Over 3,500 people turned out for the Legendary event on ‘Party Mountain’
Closing day. How we love and hate you. It’s the last day for lifts to spin, yet it offers an amazing chance to celebrate the season by partying your pants off. Aspen Highlands is notorious for hosting one of the loosest, most debauchery-filled shindigs of all, and this year lived up to the hype.
Over 3,500 revelers showed up decked out in the craziest costumes they could imagine. From scantily clad neon ninjas, American Gladiators, pretty pirates, rebel rockers, and more, a whole gamut of creatures partied down during the rowdy event.
This year, the 8th annual Schneetag, which is normally hosted at Aspen/Snowmass, made a splash a Highlands. Teams of four created a craft, then attempted to pilot their crazy contraptions down the hill, and attempted to send it across the freezing pond skim.
Gretchen Bleiler, Olympian and Aspen local, was a celebrity judge of the highly entertaining event. Every team had a theme and had to perform a skit before sending it down the slope. Each team was judged based on creativity, skit performance, craft construction and success in riding the course.
Following the event, we caught up with Gretchen for her insights into the Highlands Closing Day extravaganza.
How does Highland’s Closing differ from other closing events you’ve been too?
I’ve lived in Aspen almost my whole life and also have traveled to some of the most amazing resort destinations around the world, but surprisingly I had never enjoyed a closing day experience before this one. I got the feeling that Highlands Closing is a force to be reckoned with though!
What your experience as a Schneetag judge?
I now know that to be picked as a Schneetag judge is quite an honor. I was in the company of Aspen’s mayor, Aspen’s unofficial mayor and Aspen Ski Co’s head of mountain operations. All of the Schneetag-ians were fabulous and fun but the two that stood out to me were Fury and The Dukes of Aspen. Fury because of their overall skit production and amazing man choreography and The Dukes of Aspen for their spirit, costume and edgy theme.
What was the most interesting thing you saw during Closing Day?
Overall I really just felt like I was in the movie Aspen Xtreme and who wouldn’t want that?! We even judged just like they did in that movie. It was a ski town blast from the past. It was the old Aspen vibe that made it feel so good, fun and right!
Did you hike the Highlands bowl?
I didn’t get to Highlands in time to do the bowl before judging but got to shred some laps on Thunder Bowl, people watch and catch up with friend’s and really just take in the whole scene. I had some epic Bowl experiences this year so felt complete there.
Following the event, Bleiler ‘gramed this photo and said:
“Oh my #schneetag, that was fun! The skits and crafts were fierce but so were the judges. So much fun hanging with Aspen’s mayor Steve skadronru, Aspen’s unofficial mayor Scotty Gibsone and the head of Aspen snowman;s mountain operations Rich Burkley. If I had known how completely corrupt and fabulous judging was I would have taken this side of the coin years ago! But seriously…future schneetager’s I am currently accepting bribes. Congrats to Dukes of Aspen, Fury, and Cloud9 and everyone else for a rowdy good time! Until next winter Highlands! Adios!”
What a kickass closing to Highland’s season! Stay tuned for more closing day action on TWSNOW.
1st Place – Dukes of Aspen featuring Matthew Shifrin, Charles Lucarelli, Clint Coerdt and Trent Jones
2nd Place – Fury On The Snow featuring Jason Hartmann, Matt Hooks, Susan Muenchen and Pete Pelinski
3rd Place – Some Call it Cloud 9, We Call It Heaven featuring Ellie Barber, Sarah Gruen, Elli McKinley and Ben Sachdeva