Aspen Mountain’s new Hero’s terrain, a 22 per cent expansion with 153 acres, pays homage to legends like Tim “El Avalanchero” Howe and Jim Crown, offering diverse slopes for all levels just minutes from downtown Aspen.
Article sponsored by Aspen Snowmass.
Words :: Colin Field.
As skiers and riders traverse the slopes, they’ll find themselves immersed in an illusion of backcountry wilderness, all within minutes of town.
Think you know Aspen, the crown jewel of Colorado ski resorts? Well, think again. Aspen Mountain has undergone a remarkable transformation this year, expanding its skiable terrain by a staggering 22 per cent. Picture this—153 new acres of pristine mountain. As skiers and riders traverse the newly opened slopes, they’ll find themselves immersed in an illusion of backcountry wilderness, all within minutes of town.
Accessed by a brand-new, high-speed quad, this isn’t just any terrain. Known as Hero’s, this new area is legendary among locals; formerly referred to as Pandora’s, it’s an off-the-beaten path brimming with history, ski town mystique and steep slopes. Back in the 1970s, Aspen Mountain Patroller Tim “El Avalanchero” Howe recognized that opening access to this hidden gem might be akin to unlocking Pandora’s Box—an act that would send skiers and snowboarders on an eternal pursuit of snow-induced bliss. The box is now open. The Hero’s area includes “El Avalanchero Glade,” as a heartfelt homage to Howe, perpetuating the legacy of a visionary who understood the allure of fresh powder.
Renaming the area once known as Pandora’s to “Hero’s” is a poignant tribute to those instrumental in bringing this vision to life. Notably, the late co-owner and revered patriarch, Jim Crown, who passed away in June. Driven by a united community effort, the Hero’s project embodies a comprehensive approach, accounting for environmental well-being, community impact and the overall experience for skiers and riders. The execution of the project was not merely about creating ski trails; it was about weaving a narrative that resonates with the mountain’s essence.
The addition of the new terrain expands the resort’s footprint, opening up exciting possibilities for skiers and snowboarders. Nestled among the iconic peaks of the Rockies, the new area seamlessly integrates with the existing slopes. The thoughtful design accommodates skiers and snowboarders of all levels—from gentle, groomed runs for beginners to challenging, ungroomed trails for advanced skiers. The diverse terrain ensures that every visitor can find the perfect slope to match their ability and preference. The terrain includes 19 chutes (double black), four main runs (black) and three lower, gladed sections (blue) all making up the area’s two zones, Hero’s Chutes #1 and Hero’s Chutes #2.
Aspen Mountain’s new terrain marks a significant milestone in the resort’s storied history. From the thrill-seekers eager to conquer challenging runs to the families looking for a memorable winter vacation, the expanded terrain offers something for everyone.
If you’re looking to take advantage of the new terrain, remember that kids from 7-12 ski free and there are tons of promotions available on the Stay Aspen Snowmass site. Booking packages through operators like Skican and Merit will also get you the best deals around.
Ski passes for Aspen are valid at the four major ski areas—Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass, and Buttermilk—each providing distinct terrain and incredible mountain views. And don’t forget about the town of Aspen itself; celebrated for its combination of outdoor adventure, cultural richness and scenic beauty, this is a premier destination for unique and upscale mountain experiences. It’s a ski trip you’ll never forget.
To learn more, visit aspensnowmass.com
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