ASPEN — Roughly a half a foot of fresh powder greeted skiers and riders at Aspen Mountain's season opening on Saturday and about 10 more inches of snow reportedly fell on Sunday.
Getting the word out about the snowy opening wasn't difficult — a long line of locals wound around the plaza for the Silver Queen Gondola, waiting to climb into the bucket for the first time this season, and then throngs of them pumped out photos and glowing reports from the slopes to their friends and family on social media.
By last night, anyone in the world watching the ballyhooed Sunday Night Football game between the juggernaut Denver Broncos and previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs also learned about the sweet conditions in Aspen. In between plays, the telecast aired footage of the Silver Queen Gondola showing the word "ASPEN" and the Aspen Skiing Co.'s aspen leaf logo on its cars, along with snowy scenes of skiers and riders donning Peyton Manning, Knowshon Moreno and Von Miller jerseys enjoying the freshly fallen snow from opening day.
Aspen Mountain opened the 2013/2014 season early for the weekend only — nearly two weeks before the scheduled Thanksgiving opening date. There were 216 acres, 3,200 feet of vertical, three lifts and 21 trails open. It was one of the earlier openings in the history of the Aspen Skiing Co., which reported that more than 60 inches have fallen in the Aspen/Snowmass area since the beginning of autumn.
Aspen Mountain will reopen daily on Saturday, along with Snowmass ski area.