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What to Pack: Aspen

Once a quaint mining town, Aspen, Colorado, has since dialed up the glitz and glam, courtesy of a host of famous visitors and residents (the Goldie Hawn-Kurt Russell clan, Hunter S. Thompson, and John Denver, just to name a few). These days, you’ll find all the comforts and extravagances of a world-class ski resort, such as four generous ski areas set within easy reach that offer skiing into April. Here are some ideas for what to bring along.



Buttermilk Boarding

Heard of the X Games? If you have, chances are that you’ve already seen on-air shots of Buttermilk, which will be hosting the famed daredevil competition through 2014. If you’re not there just to watch, the resort has an intimidating 22-foot "superpipe" and two terrain parks to challenge even the best stuntwoman.

Gear up for the slopes with this cold-weather jacket by Under Armour ($274.99) in lollipop pink. With waterproof construction and taped seams, you’ll be toasty even as you’re waiting your turn on the half-pipe.

For matching versatility, go for snowboarding pants in more neutral tones. This pair from Burton in white is as pristine as the morning’s first tracks ($164.95).

Keep your digits warm with this white ski glove ($119.95). The quilted detail lends a feminine touch.

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Go wild with your goggles: These come in a funky print with a rosy lens ($119.95).

The new Boa lace-up boots are easy to tighten and are a godsend when fingers are frozen stiff. This Ride pair features a double Boa setup for optimal fit ($259.95).


Palate Pleasing

The sheer number of top eating establishments in Aspen can be mind-boggling. (That said, prices are about as stiff as a double après-ski cocktail.) Piñons is a classic with a few locally sourced options like Colorado trout and excellent meat cuts like the buffalo tenderloin. Best to bundle up for the excursion into town: Try this handsome parka with fur-trim hood—it has a tomboy feel, but is slimmed down for the ladies ($350).

Plush fleece-lined leggings are a wonderful and dressier option to your cozy, but sloppy sweats ($88).

Perhaps layer a tee with this hand-knit marled sweater on top ($188).

A couple of key accessories can do wonders for the cold, like this fluffy infinity fur scarf in silvery gray ($218).

Lastly, choose footwear that is both stylish and functional. These black Sorel boots ($220) are festively accented with gold trimming, but also sport a waterproof rubber shell to keep toes dry.



Snowmass Skiing

With a whopping 4,406 vertical feet and 3,332 acres of terrain, skiers will be happily occupied all day at Snowmass. Beginners may want to head directly to the well-established ski school (or, first break for Elk Camp, newly built during the 2012-13 season, for a fueling bite). Go for maximum movability with these roomy and breathable ski pants in bright blue ($299).

Keep out the wet stuff with this seam-taped Marmot jacket ($349.95). The detachable powder skirt and drawstring hem affords you options for changing weather conditions.

Mid-layers are a strategic way to maintain the right temperature on the slopes. This colorblock mockneck will also look great with a pair of jeans in the lodge ($84.93).

Whether a beginner or an advanced winter sportsman, a helmet is a necessity. This lightweight version comes in a cool matte pewter ($160).

Accessories can make all the difference, like these wicking ski socks by Smartwool ($20.90).


Après-Ski Socializing

Often, one of the best parts of ski vacations is slurping cocktails off of the slopes. Cocktail hour starts early at most establishments and forms the bulk of the social scene. (Night owls will have plenty of options in Aspen, however, including live music venues like Belly Up.)

Accordingly stylish winter wear often requires a few key investment pieces, like this camel hair zip-up sweater with elbow patches that will last you through several seasons ($398).

For underneath, select a few choice layers, or go all-in-one with this double-layer henley ($39.95). 

Depending on the venue and the nighttime temperatures, a puffer vest can be a versatile option ($140).

Protect ears and domes with a choice beanie. This two-tone style by Antwerp label Howlin by Morrison comes in Donegal wool ($68).

Or, if the party is coming to you (or, for a lazy night in), slide into these lodge scruffs in rich shearling ($59.50).

Photo credits: Buttermilk Boarding: Courtesy of Ambush, Inc.; Spy Optic, Inc; Ride Snowboards; Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd; Under Armour. Palate Pleasing: Courtesy of J.CREW; Intermix; or its affiliates; Eminent, Inc. Snowmass Skiing: Courtesy of New Moosejaw, LLC; Outdoor Research; Peter Glenn Ski and Sport; Après-Ski Socializing: Courtesy of Unionmade; Brooks Brothers Group, Inc.; L.L.Bean Inc.; J.CREW; Need Supply Company

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