Aspen Highlands, CO, Weekend Report: Highland Bowl and Temerity

Spencer McLaughlin | | Post Tag for Conditions ReportConditions Report
Highland Bowl (Photo: SnowBrains)

Report from February 11 & 12, 2023

Somehow, I ended up in Aspen on Saturday morning. It snowed a few inches on Thursday, so I knew the conditions would be solid. This was not a trip I planned far in advance, but from the start, I knew I was heading straight to Highlands.

It’s no secret that Aspen Highlands is home to the hardest and best terrain in the Aspen area and some of the best steeps anywhere. I had not been here in almost 15 years, so I immediately wanted to explore basically the whole mountain. That would have to wait, though, since I had my eyes on something else, Highland Bowl.

Detailed Highland Bowl Map in the base lodge (Photo: SnowBrains)

Highland Bowl is big, steep, long, and holds the best snow on the mountain. It also requires an 800 vertical foot hike to an altitude of 12,392 feet, which was a bit daunting, especially considering that I live at sea level. Regardless, perhaps foolhardy, I just decided to do it. I bought ski-carry straps for $10 at the patrol headquarters at the top of the lift and started walking. The cat was not running.

Photo: SnowBrains

By some miracle, I eventually did make it all the way to the peak. Hindsight tells me that drinking more water before the hike might have been a good idea. I spent a few minutes relaxing in the sun before beginning my descent. I believe the run I skied at the top was “Ozone.” The top skied spectacularly with fairly unchopped powder, but it was bumped up a bit lower down, and I was exhausted, so my skiing wasn’t pretty. I only ended up skiing a few more runs in the afternoon since my legs were burnt.

I woke up on Sunday, recharged. I skied a few groomers to warm up, but then I started looking down towards Deep Temerity, the best lift here. Over 1,700 vertical feet of pure steeps, bumps, cliffs, and trees.

Deep Temerity (Photo: SnowBrains)

After a run under the lift line, which was a bit crusty, I discovered the Hyde Park Traverse, which opened up a ton of tree skiing. Hyde Park and Canopy Cruiser were skiing great since the layer of trees gave them protection from the sun, so the snow there had not developed a crust and was still soft. The trees there are nicely spaced, usually narrow enough to keep things interesting but always wide enough that you can keep your speed up. I ended up doing five leg-burning laps in there before calling it quits, heading back to the groomers for a few laps, and then heading home.

Open section of Hyde Park (Photo: SnowBrains)

Snow Report

Photo: Aspen Snowmass


Photo: NOAA

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...