, hot soup lunch and a cozy and authentic lounge room with a fireplace and board game tables. Outdoor hot tub and lap pool allowed us to relax and prepare our muscles for a new day of skiing. The group chemistry was so good that we just glued together, meeting at breakfast, sharing lunch together, socializing during dinners and Pizza Party.

High speed wireless internet was truly appreciated by those that had to work on the trip. Those who did not have their own computers were able to use computers in the lobby where internet and printing was free off charge.

Dining in Snowmass and Aspen

We found a great number of “fine dining” places in Snowmass and Aspen. Each one was better than the previous one: each with it’s own cuisine, unique selection of wine and unforgettable ambiance. But you have to make a reservation in advance for “fine dining” places.

I will tell you only about two: Il Poggio – an outstanding Italian restaurant in Snowmass and Ajax Tavern in Aspen. Il Poggio was excellent serving great variety of traditional Italian cuisine. Their grilled fish was out of this world…

Ajax Tavern is one of the most famous restaurants in Aspen conveniently located next to the Silver Queen Gondola. 
Soft lounge music welcomes you in, the mountain terrace faces the sun, and the view of the Aspen mountain is simply breathtaking! 
The food was just as unique and spectacular as the ambiance…

Overall summary

The trip was a tremendous success: we were lucky to have a lot of sun, six fabulous days of skiing, enough snow to enjoy all slopes: steep ones in Aspen and Aspen Highlands and easier ones in Snowmass and Buttermilk. Once in Snowmass and Buttermilk we could relax and switch “on” cruise control while in Aspen and Aspen Highlands we found a lot of powder and untouched glades.

Staying in ski-in-ski-out place in Snowmass was very convenient, as we could get soup lunch in the middle of the day, but dining in Cloud 9 in Aspen Highlands was unforgettable with delicious roclette sharing experience.

The skiing

Skiing in Snowmass and Aspen was at its best, offering endless slopes. It was snowing the day we got in and the mountains had a base of 35′ of fresh snow. Fantastic quality of snow turned nicely groomed pistes into Alpine highways. Comfortable skiing for all levels, sunny and warm weather. The sun was strong and everyone got a nice suntan. Majority of the group skied 6 days, and we never got bored by the slopes skiing four different mountains. Great advantage – there were no crowds on the lifts and sometimes we thought that we were the only one on the mountain. That was especially true in the afternoon of February 7 when everyone left to watch the Super Bowl.

On the first day of skiing the whole group gathered to take a mountain tour of Snowmass in the morning. However, the mountain is so big that some of us had to take a second mountain tour of another part of the mountain after lunch. These tours were very useful for the skiers to get the feeling of different areas of the mountain, to get to know each other and to find partners to ski with the next day.

We usually started our days by meeting at the entrance of the hotel at 9:00, taking Village Express all the way to the top and did not quit until 3:30PM when the lifts were closing.

Endless skiing, endless challenges, endless fun. What more can a skier dream about? Only a nice dinner after skiing!

Mardi Gras

What fun to be in Snowmass on Mardi Gras!!! The partying started in the morning when everyone got multicolored beads to wear, laughing and dancing on the slopes, dancing during lunch at Cloud 9 (the slogan of the place: Ski in, Dance out) and continued dancing during the Mardi Gras parade on the main street and into the night.

The atmosphere of the party followed you everywhere: on the Mall of Snowmass, on the bus coming from Aspen, on the deck of Venga Venga or even in the lounge of your hotel that was bursting from dance music from the streets. And the culmination of the party was a spectacular fireworks lighting all the surrounding mountains around!

I think all the participants will agree that Snowmass/Aspen is the place to go for terrific skiing, fine dining, sun tanning, exploring the history and culture of silver mining, finding breathtaking views, shopping, night life … and much much more.