Aspen Highlands Bootpacking Program

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Aspen Highlands Bootpacking Program 2021-22

During the Fall of 2021, the Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, will be accepting volunteers to assist the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol with pre-season snow disruption efforts in the Highland Bowl and on the frontside of the Aspen Highlands Ski Area. The Highland Bowl is a unique place for skiing and riding and would not be open without the dedicated efforts of our community volunteers.  Here are the details:

In the alpine


Bootpacking at the ski area involves long days spent outside in severe winter conditions at high altitude. The work is extremely strenuous and is comparable to mountaineering. All the inherent risks of that sport are here also, including falls or possible avalanche involvement.


  • During the early season (pre-Highlands opening) we may be working Monday through Saturday from 8am until 4:30pm, weather permitting.
  • Packing will begin when there is sufficient snow in the starting zones. Due to this requirement, dates of operations may begin or end at any time. In the past several years, the schedule has varied widely. We have begun as early as  October 21st or as late as December 7th. We try to  finish by the end of December. In several of the last few  years bootpacking has ended by Highlands opening day in mid-December.
  • Assuming favorable weather conditions, the job will last 6 to 8 weeks. It is up to the individual to fit their volunteer days into the days available for packing.  There is no guarantee how many days will be available for bootpacking.
  • Some days, we will not pack while ski patrol  performs  annual training of staff, OR  performs Avalanche Mitigation work.

The Voucher Credit

¨         Volunteers are not employees of  Aspen Skiing Company or the Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation and are required to sign releases acknowledging that fact.  There is no Workers’ Compensation coverage  or similar disability insurance coverage for volunteers participating in this bootpacking program.

Voucher Guidelines:

  1. Voucher credit is offered only after completion of a minimum of 3 volunteer days.
  2. If volunteers pack for at least 3 complete days, they are offered  voucher credit  that can be applied toward approved ASC Season Passes,  based on the total number of volunteer days spent packing.
  3. Bootpackers who volunteer for 15 days  will be offered a Premier Pass.
  4. Premier Passes offered to bootpackers DO NOT include a complimentary Ikon Base Pass.
  5. Premier Passes offered to bootpackers does include an Uphill Pass.
  6. Bootpackers who volunteer 8 days will be offered a Alpine 1-Day.
  7. Bootpackers  who volunteer 12 days will be offered an Alpine 2-Day.
  8. Bootpackers who qualify may volunteer 7 days for a College Pass.
  9. Bootpackers who qualify may volunteer 3 days for a Valley Pass.
  10. Bootpackers may add cash to the voucher  to upgrade to the approved ASC  Season Pass of their choice.
  11.  In the case of vouchers exceeding the value of the pass choice, no reimbursement will be made.
  12. Voucher credit cannot be used for Classic Passes OR in conjunction with a Chamber Discount.
  13. Volunteer packing days cannot be exchanged for daily lift tickets.
  14. Voucher credit is non-transferable.
  15. Voucher credit must be used by January 10, 2022 and CANNOT be saved for future use.


  • Mandatory – Avalanche rescue beacon broadcasting at 457khz.
  • A vibram soled boot is required. Alpine touring boots, telemark boots or stiff snowboard boots are the ideal footwear.
  • Full winter clothing able to withstand entire days outside.
  • Packers are responsible for their own lunch and water and must have a suitable backpack for carrying personal gear.
  • Skis and boards will likely be damaged due to traveling over low snow depth terrain. Bring “rock” gear. (Ask if you don’t understand what this means.)
  • An ice axe, skins and AT bindings are a plus but not necessary.