“Guided experiences are for people who don’t necessarily want a lesson. A lot of times people just want to know where the best possible snow will be.” – Ryan Watts, Aspen Highlands Ski and Snowboard School Manager
A Guided Experience at Aspen Snowmass
by Celine Wright
Updated November 9, 2022
What do you want out of today?
This is the fundamental question that helps Aspen Snowmass ski and snowboard Pros triangulate the best possible itinerary for clients seeking a Guided Experience at Aspen Snowmass. It’s a question that shapes the flow of the day, determining whether the group heads for a freeski of Highland Bowl, some skill building on the moguls of Bell Mountain, a casual afternoon on the groomers of Snowmass or a (very) early aprés at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro.
Not looking to take a full ski lesson but hoping to ride with a Pro at any of our four mountians to get the inside scoop? A Guided Experience is just the ticket. “Guided experiences are for people who don’t necessarily want a lesson,” says Ryan Watts, Aspen Highlands Ski and Snowboard School Manager. “A lot of times, people just want to know where the best possible snow will be.”
We met up with Watts at the base of Aspen Mountain in search of just that.
Throughout the day, Watts focused on three main things: finding out where the snow would be best, knowing what runs to hit at what time, and always keeping in mind that bumps in the trees stay soft, even during the afternoons.
We headed for Ruthie’s to catch the corduroy while it was still fresh and chatted about the program’s inception. It really boils down to one point of contention: the typical ski vacation is burdened with questions.
What kind of skis should you rent? What type of terrain is appropriate? Which runs will provide the best snow? Where are you going to stop for lunch? Will the whole family enjoy skiing Snowmass, or would they be better off on Aspen Mountain? The list goes on...
“Long-term guests often want someone to just make decisions for their family,” says Watts.
“We help them understand their skiing and ability in order to choose the best terrain, and if they’re renting through Four Mountain Sports, we make sure they’re on the right setup.”
Our day on the slopes is ideal. Ruthie’s, as Watts predicted, is perfectly untouched, the corduroy still grippy and the run nearly deserted.
We loop back over to the gondola, before heading for some bumps on Ajax Express. The morning is topped off with pancakes at Bonnie’s, soaking in some early-January sun on the patio. The mountain is quiet but the skiing is good and we got just what we were looking for.
For Watts, it’s all in a day’s work.
Book Your Guided Experience
Level up your day with your crew and cruise our legendary terrain on your own terms with a Guided Experience. Ski our mountains like a local with the lead of your own private guide while enjoying priority lift access and flexible meeting times.