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Entries in cloud nine (2)


Aspen Highlands Closing Day: It's not for Gapers

The Aspen Highlands closing day party has morphed into the biggest and best party in the ski world. And it keeps getting bigger.  It's like the perfect storm of on-mountain celebrations.  The costumes, the booze, the music, the drugs and especially the all-out steaziness is beyond compare.

Click 4 pix:  AH, It's not for Gapers.

The Aspen Highlands closing day party has expanded from an intimate locals-only soiree into a regional bacchanalia.   People are now coming from all over the Western U.S. just to throw down.  The wilder the better.  

This years edition blew the roof off the open-air party stadium at Aspen Highlands. Nearly 5000 revelers joined in...an unofficial record.   

Always a highlight... The Aspen Bounce...it's when the jam-packed, pre-fab deck floor recoils to the beat of the EDM and the collective rhythm of the ski and rider tribe. The  Aspen bounce gives dancers a little extra vitality and allows people to send it just a little bit higher. You have to try it out to believe it. The non-stop DJ's at two different venues keep the potency of the party going.  From kids with fake I.D's to seniors with AARP cards...everyone gets their jam on. 

Alcohol is one thing.  There is tons of it all over the mountain.   Whether it's BYO or Champagne at Cloud Nine or Coors light... the fire water is flowing.   The Weed?  There's enough MJ (medical, recreational and black market) to satisfy an army. Other drugs like LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, meth, horse tranquilizers, special K, sizzurp and bath salts are surely being used to enhance the mood.

This party is not for gapers.  It's a year-end ritual that memorializes another great Winter of shredding in Aspen.  Everyone needs to blow off some steam at the end of a long ski season... and they do. It's a well deserved blow out.  The Aspen Highlands closing day party is as close to "anything goes" as you can get.

Sure, many of the revelers dont even see the mountain...thats OK.  Plus we always hear tales of lost equipment, lost phones, lost keys, lost wallets, lost credit cards, lost panties...but thats OK too. Lots of folks pass out and/or barf on the bus...also OK.  People over-indulging and forgetting where they live is part of the cultural experience of AH closing day.  I often set up camp at the Rubey Park bus stop in Aspen as night falls just to see the zombie walkers that get off that Aspen Highlands bus.

By any definition Closing Day at Aspen Highlands is a DO NOT MISS experience in Aspen.

Click for Pix:

Aspen Highlands Closing Day: It's not for gapers.

Photo: Matt Power Click the image for MattPowerphotography.comCloud Nine on closing day...that a jam sesh.



Occupy Cloud 9 @ Aspen Highlands

A beautiful day at Aspen Highlands. 12/26/11In an effort to effectively open the lines of communication and create an actionable, cohesive message, AspenSpin joined the 1% for a friendly lunch at Cloud 9 at Aspen Highlands.  Our group of six included 4 moguls from Detroit, one mogul from Jersey and one ski bum / blogger....yours truly.

Click 4 pix  OCCUPY CLOUD 9.

Cloud 9 is an exclusive, ski-in, ski-out (if u can) on-mountain restaurant situated in an Alpine Hut slopeside at Aspen Highlands.  The wine began flowing from the get-go.  The A-Team, as this group of skiers is affectionately known, left their wives, kids, nannies and problems behind to enjoy a day of skiing and a bacchanalian mid-day meal at Cloud 9.  Luckily the cell service at Cloud 9 is almost non-existent...therefore we were not interrupted by those pesky "deal making calls" that ring these guys up 24/7.

We were greeted with drinks on the deck by Cloud 9's famed Chef Andres Fischbacher. We kicked our skis off outside and Andres immediately un-corked the first of many bottles of wine.   The place was packed with other "one percenters" willing to pay BIG bucks to eat, drink and mingle like European Kings. 

The Cloud 9 staff is always very friendly...that is until the special orders and food proclivities begin to surface.  "No meat, no dairy, i'm a vegan, gluten free, kosher and completely organic" was the request from one of the higher maintenance members of the group.   "I'll have what he's having" said another guy at the table.  When a third member went for the vegan risotto with no sauce, it left just 3 of us to pound out sizzling raclette made with glorious meats and cheeses.   The meat eaters ordered venison ragu, osso bucco and pheasant sausage to satisfy our cravings for more meat. The vegans focused on the wine.   The food was great...but it was overshadowed by the copious amounts of red wine that flowed like a river.  It turns out that the vegans dig the vino. 

After a 3 hour lunch...no one could move.  We contemplated spending the night in an effort to "Occupy Cloud 9".  The authorities nixed that idea.  As mentioned, cell service is sketch up there...so no bothersome calls from the girls...or the kids...or the office. The lack of communication was defining.   Aspen Spin's inability to tweet or check in on Facebook left us in a tizzy, so we all decided to carefully ski down the steep and icy slopes of Aspen Highlands.  We made it to the bottom safely and without inncident.

Slightly disheveled, we de-booted, struggled with our ski equipment and made it to the safe zone... a fully decked out mini-van complete with a designated driver.  It was a short ride back to the "real world"...that is if you consider Aspen, the real world.  Massive hangovers ensued, and no business was completed and best of all no moguls were harmed by the events revealed above.  TIA.  This is Aspen.

The Six.The meat eaters stuck together at Cloud 9. Aspen Highlands. 12/26/11 click 4 pix.Andres Fischbacher kept us happy at Cloud 9.Veggie Raclette at Cloud 9. click 4 pix.