How to throw a P A R T Y! Schneetag-style.
I have been a part of the ski industry pretty much my whole adult life, worked for many resorts and had many as clients so it is accurate to say that I have been to and enjoyed many resort last day and end of season parties.
Closing days are fun, festive and sad all at the same time and we all know that nobody can party like skiers and riders. Resorts know how to throw a party but - bar none - nobody can throw a party like the closing party at Aspen Highlands commonly referred to as “Schneetag”(German translation: "day of snow"). Our translation - a DAY OF EVERYTHING, celebrated on snow!
Schneetag is a bigger costume party than Halloween, if you are dressed simply to go skiing you are out of place. It is basically one huge party across Highlands from 12,000 feet at the top of the bowl where celebrations kick off early. It is hard enough to hike the bowl for many, let alone to carry various libations and delicacies up on your hike. Was great to get to the top and party with many who had conquered that day (on a very windy summit) and enjoy the smells of freshly cooked bacon being prepared by our new snowboard friends - albeit the wind was a challenge, it was not dampening their efforts. Skiing was still mid-winter conditions up high and did not disappoint.
As we ventured down of course who cannot resist stopping by Cloud 9 on closing day. The guest list was full and music was blaring and the Veuve Clicquot was naturally - flowing! There was no doubt that the snow cats would be full for the trip down come 4:00. (update: all 3 were!)
Continuing down private parties had erupted everywhere and the pond skimming event - now taking place up at Merry Go Round restaurant (from it's historic location at the base) had the MGR deck and surrounding pond packed with revelers and splashing with competitors.
As the sun continued to shine people continued to last it out then realizing the biggest party had yet to happen at the base at Highlands Ale House and the Ritz patio. Thousands of people soon began to congregate at these two spots and the ever present beat of two separate DJ stations with enough bass to cause an avalanche (luckily Patrol had that under control) and now the party really had started. More costumes continued to appear each one better than the last.
As the party continued to rage and everyone was having the time of their lives the most special part of the day came when the fireworks went off, and then the canons boom and one by one the Highlands Ski patrol descent on snow down to thunderous applause and appreciation of all below. These men and women do an outstanding job and make us safe to ski and ride some of the best terrain to be found anywhere.
As dusk starts to settle in the party that is still going strong will be ending shortly; but not the many memories and friendships as we look forward to and can’t wait 'till next year’s ski season.
Thank you Aspen!