SKI - - WEST - —Cather­ine Lutz

Fifty years af­ter its birth, the thriv­ing heart of Snow­mass is still the moun­tain, vast and var­ied enough to please ev­ery­body, with com­ple­men­tary ameni­ties built to serve the re­sort ex­pe­ri­ence. “Close to be­ing the per­fect re­sort—it prob­a­bly is,” gushes one reader. The mass in Snow­mass (no longer the largest U.S. ski area, it does boast the high­est ver­ti­cal rise: 4,400 feet) ap­peals to most. “Never feels crowded! Great va­ri­ety and depth at all lev­els, keeps fam­ily and friends happy and chal­lenged,” writes one reader. An­other calls Snow­mass “the most ver­sa­tile of all moun­tains.” Per­haps Snow­mass’s big­gest im­pres­sion is on lit­tle peo­ple (Kid Friendly, No. 2). A tree­house-themed chil­dren’s center, rep­utable ski school, daily kids’ and fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties, five marked tree trails, and three ter­rain parks in­spire su­perla­tives such as “finest kids ski school any­where” and “one of the most kid-friendly re­sorts in the coun­try.” Round­ing out the com­plete-re­sort pack­age is im­pec­ca­ble groom­ing (No. 3), an up­dated, ef­fi­cient lift sys­tem (No. 5), and 95 per­cent ski-in, ski-out lodg­ing (No. 4), which, as one reader points out, makes it con­ve­nient to take turns ski­ing with the grand­kids. True to its fam­ily-friend­li­ness, Snow­mass is not known for nightlife, though that’s okay for some: “I like the peace­ful­ness, and when I want more ex­cite­ment I can go into Aspen.”

FAM­ILY AC­TIV­ITY Check out viksnow­ (Very Im­por­tant Kid), a one-stop re­source for daily free and dis­counted kids and fam­ily at­trac­tions.

WHAT’S NEW Snow­mass cel­e­brates its big 5-0 on Dec. 15 with $6.50 lift tick­ets, plus ad­di­tional events, deals, and par­ties all sea­son long.

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