We Sing the Slopes Fantastic

COLORADO :: ASPEN & ASPEN HIGHLANDS

    Photo: courtesy, Aspen & Aspen Highlands Ski Resort

MOUNTAIN STATS:

SUMMIT, 11,675 feet (Aspen Highlands)
VERTICAL, 6,902 feet (combined)
SKIABLE ACRES, 1,465 (combined)
ANNUAL SNOWFALL, 300 inches
LIFT TICKET, $74 (combined; also good for Snowmass and Buttermilk)
800-525-6200, www.aspensnowmass.com

FORGET THE FURS AND THE FENDI. Beyond the bling, Aspen is still America's quintessential ski village, a funky cosmos where World Cup steeps belong to the fearless.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Where else can you sit next to Kurt and Goldie while wolfing lunchtime bratwurst, then follow the sun around Bell Mountain's bumps for the rest of the afternoon?
NUMBER-ONE RUN: The finest float in Colorado? Atop Aspen Highlands is the 40-degree, 1,500-vertical-foot Highland Bowl. After the hike up, and before the glorious, seemingly endless descent, rest your bones in the summit swing and feast on high-octane views of fourteeners Pyramid Peak and Maroon Bells.
HOT LODGE: Chichi yet cool, luxe yet Lab-friendly, the St. Regis Aspen features s'mores in its cozy après-ski lounge, beds for beloved canines, and a spanking-new 15,000-square-foot spa-complete with a little something called the Confluence, artificial hot springs where more than the waters mingle. (Doubles from $385; 888-454-9005, www.stregisaspen.com)
SOUL PATCH: Tucked in the trees on Aspen Mountain are shrines to Elvis, Jerry Garcia, Marilyn Monroe, and, of course, Liberace. But Walsh's Run, one of the steepest drops on Ajax, is where you'll find sacred ground: The Raoul Wille shrine, a tiny shack festooned with prayer flags and elk bones, honors a longtime local who died climbing in Nepal.

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