Lots of snow and lots of rumors have been swirling around our hometown of Aspen/Snowmass, and the Aspen Skiing Company confirmed yesterday that both Aspen Mountain and Snowmass will open early!

The Silver Queen Gondola and Ajax Express will start spinning on Aspen Mountain this Saturday and Sunday, a little over two weeks ahead of its scheduled opening day on Nov. 28. The ski resort will close during the week but will reopen for daily operations — along with Snowmass — on Nov. 23.

For the upcoming weekend, skiers and riders on Aspen Mountain will enjoy 200 acres of open terrain and top-to-bottom skiing down Spar Gulch and Copper Bowl. The natural snowfall and cold, nighttime temperatures (ideal for snowmaking) have contributed to this early opening, and snow conditions are rumored to be quite good with an 18-inch base at the top. October and November snowfall totaled 52 inches, and the snow pack on Independence Pass is currently at 165% of its average for this time of year! The photos above were taken last week after an early November storm turned Aspen/Snowmass into a mid-winter wonderland.