Dinosaurs, flamingos and bears, oh my! Aspen Highlands closing celebrates another season in the books

Dinosaurs, flamingos and bears, oh my! Aspen Highlands closing celebrates another season in the books

What do you get when you combine April pow skiing, spring sunshine, local DJs and copious amounts of people donning Halloween-worthy outfits? A raging party known as Aspen Highlands Closing Day. With the folklore of years past having made its way throughout the Rocky Mountain West, this annual event draws not only the entire community of Aspen, but people from all over the Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and beyond, hoping to experience what just might be the greatest closing day party in existence.

As the weekend approached, a somewhat gloomy weather outlook left people wondering if their fur vests, jean jackets and and tight-fitting spandex might succumb to a soggy Sunday. But as rain trickled into the valley on Saturday, snow was already stacking up on the hill; when Sunday morning came around the weather couldn’t have been any better. Shrouded in fluffy clouds, Highlands delivered some gloriously deep powder turns to start the day off right. And as the clouds burned off throughout the morning hours, the mountain began to come to life. Wildlife, that is.

Bears, bunnies, kittens, dinosaurs, flamingos and myriad amalgamations of retro neon could be seen riding each lift, shredding every trail and imbibing on all the patios that Highlands has to offer. Though the bowl didn’t open due to dangerous snow conditions, the annual top-of-the-bowl party was moved to Picnic Point, where revelers gathered by Aspen’s “RESPECT” sign to celebrate another year in the books. Stories of pow days gone by and plans for the spring ahead were told in between group photo ops and swigs from an absolutely massive bottle of Rose.

The hoots and hollers echoing all over the mountain were a sure sign that skiers were enjoying their last Highlands kicks of the year, and down at the base, sound was emanating from a growing mass of people gathering for the infamous Alehouse party.

At the center of it all, local DJs pumped out the tunes, as skiers came down the hill and joined the crowd that could be heard halfway up the hill. Endless bottles of champagne were sprayed over the crowd, as beer and cocktails were consumed with ease and people danced for hours at what just might be the ultimate Sunday Funday.

We’d like to extend a big cheers to the staff at Highlands and Aspen Ski Co. for their tireless efforts, endless smiles and nonstop hospitality that keeps everybody coming back. And also to all those bears, bunnies, kittens, dinosaurs and flamingos. We hope to see you all out for closing day at Aspen Mountain next Sunday!

Aspen Highlands Closing Day Gallery

Aspen-based skier Victor Major finding a clean sheet. Photo: Matt Power
Into the abyss on Highlands closing day. Photo: Matt Power
Andrew Benaquista slashes one for the boys. Photo: Matt Power
Victor Major earning his closing day beers. Photo: Matt Power

Aspen Highlands closing day living up to its reputation. Photo: Matt Power

Think that’s called “topping off” a glass of bubbly. Photo: Matt Power
You can say that again.
Stretch it, stretch it real good.

That’s a Picabo Street autograph right there. Photo: Matt Power

Don’t forget the pocket bacon. Photo: Matt Power
Outfits on fleek.
Is that a cat drinking rosé on that man’s shoulders?

Wonder how this crew became friends…Photo: Matt Power

The ski season comedown is real.Photo: Matt Power
One of these is not like the others…
This Rosé isn’t going to drink itself.

That’s one good lookin’ marching band.Photo: Matt Power

Harry and Lloyd made an appearance, too.Photo: Matt Power

FREESKIER’s very own Land Rover Discovery. Don’t forget to come out for some laps on the Silver Queen Gondola next weekend!

Thanks for the good times!Photo: Matt Power

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