Friday Night Lights: Ullr Nights at Snowmass
We take our children’s school seriously, yes we do. While we’re not above giving our kids a “powder day” every once in a while, we try not to take them out of school too often.
So it was out of character when we picked them up early on a Friday afternoon to drive to Snowmass. You see, we live on the Western Slope, so neither traffic nor distance was an issue. We just wanted to get there. We wanted to experience Ullr Nights.
Ullr is the Norse god of snow and winter, and each Friday night through the end of March, Snowmass celebrates snow and winter with Ullr Nights. From the Vikings who roam about the new Elk Camp Lodge and provide a backdrop of flame to the evening fire show, to the extensive smorgasbord-like feast available in the restaurant, Ullr Nights has a fun Scandinavian theme.
Out on the snow, you’ll find a Viking ship. Complete with oars, a giant mast, and a superfast escape slide, this giant ice and snow ship entrances everyone from ages 2 to 82.
Sledding, Skating and More
Tubing at Snowmass is good, old-fashioned fun. There is just one lane and you have to walk up the hill on your own. Snowmass provides the tubes, you just line up to get one. When its your turn to slide, choose single or pairs. Pairs are faster and more precarious, and we thought, more fun!
For little sliders, who might find tubing a bit out-of-control, there is a smaller hill just for sleds.
Inside the new lodge, you’ll find families of all ages, couples and groups of friends enjoying live music and delicious food. The culinary team at Elk Camp presents local and fresh foods and you won’t find French fries on the menu. You will find handmade pizzas, roasted chicken and beef and a seafood and salad buffet worthy of Norway.
Ullr Nights ends at 9 p.m., and as we were riding down the gondola, we were already making plans to skip another Friday afternoon and return to Snowmass. It’s a fun family evening, for families of any age, and a great start to another adventure-filled skiing weekend.
It’s $5 for kids ages 4-12 and $10 for adults to ride the Elk Camp gondola for Ullr Nights. This fee covers most of the on-mountain fun including skating, tubing, the Viking Ship and the 7:15 p.m. fire show. Skibiking and snowshoe tours are available for an extra charge, and, of course, dinner, drinks and desserts are additional.
Gondola tickets are available at the Snowmass base ticket office.
New Runs and Beds
Just for tree skiers, three new side-country runs are open on Burnt Mountain, adjacent to the top of the Elk Camp express lift (not the Gondola). Skiing or riding Burnt Mountain requires a 10 minute hike and an exit off a rocky, steep slope onto a long traverse, so the new terrain is not for everyone. But in between the hike and the technical turns at the bottom, there are new views, fluffy snow, wide-open trees and very few people.
As for new lodging, The Westin Snowmass Resort and the Wildwood Snowmass are open on the Snowmass Mall. The ski-in/ski-out Westin is more luxurious, and has an on-site Kids’ Club. A sister property, the Wildwood is more economical and has a fun lounge/restaurant with board games, ski movies on a big TV and delicious and affordable pizzas and gourmet hot dogs to keep you and your family happy and well-fed.
Finally, myriad other lodges and condos make Snowmass the best choice for ski-in/ski-out accommodation in the Aspen area. We stayed at the Timberline condos, an updated property with a pool and hot tub and a very complete kitchen.
Kristen Lummis lives on the Western Slope where the powder meets the red rocks. While she is passionate about skiing, her true passion is for her family. She blogs at braveskimom.com.