Unlike most of the interior ranges of the Colorado and Utah mountains, the Aspen area has been below average for snowfall so far this season. Not long ago the 'Secret' was revealed with the micro-climate of the West Elk Range offering 2-3 times the snowpack as that just a few kilometers to the east. Without mentioning the precise details and logistics involved let's simply acknowledge that although the 'ski area' was only formally open for one year (1971), the cost of a lift ticket for 2010-11 is only a couple RedBuils and a cold six-pack. Aspen is blessed with some of the most dramatic and accessible lift-serviced backcountry skiing anywhere in the States. With both the Tenth Mountain and Braun Hut Systems that link both Vail and Crested Butte with Aspen, the Aspen Backcountry presents unlimited opportunities for summit ski descents and classic traverses alike.