Stats: 394 feet over 0.13 mile
Why we love it: This short, steep drop off an impressive ridge is a paradise of rounded bumps and evenly spaced evergreens.
How to reach it: Take the Silver Queen Gondola or the Gent’s Ridge or Ajax Express lifts to the top of the mountain. Head downhill beneath the gondola, following signs to Bell Mountain. The route drops to the left off the Keith Glen trail; the longer you wait to drop, the more open but steeper the slope.
The oldest of Aspen Skiing Company’s four resorts, Aspen Mountain (also called by its former name of Ajax by locals) is best known for its challenging terrain and thigh-burning vertical drop. Face of Bell stands out as a classic glade run down the west face of Bell Mountain, the prominent ridge that stretches down the upper mountain’s northern side.
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The route begins from a narrow track on the west side of the ridge. Once you drop, the gradient is consistently steep, requiring tight, technical turns. It’s known for having even bumps where it’s easy to get into a rhythm.
The route covers a large area, and most skiers drop early to follow a high line so as to reach the Ajax Express or F.I.S. lifts. This means that lower lines, which require you to ski to the base, usually have better snow, including caches of powder well after it’s stopped snowing. Seek this section out and enjoy a smooth ride and less crowds.