Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding Tips

How to Aspen Guides

Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding Tips

Know your ability:

  • Don’t attempt a double black diamond run if you’re just starting out.
  • Ride in a controlled manner so you don’t endanger yourself or others.
  • Follow these tips for beginner skiers
  • Consider a lesson at any ability. 


Right of way:

  • Downhill riders always have the right of way. 
  • When overtaking, leave space for the person in front of you - no one has eyes in the back of their head. 
  • To help avoid a crash when passing on catwalks, it’s helpful to shout “on your left” or “on your right” to the person ahead of you.
  • If there is a crash or accident offer your assistance. Everyone appreciates when someone skis down with the pole or ski they lost a few turns up rather than having to hike back up the hill to retrieve their yard sale of equipment. 


How to carry your skis: 

  • Place your skis together with the brakes interlacing to hold them together.
  • Put your skis over one shoulder and hold your poles in your hand. 
  • Watch your surroundings - take your skis off your shoulder around low ceilings and crowded areas. 


Gondola courtesies: 

  • Take your skis off your shoulder and keep your poles pointing towards the ground in order to avoid hitting someone. 
  • The loading area can be busy and moves quickly so be prepared. The silver queen gondolas fit six people each.
  • Put your skis and boards in the racks – don’t bring them inside. 
  • Open the windows if you’ve been working up a sweat – riding is a sport but fresh air for 15 minutes can be a game changer.
  • If it’s a quiet day, no need to squeeze six people per gondola – let someone enjoy a solo ride up and grab the next bucket with your group of friends.
  • The red gondolas play music. Get to know your fellow gondola riders to pick music you all like. If you're not so into music skip the red gondolas.
  • Save your phone calls for when you have a bucket to yourself. 


Lift Loading

  • Alternate! When the lines converge make sure to alternate.
  • If it’s a powder day or holiday weekend, the lift lines can be busy. Take the singles line which moves a bit faster and meet new people on the chair. Pay attention to the line waiting for an unfilled chair. Don’t miss your chance to jump in line – an empty chair on a powder day will earn some glares.


Respect the out-of-bounds signage and fencing.

For more winter sports safety tips check out this guide.


Mountain Transportation/Parking

  • Take advantage of the FREE bus system between all four mountains. 
  • Many hotels have shuttle services. Check with your hotel about their radius restrictions. 
  • There is FREE parking at Buttermilk (restrictions apply around XGames in January)
  • Parking for Aspen Mountain is in the downtown core. We recommend using the Rio Grande parking garage and taking  the free Galena Street shuttle if skiing all day.
  • Daily parking at Aspen Highlands varies in price, but is free after 12pm. 
  • Snowmass has free parking at the Town Park Station where you can catch a free shuttle to the mountain. Paid lots include Two Creeks and the Base Village parking garage. 
Skiing & Snowboarding in Aspen
9 Tips for Beginner Skiers
5 Reasons You Should Sign Up For Ski School