Aspen Highlands Bootpacking - Aspen Real Life
Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol Bowl Aspen Real Life

Aspen Highlands Bootpacking

Aspen Ski Mountains

With four exceptional ski mountains to choose from, it is no wonder that die-hard skiers do what they can to live in our valley.

Many of the locals choose gondola laps on Aspen on snowy days for long steep runs and the chance to dry off and reset in the gondola.

Snowmass Mountain

On sunny powder days, or when we have friends or family in town, we head to Snowmass for its expansive terrain with wide and long beautifully peaceful runs on Golden and Campground and steep shutes like; Hanging Valley Wall, Strawberry Shutes, etc..

Buttermilk Mountain Aspen

Buttermilk is where we go with friends who are beginners or to train, or skin uphill, or practice a new sport like telemarking, skiing, bike skiing, chair skiing, or snowboarding. 

Aspen Highlands Bowl

For most of us who really know how to ski, Aspen Highlands is our place to get away from the crowds and hike up to the Bowl, our temple.

Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol annually accepts volunteers to assist with pre-season snow compaction efforts in the Highland Bowl, and on the Frontside. Highland Bowl is a unique place for skiing and riding and would not be open without the dedicated efforts of our community volunteers.

Bootpacking at the ski area involves long days spent outside in severe winter conditions at high altitude. The work is extremely strenuous and is comparable to mountaineering. All the inherent risks of that sport are here also, including falls or possible avalanche involvement.

Boot packing is done by the Highlands Patrol and local volunteers prior to the ski season on the steepest aspects of the mountain to break up the basal layer which could potentially cause an avalanche.

THE SCHEDULE

  • During the early season (pre-Highlands opening) we may be working Monday through Saturday from 8am until 4:30pm, weather permitting.
  • Packing will begin when there is sufficient snow in the starting zones. Due to this requirement, dates of operations may begin or end at any time. In the past several years, the schedule has varied widely. We have begun as early as  October 21st or as late as  November 29th. We try to  finish by the end of December. In several of the last few  years bootpacking has ended by Highlands opening day in mid-December.
  • Assuming favorable weather conditions, the job will last 6 to 8 weeks. It is up to the individual to fit their volunteer days into the days available for packing.  There is no guarantee how many days will be available for bootpacking.
  • Some days, bootpackers will not work, while ski patrol  performs  annual training of staff, OR  performs Avalanche Mitigation work.

The Voucher Credit

Volunteers are not employees of  Aspen Skiing Company.  Bootpackers are required to sign releases acknowledging that fact.  There is no Workman’s Compensation coverage for this volunteer bootpacking program.

VISIT WEBSITE FOR MORE GUIDELINES

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