First turns finally made Sunday on Aspen Mountain |

First turns finally made Sunday on Aspen Mountain

The theme around Aspen on Sunday: Better late than never.

With Mother Nature finally being cooperative, skiers and snowboarders were able to take to Aspen Mountain for the first time this season. The limited opening came three days after the originally scheduled opening on Thursday, which came and went without a single turn being made.

But Sunday, Aspen Skiing Co. was able to run the Little Nell lift, which tops out at 8,510 feet. While terrain was limited to the one run at the base of Aspen Mountain, it was more than enough reason for dozens of people to get excited.

“I like to get some early season turns in,” said Aspen resident Ben Moscona. “It’s always great. Opening day is what you make of it.”

The waiting time for the chairlift rarely averaged more than 10 minutes Sunday, and lines were almost non-existent over the final hour. While the Little Nell trail was icy in spots, fairly continuous snowfall throughout the day led to some resemblance of powder on the short run.

For some, like the 20-year-old Moscona, the draw of even deeper powder up high was too much to ignore. Moscona, a skier, decided to skin up beyond the top of the Little Nell lift, the Spar Gulch area his ultimate destination.

“Today, it’s not worth it for me to do just the Little Nell run, so I want to get at least a few more turns in on Spar,” Moscona said. “For me, it’s also about getting into skinning shape. It helps to just get out there, work those hip flexors out.”

Snowmaking continued throughout the day Sunday, and with the help of actual snowfall, more terrain is expected to be ready for Monday at both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass, which had a limited opening on Thanksgiving.

According to Joel Gratz at, “Monday will be another cloudy, snowy day for most mountains with 2-4 inches of snow accumulation.” Snow is possible through Tuesday as well, with a break coming by the middle of the week.

Another strong system is expected some time next week.

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